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Talk to Humzingers about picnics and be in with a chance of winning a hamper of goodies

(154 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 21-May-13 13:48:43

Humzingers have asked us to find out where MNers stand on picnics for the family, now that summer is just around the corner (surely it must be?!)

Here is what Humzingers have to say about their product: "Humzingers are designed to be convenient and offer variety - they're 100% fruit sticks with no added sugar and are foil wrapped for freshness. What's more, each fruit stick counts as one of your five-a-day!"

Humzingers want to make sure that they keep Mums' opinions in mind when they're creating new products so they're interested to know your thoughts on the questions below.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a hamper of goodies worth £100.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

*It is important and I try and make sure that we have fruit with us and usually some veg sticks as well. Since DS is only 19 months, I choose but I do let him help me and he will usually decide he wants some crisps, cheese and babycorn in the mix.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

We sometimes buy Humzingers and also yogurt covered raisins or the cola/orange/apple flavoured raisins.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make it bright! Fruit and veg comes in all sorts of wonderful varieties and I think the more colour there is the more appealing it is. Cheese goes brilliant with grapes and greek yogurt is lovely with fruit so dippy sticks of these make healthy picnics easy.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

More flavours and varieties, lots of things that appeal to children like games on the packets and their favourite kids characters.

HamletsSister Tue 21-May-13 15:46:52

We pack only the most delicious things on a picnic, regardless of their healthiness, or otherwise. However, we all think fruit and salad are delicious (not all salad, one child doesn't eat anything that is a leaf!) and would choose to eat them, but not in a counting it out sort of way. We usually take things like olives, bread, dips, veg sticks. We often barbecue at the beach and so that involves lots and lots of meat.

We do - we love Bear Fruit and always had raisins and things as snacks when they were younger.

Top tips - take what you know will be eaten but bring them up to eat as wide a variety as possible. However, it is just one meal out of many so, to be honest, who cares if they only eat sausages?

My children are older, so portion size is an issue. If we buy dried fruit snacks, they need about 5 packets to even begin to touch the sides. This means that dried fruit can only be a small treat as it doesn't fill them up, and it can be expensive. However, both eat dried fruit in preference to sweeties, so that can't be bad.

UnChartered Tue 21-May-13 15:54:20

Here is what Humzingers have to say about their product: "Humzingers are designed to be convenient and offer variety - they're 100% fruit sticks with no added sugar and are foil wrapped for freshness. What's more, each fruit stick counts as one of your five-a-day!"

well bugger me, and i thought apples/bananas/grapes/strawberries already had no added sugar and grew their own handy wrapper hmm

and the last time i looked they were part of the '5-a-day'

[innocent face]

BedHog Tue 21-May-13 15:57:29

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I choose a balance of snacks that the children will eat, some healthy, others less so.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, we buy Humzingers and other similar products, or sometimes yogurt coated raisins or fruit flakes.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Take lots of different types of fruit, chopped into bitesize pieces, and some skewers so everyone can make fruit kebabs. Chocolate sauce optional!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
My children like Humzingers (with the exception of tropical flavour) but it would help if they didn't look like something an owl had regurgitated! Maybe you could package them with a fruit or yogurt dip, or a liquid centre? Or press mould them into funny shapes with different types of fruit within one unit, maybe a star with each point made from a different fruit?

BedHog Tue 21-May-13 15:59:09

Oh, and the Humzinger packaging is really hard to open, btw. The crimped bit at the end just doesn't tear open very easily.

gazzalw Tue 21-May-13 15:59:33

Humzingers are a bit of a staple in this house although DS has rather gone off them but he's awkward hmm.

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not?

It is a factor but as a picnic is essentially a fab treat, it's by no means the overriding thing to consider when choosing scrummy picnic food. Having said that, DW would not pack a picnic without celery, grapes, strawberries, cucumber and baby tomatoes...

And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

It's a democratic decision so there will be some trade off of healthy snacks for crisps or tortilla chips....

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes, because they are less perishable and often less expensive than many of the more exotic fruits....

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Variety from the five main food groups but with some 'treats' such as crisps/cakes too so it is more fun and less difficult to persuade the children to eat the 'good stuff'!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I'm not entirely sure. DD would happily eat the little boxes of raisins/sultanas etc...when she was little but I think the older children (post toddler years) grow out of those.

