On the go a lot? Want to avoid concession stand prices? Here are some fun and easy ideas for food to pack for a game or a picnic!
What’s tougher than caring for and keeping up with a bunch of littles day after day? Juggling their needs in with all the big kids’ activities and needs too.
Worth it? Yah. Times a million. Doable? Yes, with help. :) Always say yes to help.
This lovely picnic happened on the sidelines of Malachi’s high school soccer game this spring. With mouths full of burgers, we cheered for “Bubba” and tried to keep Keith from running into the street. Good times.
—-> Not pictured: The second-story window Keith broke right before we left for the game. That pretty much scared this mama out of her flip-flops. <—-
Right after that game, we dropped Keith and Baby Sissy off with sitters, and the rest of us headed to the college campus for Justus’ final choir performance of the year. I had to be very organized with food that day. But hey, what’s new? And I’m sure most of you can relate to the chasing and the events and activities and trying to keep everyone fed while doing it all.
The food list I’m about to give you is great for games, park days, and picnics too!
As spring and summer activities have ramped up, I’ve found myself trying to be a little more creative with the food I pack up. The kids (and the parents) get tired of sandwiches pretty quickly. And while many of the foods I’ve been packing to take along with us aren’t the healthiest of all of our meals, they are at least cheaper than buying concession stand food.
So, maybe this post is more about saving money than it is about eating healthy. And if you’re like me, you’re also happy to have all the food in one bag on the sidelines to avoid taking a parade of small children to the concession stand and dripping ketchup all the way back. After all, we can get ketchup all over ourselves without that added walk to concessions.
Ready for the grand food list I’ve come up with? These ideas are easy, tasty, inexpensive, and fun!
Easy Food to Pack for a Game
While these are cooking on your stove or grill, prepare buns by putting condiments in the fold of the bun. Place cooked hotdogs on top of the condiments (this keeps the ketchup and mustard from seeping out!). Wrap them individually or put them all into a sealed plastic bag. Place them in a thermal lunch bag to stay warm. (Ignore the picture below. It’s trying to be cute, but if you’re packing food to take to a game, you really want that ketchup and mustard UNDER the dog.)
I find that these stay hot for up to two hours or more when I wrap them individually in foil, then place them in a thermal lunch bag before toting them to a game. If I do this, I can also use a sharpy to label which burger is for who, in case there are any picky burger people among us.
These travel best on a paper plate covered with foil. Make them easier to eat by cutting them into triangles with kitchen shears.
If your family likes cold pizza, make this ahead, slice it and then throw it in the fridge until time to go. (Or, simply take leftover pizza if you have it.) Otherwise, a hot pizza from the oven, sliced and packed with napkins and paper plates works great.
I have a cabinet full of cups with lids and straws. I have these big ones and these small ones and I highly recommend them – especially for smoothies on the go! Smoothies are a great way to get some nourishment into all of us while cooling us down on a hot day.
Worth noting: When you put your kids’ smoothies in cups like this,
you can hide the fact that you’ve snuck fresh greens into the blender.
Ask me how I know.
Bake a bunch, throw them in a ziplock, then cart them to the game in an insulated lunch bag.
7. Chicken Sandwiches
I buy a big bag of frozen chicken patties for outings like this. Bake or air fry some breaded chicken patties. Prepare buns (we like these with mayo), place hot chicken patties on the buns, and either individually wrap the sandwiches or slide them into gallon-sized ziplock bags, then into an insulated lunch bag.
8. Tuna or Chicken Salad
Pack this in jars and take along crackers for “spoons.” This keeps the kids busy for a while, which is kind of fine with me so that I can watch my sons’ games a little more easily. :)
10. Chicken Nuggets
Bake or air fry a package of nuggets (or make them homemade), then throw them into a ziplock bag (or individual baggies if that makes it easier to hand them out at the game or picnic). Everyone can enjoy munching on chicken while watching the game! Consider taking small paper plates and some ranch dressing for dipping. And if you’re taking ranch, you might as well take carrots. Which leads me to…
But what about nutrition?
Well, like I said. This post is a little bit more about saving a buck than it is about eating well. However, it is super easy to throw fruits and veggies into to-go bags as well! These travel well and are simple to grab and go:
- Containers of Washed Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, strawberries)
- Containers of Washed Grape Tomatoes
- Bags of Petite Baby Carrots
- 100% peach, pear, pineapple, or mixed fruit cups
- 100% fruit applesauce cups or squeezies
- 100% Fruit Leather
Other fun food on the go:
- Veggie Straws
- Yogurt Squeezies
- Muffins (40+ recipes here)
- Omelet Muffins (protein and veggies included!)
- Cheese Sticks
Your turn to share! What are your favorite foods to take to games and picnics?