Sticky Notes - Going Out(side) for Dinner!
over 1,000 kid-approved recipes coming soon! save your flavorites

Going Out(side) for Dinner!

April 22, 2022 by Emily Moore

It's THYME we all go Out(side) for Dinner! 


  • What did the Llama say to their family before their picnic? ALPACA dinner!
  • Where's the worst place to have a picnic? ANT-arctica.​​​​​​​

It’s well understood that being outside improves both mental and physical health. Studies show that time spent out-of-doors can improve brain function, help regulate the immune system, and elevate moods.  All of which make an excellent case for dining al fresco

The summer my kids were 5 and 3, we ate dinner once a week at a nearby park. It was awesome! With just a little bit of forethought and prep, picnics quickly became part of our regular routine. If my family pulled it off, so can yours.

Here’s the “recipe” that worked for us:
  • Choose a park with the essentials: shade, playground, and bathroom
  • Spread the word to a few other families (it’s a great way to meet and/or include new folks)
  • Choose a time and day of the week and stick with it. (Wednesdays worked well for us)
  • Keep an eye on the weather and have a backup plan if you like (e.g., a front porch? the living room floor?)
  • Keep it simple! Don’t worry about courses and don’t overthink it. Just set out a few things and call it good.

Here are some of my family’s favorite picnic foods:

  • Summer Fruit 
  • Raw Veggies & Dip
  • Gazpacho (lidded canning jars work well for transporting AND serving)
  • Vinaigrette-Based Pasta Salad
  • Vietnamese Glass Noodle Salad
  • Tamales
  • Fabulous Falafels​​​​​​​
  • Whatever’s in the fridge/pantry that you’d like to use up (for real!)
  • Cool beverages​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Food Safety & Pro-Tips

Food Safety: To minimize bacterial growth, remember to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold. And be sure to choose foods that won’t melt or spoil in the heat (skip soft cheeses, mayo, and undercooked meats).

Picnic Pro-Tip: If you want to develop a habit of picnicking, do yourself a favor and have a “picnic bag” or basket that’s always stocked and ready to grab. (This was a game-changer for us, and I regretted not having done it sooner.) Our picnic bag (still in heavy use though our kids are teenagers!) contains the following: 

  • Blanket
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Cutting Board & Pocket Knife
  • Wipes
  • Sunscreen +/ Bug Spray 
  • Band-aids
  • Frisbee 

That’s it. Need more picnic preppers on your team? Let us help! Check out Sticky Fingers Cooking Summer Camps near you to get YOUR kids in the kitchen!


Follow us on Social Media!

Subscribe to the Sticky Fingers Cooking mailing list

Subscribe to our newsletter, The Turnip, to receive exclusive discounts and updates, insider tips + tricks from our awesome team, and instant access to the Sticky Fingers Cooking Starter Kit for free!

99% of schools invite us back year after year