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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Planning a Picnic Party for Everyone

How to Plan a Picnic for Food Intolerances

Hi lovelies. Lately I've been receiving lots of requests for entertaining ideas for those with food intolerances, allergies or special food needs.

As you know, I'm the queen of food intolerances and also have coeliac disease so it can be incredibly difficult for me to feel included when it comes to food-focused events. A lot of times, I have to eat differently to everyone else and bring my own food - but if you're the host of an event, why not plan something that everyone can enjoy!

I love picnics and they're a perfect way for me to enjoy food with friends or family members as you can tailor your picnic member to suit your guests needs! 

So here are my tips for planning the perfect picnic!

Healthy Apple Crumble CakeEncourage everyone to bring a dish: 
This way everyone has something that they know they can eat and you get to experience a wide variety of foods. Recently we had a picnic with friends and I brought along my cheesy quinoa bakes, baked in muffin tins for portability and my apple crumble cake (with blueberries substituted for apples) which always goes down a treat and is gluten free, vegan, low fat, egg free and dairy free.

Bring a cooler/esky/ice packs: 
Make sure you keep your food cool and fresh in an esky/cooler or by packing your food with ice packs. I usually pack everything into containers and then put them out onto serving dishes so it's easier to keep things cool and not have anything go soggy.

The more disposable the better!
How to Plan a Picnic - Disposable Serving Dishes
Surrey Houseware 
Disposable Tableware
The last thing you want when you get home after your picnic is to be washing dishes for hours. We usually bring disposable containers (recyclable is best!) and these days, there are lots of recyclable servingware options available. 

I was sent Surrey House disposable tableware and I absolutely love it. They're sturdy enough to hold heavier items and look great! We actually used the platters at home for a BBQ as it meant we could just throw everything away afterwards and didn't have to spend hours doing the dishes (don't you hate that - somehow I always get stuck as the dish washer!)

Think about who's coming
If you're planning the picnic or the majority of the food, think about everyone's food needs (I know, it can be difficult - but worth it!). When I know I have guests coming with an egg allergy or someone who follows a vegan diet or someone who can't eat tomatoes, I like to make things that everyone can enjoy.

An example for this is my Avocado Quinoa which is gluten free, dairy free, low fat, egg free and also vegan (as long as you don't add cheese, simply offer that as an add-on option!) and is usually a hit with everyone - even if they've never tried quinoa before!

Have things everyone can enjoy!
How to Plan a Picnic - Disposable Bowls
Surrey Houseware Disposable Bowl
I always like to bring things I know everyone will be able to enjoy - not just me or those with specific allergies.

One of my favourite allergy friendly snacks is popcorn! As long as you can eat corn, popcorn is a snack that everyone can enjoy. I buy salted popcorn which is gluten free, egg free, dairy free and vegan so there's not too many people that can't have it - plus, who doesn't like popcorn?!

Another allergy friendly idea are dips with veggie sticks. Have a variety of dips available so that everyone can have something they like. My beetroot tzatziki dip is a huge hit, though no dairy free - so if you're serving that and one of your guests is vegan or can't have dairy, bring along a dip they can eat such as hommus!

Don't forget the drinks!
I can't tell you how many times we've almost forgotten the drinks because we were so focused on the food! Drinks are especially important if it's a hot day or you're in the sun as you don't want to end up with heat stroke. 

Bring sunscreen/insect repellent 
There's nothing worse than a sunburn or a day spent swatting flies. When you're outside, sunscreen and insect repellent are must haves

How to Plan a Picnic - Disposable Platters Coles Australia
Surrey Houseware serving dish
with sandwich fixings
Super Simple Picnic Ideas:

  • Sandwiches for all - bring along your sandwich fillings, already prepared (think sliced tomatoes and veggies, cheeses, deli meats etc), rolls or bread (my favourite gluten free rolls to take along are Purebread's White Rolls) and drinks and you're good to go!
Bring a plate - ask everyone invited to bring along their favourite dish. To make sure you have a bit of everything, if you have a small number, ask each person to bring both a sweet and savoury dish - or assign certain dishes to each person. We usually have each person bring a dish and also have each person bring their own meat to barbeque.

More about Surrey House
Surrey Houseware create beautiful, functional and 100% disposable tableware which is also sturdy enough to use and take anywhere.

We've used it both at a picnic (as pictured) and at home when we had friends over (so you don't have to wash up!) and it stays strong even with moist ingredients (like the tomato) inside it. 

You can find out more at their Website - or follow them on Facebook

So tell me, what are your picnic tips?
What's your favourite food to take along to a picnic?

This post was sponsored by Surreyhouse, however, all opinions and tips shared in this post are entirely Kristy's own and she has not been influenced by the company in any way. All products have been tested by Kristy, her family and friends prior to posting.

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