The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: Picnic Family Fun!

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Recipe of the Week

Wow, Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching! Finally, after the long winter months and a budding spring, the “official start of summer” is just around the corner.

This time of year always makes me think of my years growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania. Mom was always eager for summer weather and the start of summer break from school. Memorial Day weekends, as well as several other days over the summer, were lazy days full of family, friends and picnics. My mom loved a good picnic! At times she went all out with planning food for the picnic. From different salads and vegetable dishes to pulling out the charcoal grill, the food was good and plentiful.  At those times, the backyard was full of adults and children talking and having a good time.

My other memory is of other smaller picnics. Sometimes just Mom and we kids, or on weekends, Dad would join us. They would wake us up in the morning and say, “Girls, get out of bed. We are going on a picnic today!” Those were the best picnics! Usually the food on these days was a little simpler. Mom packed what we had in the refrigerator. Egg salad or peanut butter sandwiches, carrots and celery sticks and some kind of summer fruit like fresh peaches or a melon she had cut that morning. The food was always different, but always tasted great when enjoyed on a blanket outside! As kids, we had the job of packing our toys or things to do for the day. At times we would need our swim suits, but we usually always took a Frisbee, whiffle bat and ball, and even a deck of cards.

Now as an adult, I look back and remember these days as some of the best times with my family. Just being together, talking and laughing while enjoying our meal and getting to spend time with Mom and Dad, playing games and running around! Those simple, sometimes spontaneous times were the best!

I have kept up the picnic tradition with my own family. I take a simple picnic lunch to sporting events my children are in or, on a long vacation drive we pack a sack lunch to eat at a rest stop. My teenagers already laugh and share stories of some of their favorite family picnic memories! It doesn’t take much to make or plan the picnic but the fun memories are plentiful!


Twila Smith
Administrative Assistant, Mom of 2

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