My two love the fruit 'leathers' you can get from Holland and Barrett (at some cost!) -flattened dried fruit but more inspiring flavours than normal dried fruit ones. DW has been buying the apricot equivalent from M&S (which seem better value for money) but would be good to have other fruits.

I think the recent Whitworths chocolate covered raisins is the way to go. Combine compatible fruits with a chocolate coating. Not ideal but if the 'fruit' component is 'pure' then surely it still counts and is appealing...

BedHog Tue 21-May-13 16:05:44

The Humzinger boxes with apple, pear, plum etc only seem to be available in Tesco Extra. Please could you try and get the other supermarkets to stock them, we're bored with the strawberry/blackcurrant etc flavours, and the tropical always get wasted.

CMOTDibbler Tue 21-May-13 16:16:22

We pack whatever we all fancy in the picnic - and this usually doesn't include sandwiches as I can't have them and dh and ds would rather include other things. Home made sushi rolls are very popular here. Theres a balance of what is in the house, what everyone fancies, and some balance of making sure it will keep ds going all day.

Our picnic always includes plenty of fruit and veg as we all enjoy eating them.

I don't buy dried fruit snacks apart from maybe some dried apricots as no one likes the processed ones very much, and ds certainly consumes his 5 a day no problem. I prefer him to eat real fruit anyway.

liveotherwise Tue 21-May-13 16:29:26

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

5 a day isn't a huge factor in this house. I aim for balance and variety - I keep a full fruit bowl and we go through bananas in particular as though they're going out of fashion. For picnics I take a variety of fruit, something to suit each child (I have one who doesn't eat apples for example).

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I buy raisins sometimes, little boxes are handy to keep in my bag. They sometimes go with a packed lunch/ picnic.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Variety. Nothing wrong with a sandwich though. Home made muesli bars (include dried fruit), bit of chocolate, some fresh fruit, maybe boiled eggs depending on how organised I am.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I don't think that's up to companies tbh, and I'd really rather they didn't cover everything with child friendly characters. Food is food and should be presented as such.

supergreenuk Tue 21-May-13 16:34:49

I will try to always pack a portion of fruit be it a fruit pouch or raisins

Dried fruit snacks would be raisins or fruit flakes.

I don't always think picnics have to be healthy. It's an excuse to have a treat such as a sausage roll.

Tips? They just have to taste good. As simple as that.

We pack sandwich type stuff in picnics, whatever we pack can be eaten as a car picnic if when weather gets in the waysmile.
Always plastic plates and cutlery, always bread and spread, anything else is dependent on what we have in the cupboard.
We eat a fair few Humzingers, as DS is milk allergic so safe snacks are hard to come by.
Ideas for dried fruity snacks:
-Dried apricots filled with raspberry purée
-raisin necklace strung on fruit leather
-pear and apple crisps

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

5-a-day does factor but it's not the be all and end all. Picnics here are rare (rainy Manchester) so it's a treat.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes but I'm more likely to buy it for lunch boxes. My dcs love Humzingers for lunch boxes.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Not sure really. Children will eat what they are used to. You have to make it appeal to the parents buying it surely.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Top tips are being able to eat with fingers something easily accessible. My dcs really just like to bomb about rather than sit down when we have a picnic. They like to come back, take a bite or two and run off again.

pooka Tue 21-May-13 16:47:37

I choose what gets packed in a picnic, although if they were in the kitchen when I was doing it they'd probably make suggestions.

I do usually have something fruity - strawberries/grapes etc. - and also carrot/cucumber batons. Some smoothies and job done really.

We've long been users of humzingers - but more for everyday rather than picnics (I remember demanding that ocado stock them because they didn't in early days). Tend to have a couple floating around in my bran tub of a bag for rations on the go. Also kids are fans of Cheerios and raisins in a tub (the younger 2 more than my eldest).

With regards to top tips - I don't really make a massive effort to pack a healthy picnic, more to get a balance of stuff they will eat. I know they like grapes and strawberries and will always eat some of those with their sandwiches or crisps. Ds1 loves houmus and carrots, so that's always a winner. More often than not though, a picnic is a fun treat and so I'm not desperately worried if they turn into a Pringles-fest as its only one meal out of a day.

