What’s not to love about picnics? Sunshine, fresh air, birdsong, and delicious food! You get to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends, and you eventually leave with a feeling of satisfaction, having experienced genuine communion with your loved ones in way that is often difficult to replicate even at home.

1. Find the right spot

Choose a nice grassy lawn with a source of shade nearby, in case the weather warms up. That way, you get the best of both worlds: sunshine to start the picnic with, and shade to end it.

2. Keep things cool

Make your own ice bricks to keep your food cool. Freeze fruit juice in an ice cube tray, and decant them in plastic water bottles. You can use the bottles to keep the food in your container cool, and when it melts, you have ice-cold fruit juice!

3. Avoid leafy greens

Although greens taste healthy and fresh, no one likes soggy lettuce leaves, so avoid greens that quickly lose their texture. Stick to crunchy greens like cucumbers and celery. Speaking of soggy leaves, keep your dressing in a separate squeezy bottle. Pack your salads in a glass jar, starting the layer with robust ingredients at the bottom, and delicate herbs on top.

4. Make use of flasks

Remember that thermal flasks keep hot things hot AND cold things cold. So, not only can you use them for coffee, tea, or soups, you can even use them for wine or juice!

5. Serve bite sizes

A picnic is not the place for doing an endless amount of prep work or assembly. Go for food that you can easily eat with one hand (while the other holds a beverage of course). Choices include: frittatas, savory and sweet muffins, sausage rolls, and quiches.

6. Don’t forget something sweet!

Obviously you want dessert after your delicious meal, but without the sticky fingers that comes with it! To avoid a mess, make desserts in jars. The possibilities are endless, but some ideas include: trifle, banana pudding, parfait, or even cheesecake.

7. Pack condiments

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all the condiment packets you get when ordering fast food, then now you know! Save the small packets and pack them as convenient condiments for your next picnic.

8. Remember food surfaces

You should also pack wooden boards or trays which will provide a clean, flat surface for food and utensil placement. This will keep it off the picnic blanket, which can quickly become dirty!

9. Extras to pack

To make your picnic as comfortable as possible, remember to pack insect repellant, sunblock, paper napkins or wet towels (wet wipes), and extra disposable bags to clean up afterwards. You can also use these bags for dirty utensils.