This week is a celebration of the beautiful thing that is the picnic. Eating outside has a short season in the UK, and is savoured all the more so because of this. Children see it as a treat to frolic with their friends and parents can lie on rugs looking on rather than pacing the kitchen wielding pans and wiping floors.

When it comes to the food, picnics, like parties are often the time when best laid plans go out the window and the supermarket dash or the cupcake shop wins out. But with a couple of quick things planned up your sleeve you can put the soggy sandwiches and neon cupcakes to shame and let your children run amok with full tummies, loads of energy and no sugar crazed tantrums come the journey home.

These Lamb pittas can be prepped ahead and produced on the rug with their assorted fillings, so the children can assemble their own. Nothing spikes an appetite more than some independent plate filling. And they seem to be much more open to new tastes and flavours when sitting in the grass with their friends.

There’s a lot of protein and omega brain food in these and the chia seeds add another level of superfood to flood them with vitamins and minerals galore as they gallivant.

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Puddings can be the worst culprits in the nutrient empty, sugar-laden department, but these pretty little fruit cups are on the other end of the scale. Treats don’t have to be a nutritional waste of space. Whip out the granola cups and dollop the yoghurt and berries as you go, for customised bites that they’ll gobble up. Crammed with coconut goodness and linseeds these are a real energy boost as well as being vitamin rich from the fresh fruit.

Your journey home will be a different story and your picnic buddies will want the recipes.

Lamb and Chia coriander Pitta Pockets with Cucumber pickle

(Serves 5/6 children)

  • 500g Organic Lamb Mince
  • 1 Organic Egg, whisked
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Handful fresh Coriander, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper

Pickle:

  • 1 cucumber finely sliced with a potato peeler
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar

To Assemble

  • 6-8 Wholemeal/Gluten free pitta breads
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 2 tomatoes sliced

Method

Sit stirred pickle ingredients in a Tupperware together, and leave in fridge til needed.

Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Pinch tablespoon sized clumps off and roll into balls. Flatten onto baking parchment covered tray and chill, covered in fridge until needed. Fry mini burgers in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes on each side and slide into warmed pittas. Store in paper/foil lined tupperware to insulate until picnicking begins.

TOP TIP – Make double or more and freeze the rest

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