I can't really think how to make dried fruit snacks more appealing. I'd maybe take a leaf out of steal their marketing team innocent's book as they seem very appealing as a brand to my children, which is great.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 21-May-13 16:48:45

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I don't believe in the 5 a day thing. It was dreamt up by the fruit marketing people in America - so no that doesn't affect my choice. I choose the snacks because I purchase them.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
No

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
For me healthy food is as non-processed as possible. So I'd be packing: roast chicken, salads, cold cuts of meat, home made mayo, hard boiled eggs, couscous, nice cheeses, chutneys & pickles, home made cake & biscuits.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I don't think foods should appeal to children. Food manufacturers should try to sell wholesome food without ripping off their suppliers or consumers.

Florin Tue 21-May-13 16:53:39

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
My son is only 10 months old so we choose. He eats most things however we do try as pack things that aren't too messy! They will always include some fruit and veg
~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes we buy boxes of raisins and also humzingers. We adore humzingers as they are so handy we keep some in the car, some in the pushchair and some in the changing bag so we have them with us at all times. They are so useful for those little emergencies such as when a restaurant is taking a while with our food or he gets hungry in the supermarket queue. I have has the odd one too when I have forgotten to eat breakfast!
I have told all our baby mates about them as they work so well for babies as they are healthy filling and an easy shape for them to hold, now most of the babies we know eat them!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Variety some healthy things he likes some new things for him to try and a few back ups incase he won't eat anything.
~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Brightly coloured packets, cartoons on the box

CheeryCherry Tue 21-May-13 16:56:04

If it's an impromptu picnic, it usually consists of whatever we have in the kitchen. If organised, I usually do a variety of sandwiches/wraps, slices of melon, tub of washed cherry tomatoes, carrot&cucumber sticks, washed strawberries, big bag of crisps to share, frozen frubes and some flapjack. Always some fruit and some veg, I do consider their 5 a day.
I don't tend to buy dried fruit for picnics, we prefer fresh. But do sometimes buy them for packed lunches/snacks in the car.
Variety is the way to go for a healthy picnic, and good quality fresh food.
Different sized packets would be s

CheeryCherry Tue 21-May-13 16:57:57

Sorry...would be useful, as they grow older, the tiny packets are not filling enough. We like the more 'exotic' favours like mango, papaya, pineapple.

K8Middleton Tue 21-May-13 16:58:27

What mums think?

Well this mother thinks mums is a bit patronising and sexist. Perhaps they mean parents? Unless the kitchen and food prep is wimmins work, in which case ask away. Dh has given his permission wink

500internalerror Tue 21-May-13 17:07:40

We love humzingers - I'm eating one in the park at the moment!

They are too small tho; good for toddlers or a tiny addition to a lot of other picnic foods.

Sadly, the kids are influenced by packaging, so this is a major consideration. The only thing they won't eat, in any guise or coating, is raisins!

Re the picnic contents, I choose - but of course it's based on what they prefer. And they choose a 'treat' from their stash (Easter leftovers!)

Messandmayhem Tue 21-May-13 17:16:02

1) my dc are 3 and 1 so I choose the picnic snacks, I like to have healthy options and they like most things so picnics usually involve lots of fruit.

2) I do buy dried fruit for picnics about 50% of the time because its unlikely to cause much mess and I can use it to bribe the kids out of the park at home time!

3) healthy picnics? Shocking! grin our picnics usually are quite simple, so I will take some cheese, apples and maybe grapes, and some cooked chicken, breadsticks and a tub of soft cheese for dipping, plus either some sort of dried fruit thing. So my top tip is to keep it simple, picking a cheese and chicken is perfectly healthy and far more appealing to my kids (who want to be on the go) than sitting down to eat something that needs a knife and fork.

4) I don't know, my DC love dried fruit snacks already!

bluecarrot Tue 21-May-13 17:17:12

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

We pick together and usually snacks like carrot sticks with dip, grapes, berries etc. All easy to nibble on in between running off to play.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, we have fresh, but I do keep some in the car boot as "emergency rations", along with water.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

A wide variety of colours, and a good mix of sweet and savoury. I tend to stick to water to drink.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

My DD loves dried fruit anyway, but Ive seen mindees go for the fruit leather type things in shapes and bars in fun packaging.

