Beyond the Kitchen Table: 5 smart ideas to take mealtime outside

Beyond the Kitchen Table: 5 smart ideas to take mealtime outside

You’ve been cooped up in your house all winter, pestering the kids to stay in their chairs and eat their food. As warm weather approaches, spice up mealtime, leave the chairs behind, and take it outside.


Arranging family meals and getting your kids to actually eat, is one of mom’s constant and biggest challenges. As the spring and summer months roll in, a whole new world of mealtimes opens at your feet. Whether you feel like packing a picnic or making pancakes for a balcony breakfast, we have some great ideas for meals beyond your kitchen table.

  1. Camping trips don’t have to be overnight ordeals. You can make it a daytrip. Pack your family’s favorite campfire food, some drinks and some snacks and set off to your favorite spot. Have the entire family participate in food preparation outdoors. Make it a learning experience, talk about how prehistoric man cooked food. Or teach them the basics of cooking.
  2. If cooking food on a campfire isn’t your thing, pack a picnic and a few blankets and make it a nature expedition. Go to a forest, a lake, a river. Make it an adventure. Have the kids collect pine cones, flowers, snail shells, or whatever they’re into. Do some bird spotting, play hide and seek. The outdoors are sure to build up the entire family’s appetite.
  3. If you have a backyard, there is nothing funner than an outdoor dinner and a movie night. Set up a projector, lay out the blankets, bring out the pillows, and make a dinner that everyone will enjoy. And promise of popcorn for dessert.
  4. If you have a porch, or any outdoor area that can accommodate a dinner, arrange a star-gazing night. Have dinner at sunset. While waiting for the sky to go dark, make washing up a family activity. Get the kids to help you with the dishes using your favorite dish soap. Try a mild one, so it’s gentle on everyone’s hands, like Fairy Clean & Care Washing Up Liquid.  
  5. If breakfast is the only meal you can fit into your busy schedules, have it outside. If you don’t have any outdoor areas in your home, pack it up and take it to the playground. It’ll probably be empty early in the morning and the kids will have the slides and swings to themselves.
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