SacreBlue Tue 21-May-13 17:29:12

Declaring from get go that I have never even heard of Humzingers let alone tried them so my replies are based on products available from supermarkets or health food shops

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves? Our diet is very varied and a variety of taste and texture is as important as 5 a day choices. I ask DS if his friends have preferences but for the most part I know what his tastes are and just pick accordingly

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? I like them for the car and for cooking with, we do have a snack box but they never last very long in there so if we are going on a picnic I buy them on the day or just before

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? use a wheeled suitcase! We pack so many varieties of foods that we take mountains of food with us. Health wise - popping fruit in freezer (esp grapes/berries) on hot days means they are at least cool but preferably still a bit frozen when we get to eat - makes them more attractive esp to younger kids. Lots of finger foods and dips - small portions, easy to eat and dips mean lots of healthy crudités can be enjoyed without getting bored of flavour

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? our ones liked the individual little boxes of raisins - everyone can have their own and avoids 'sticky, germy finger' comments by the older kids of the toddlers in the group. No additives, lots of variety, and maybe a rating hard to soft? I like banana chips, raises and mango pieces (not the strips) and they are hard to medium to soft. This would help if you know your child likes crunchy offerings, or chewy or soft.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 17:37:42

My healthy picnic would consist of:

Fresh fruit
Sandwich
Cucumber
Water in a sippy cup

DS wouldn't necessarily eat it all smile

Taffeta Tue 21-May-13 17:38:23

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves

Yes consider ow much of picnic is fruit and veg. I used to choose but the older they get, they are 9 and 6 now, the more involved in choice they want to be

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes often. We regularly have dates, or fruit strings, dried apple, dried apricot,or little bags of mixed dried fruit
~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Vary it. Lots of interesting different things, incl carb protein fruit and veg. Pre cut fresh fruit and veg to make it easier to eat. Try to keep fresh fruit cold.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children
Fruit strings are v popular here as they look and taste like sweets, with different colours etc. IME how the actual product looks and tastes has more impact than the packaging

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? Yes, as far as I can get away with it!

And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves? Mixture of both

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? Dried fruit / nuts and seeds

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? Celery is pretty durable and also delicious (tell my dds that!). We like to take a punnet of plums or some slices of melon too, or something else that's a bit tastier than just an apple or orange. Avoid bananas - they stink and get crushed.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? I think they do a lot already to make them appealing but need to be careful to strike a balance between appealing and still healthy.

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I like to make sure DD gets a good portion of her 5 a day at each meal. She chooses what fruit we take and what salady bits are packed (cucumber, tomatoes, peppers etc).

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

We have dried fruit but not a huge amount. Mostly yogurt covered raisins as pudding.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make sure there is a good variety of foods from all the food groups and a few treats in there too. Make sure you remember the plastic plates / cups and forks (v cheap in ikea) so you can take pasta salad and chopped fruit.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think they already are. DD is 3 but has started to ask for the dried fruit snacks because they look like sweets

Blatherskite Tue 21-May-13 18:16:36

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

We have picnics so infrequently that I try to make what i put in them a treat but I do also try to include some fruit and veg in the mix. Thankfully, both of my children are pretty good with fruit so a fruit salad will always make it into the bag and I do like that this forms at least one of their 5 a day. I usually do the choosing because at 3 and 6, my children are a bit little to have too much of a say and would choose crisps and pepperami of left to their own devices.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I buy lots of fresh fruit normally bit we do have raisins too. My Sister offered DD a school bar a while ago which she loved so we've been getting them recently too. I did see Humzingers last time we were in the supermarket but didn't pick any up. Usually i shop online so would have missed them.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make it look good. Sweaty cheese rolls wrapped in cling film turn even adults off whereas a beautiful bright fruit salad looks so much more appealing. Include a mix of staples and new tastes - children who are already eating are much more likely to try something new in my experience so get them going with the "normal" stuff then encourage them to try something less familiar.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make them less sticky and easier to get into. DS takes a packed lunch to school and if it's tough to get into he struggles and loses interest (and there isn't always a staff member around to help) and anything that makes him sticky will get dropped before it's finished as he hates being sticky and will want to get clean more than he'll want to finish it.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Tue 21-May-13 18:27:17

You know I had forgotten about Humzingers. Might buy some for lunchboxes.

Anyhow...

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose the food, and I don't really think about five a day but I will always take fruit because we like fruit. To be honest I am more likely to pack a box of strawberries than dried fruit. I think it's nicer to have something more fresh outside, IYSWIM.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, but we always have dried fruit in the house as I cook/bake with apricots, prunes, raisins, cherries, dates, so sometimes we snack on them at home.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Hmm, I wouldn't want "a healthy picnic" specifically, a little of what you fancy does you good, I reckon.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I do think that maybe a bigger Humzinger would work better for older DC, as they are quite small. I used to get them for DD when she was 2-3 ish, to keep in my handbag for emergencies. I can't imagine them filling the tummy of a ten year old.

BonzoDooDah Tue 21-May-13 18:35:56

Never heard of Humzingers or whatever they are. Seems like a lot of packaging for fruit - that already has a skin.

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose usually (children too small to decide). I pick fruit, veg sticks, then sandwiches, sausages, - then it depends on how extravagant we are being, sometimes dips, tortillas, quiche, pork pies, sometimes just a bag of crisps each and a sandwich.

Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

not for the picnic - yes for snacks and special packed lunches (like at holiday club)

What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Some fruit, sandwiches on wholemeal, fruit juice, some veg sticks in a tupperware tub, houmous, breadsticks, maybe presliced fruit like melon and pineapple.

How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Dunno, fancy boxes? Mixed fruit not just raisins? Maybe can use the boxes for something else afterwards? I don't think you need to they either like it or not.

Beechview Tue 21-May-13 19:10:00

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes, I do like to include fruit and veg and mostly I choose (kids are under 8) but I do choose things they'll like.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

It depends. If its a planned picnic, then I'll make some food, lovingly cut up fruit and crudités but often, we see some good weather and will go on an impromptu picnics where grabbing some dried fruit snacks, crisps and a cheese roll will be fine.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

lots of fresh foods and less of the sugary and/or processed stuff.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Kids love them if they look like sweets but I think companies need to appeal more to parents. Most parents would prefer no artificial flavours or sweeteners and ingredients to be kept as natural as possible.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 21-May-13 19:26:12

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I aim for more than 5 a day so yes, snacks are usually fruit or vegetable based. I do balance it out with cheese, cakes, etc.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, we will devour a bag of cranberries on a picnic. The DDs also like yoghurt covered fruit, dried mango and Winders. I do wonder if the high sugar content cancels out the benefits though.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
A picnic is a meal, so the same rules/guidelines apply. I make sure a picnic is part of a balanced day's food.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I think they are appealing but I'm the adult and do the shopping so I tend to buy the least processed options with minimal packaging rather than the little boxes or artificial looking stuff. I just wish dried fruit was cheaper (although the same can be said for most food at the moment).

Hellohippo Tue 21-May-13 19:31:49

I love picnics!
Lots of different items in small plastic boxes, cucumber, carrot sticks, grapes, strawberries, and little pots of pasta salad etc.

I think variety is key, whilst I don't use your products I do make my own fruit kebabs with cocktail sticks, I think variety is key, larger quantities of one food I think promote mindless eating where as small amounts of different food makes us feel we have eaten more.

jojane Tue 21-May-13 19:35:27

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I always chose fruit of somesort to be part of the picnic. Not necessarily to be a 5 a day but because we all love fruit! I choose mainly as kids young but if they mention they want so etching I often put it in too

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
I don't buy them specifically forma picnic but do for lunch boxes so if we have some I might chuck some in.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Yummy sarnies packed with salad, fruit salad, everything bite size, toss apples etc in orange or lemon juice to prevent browning. make banan cake, courgette muffins, or carrot cake.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Bite size, also for younger children not too sticky and chewy

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I buy the food, therefore I choose the snacks. And 5 a day is a totally meaningless made up Government target, so it doesn't feature at all.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No. I favour fresh fruit and salad.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Don't pack anything that comes in a packet.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I don't think they should. Chocolate is better for teeth.

missorinoco Tue 21-May-13 19:46:29

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose what we bring on a picnic. There is a fruit choice, and usually tomatoes/cucumber/carrots.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Raisins, but usually from a large packet rather than individual little cartons.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
It's a balance. My picnics usually include a treat - a cake option and crisps/mini cheddars as the picnic itself is a treat. But there is also salad/vegetables and fruit. If you are too full for fruit then you are too full for cake. As it is a picnic I might buy grapes/strawberries rather than apples and bananas, and they are popular.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Dried fruit vs chocolate? I don't think you are onto a winner. My children would go for it if it was the only way to get a sweet option. I think you are aiming at the wrong people. Parents generally buy the food. If you want me to buy them put them on offer more, or sell them in larger better value packs. Also, market them as a sweet treat that is part of your five-a-day, although that wouldn't do it for me as luckily my kids eat non dried fruit.

dahville Tue 21-May-13 19:50:37

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

We do make sure that at least one of the snacks we bring is fresh fruit and we usually have some raisins on hand as well. We choose the food to bring.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Just raisins so far, we've never bought any other types of dried fruits

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Fresh is best - grapes, strawberries, and banana are all hits in our picnics

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think it is more appealing to parents they need to strive for - convince us that you are providing a quality product that is healthy for our children.

Not make them poo shaped like the humzinger dried fruit bats I tried to feed my children to roars of laughter. They refused to eat 'fruit poo'.

Normally I would have told them off for being vile but had to agree with them!!!

Hasitfallendownagain Tue 21-May-13 20:25:30

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
To me, a picnic is a meal, so the word "snack" doesn't really go, as I associate it as something to eat between meals. I do try to pack a balanced picnic - usually something like bread, cheese, ham/salami salad, fruit, cake or biscuits, possibly crisps or olives. I let my children choose what they will have in their sandwiches, what fruit we take etc.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? Not really prepackaged ones - but I have sometimes bought freshly shelled nuts and mixed dried fruit from the greengrocer for a picnic

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? I don't really have any top tips. I just pack stuff that I fancy making at the time, or has caught my eye in the shop. I always use ice packs and an insulated cool bag to keep things fresh.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? My children quite like dried fruit anyway - especially those pressed bar things. I prefer them to have fresh fruit when they can - I'd say dried fruit was more for carrying a pack in the bottom of your handbag for an emergency kind of thing.

LauraPashley Tue 21-May-13 20:37:14

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I have 2 dcs- 1 would happily eat nothing but fruit all day long at the expense of everything else, 1 would happily never eat fruit again and has to be forced. So picnics have to try to be somewhere in the middle of that! My fruit refused thankfully will eat humzingers so thank you for that! I choose or else it would start a fight.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, lots, both for convenience and shelf life, also for the fruit refuser mentioned above! Wary of the effect on teeth though. We buy humzingers, yoghurt coated raisins/flakes, normal raisins and dried apricots.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
I can convince mine to eat healthier things by presenting them differently, eg I take little plastic bowls and put in eg apple slices, raisins and a few wee treaty things like a handful of haribo- they scoff the lot and don't moan too much, more exciting than having each component separately. Leftovers are also much more appealing when eaten eg out if tinfoil on the beach, so picnics can be a good way to get eg a quiche into them!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I don't think you need to, I think you need to appeal to parents! I picked up humzingers because they appeared to be nonsense free, ingredient wise. Agree they are quite hard to open though

NaturalBaby Tue 21-May-13 20:37:36

Yes, I try to pack at least 1 item of fruit. I choose things I know they will choose, and the same for all my kids so they don't really have a choice or reason to argue!

Yes, mainly Humzingers

I go for different colours and food groups and try to keep things simple.

I try to avoid snacks marketed specifically for children, particularly with cartoons on the box. My kids just want to see what the product is or contains so they can choose the right flavour.

Nigglenaggle Tue 21-May-13 20:40:38

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Not necessarily the 5 a day as such, but I like to make sure fruit is included and generally choose healthier options. My son is too young to choose himself at the moment, but I would involve him when he can.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Dried apricots are a favourite

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Keep it clean - choose items that wont cause too much in the way of sticky hands.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think dried fruit is appealing - it appeals to my child anyway!!

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes. I try to make sure I include at least a couple of fruit or vegetable snacks. I chose the snacks, but I make sure they're snacks that will appeal and will offer a choice when the children are older.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes. Most often sultanas or raisins. Sometimes dried apricots. We also like dried apple and banana crisps.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Keep it as fresh as possible. Home made vegetable pizza is always a big hit. Lots of variety - small portions of ready prepared fresh fruit eg apples, strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes and dried fruit etc to provide a range of colours & textures.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I hate to say it, but I think the packaging is important - small boxes of raisins are always a big hit, fruit crisps that look like real crisp packets, dried fruit that looks like sweets etc. The taste and texture are also important - some dried fruits can be very tough to eat. It doesn't matter how the product is packaged if it isn't visually appealing & doesn't deliver on taste & texture. It doesn't necessarily have to look like sweets with unnatural colours to appeal.

BramblyHedge Tue 21-May-13 20:56:25

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I always choose snacks - fresh and dried fruit features heavily along with a sandwich, crisps and bottle of water or squash. They love fruit so not a battle.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Two out of three of mine adore humzingers. The third is a bit meh and prefers an oat based bar. We always have them in the house so they feature in picnics.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Lots of tupperware to avoid too may packaged items. I use divided boxes so we can have a nice selection of fruit to cater for kids varied tastes. We also use their stainless steel school bottles so easy to stay hydrated throughout the day.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I hate to say it, but more pictures (bit like petite filous / frubes rather than branded). Also make them easier to open. My four year old can't open humzingers and even i ocassionally struggle.

skyeskyeskye Tue 21-May-13 20:57:34

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I would always take a banana and some grapes or strawberries. DD is 5yo, so doesn't get much say in what we take

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I have never heard of Humzingers. DD hates sticky fruit things like School Bars and Winders. I buy Fruit Flakes and raisins

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

a picnic is a treat, so doesnt have to be healthy. I would pack Babybel, Pringles, strawberries, grapes, banana, Ribena carton and a sandwich

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

make them tastier

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 21-May-13 21:03:56

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves? We try to include some fruit and veg with every meal and a picnic is no different but it is a treat so I don't worry if there's not as much as usual. The choosing of the picnic is mainly done by me, but with our d. Given some choices of a or b, c or d.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Not specifically for picnics, but we always have some in the house so they are often included in our picnics.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Variety - lots of choice and make it fun and a bit different to usual. Fruit kebabs, cheese and pineapple on a stick, that kind of thing!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Children like brightly coloured, easy to open packaging IMO. Parents like things that are good value for money and that get eaten!

Melissakitkat Tue 21-May-13 21:10:39

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes 5 a day very important in picnics as is fresh food, veg & fruit if possible. Weirdly dd will choose veg & fruit over crisps anyway. But for her a picnic is not a picnic without sandwiches!!!!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? Yes, we buy those small packs of apricots and occasionally fruit strings for a treat.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

We tend to have strawberries, and those little mixed bags of veg - (broccoli, mange tout, runner beans - fresh not frozen) as snacks in picnics. Then we have yogurts for dairy and ham sandwiches for protein & carbs. Then a big bottle of water. Tbh dd is more excited about eating outside on a rug with picnic plates so does not worry to much about there being special food.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Free trial packs for kids to try - once they try them & like them kids will eat them again - a free sticker on the pack works every time as well. Fun shapes perhaps like 'oddities'. Facts on the packets as well, maybe about the fruit inside. Different cartoon personalities on the pack - Amanda Apricot then Andy apricot! :0) anything that interacts with the child. Make sure packs are small for lunch boxes and easy to open!

Mel xxx

sharond101 Tue 21-May-13 21:22:12

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I factor in the 5 a day and give a choice of snacks they can pick from one of which must be fruit, veg or a smoothie.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
we like prunes and raisins and sometimes buy those.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Bright colours make salad more tempting. Packing everyone a small portion of something healthy can be exciting for the little people.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Small interesting looking packets would make my DC want dried fruit.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

*It does factor in my choices. I generally choose at the moment as my son is only 15 months and would pack a picnic basket full of grapes if he could. He does generally prefer fruit, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks and such like to things like sausage rolls etc.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

*I don't buy the individually packaged fruit snacks for picnics as they are generally a more expensive way of giving dried fruit to the kids. I generally just fill a small tupperware box with a mixture of dried fruit and put it in the picnic.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

*I always try to keep it 1/4 unhealthy and 3/4 healthy. The children should be given a choice but like at home, I would generally try to make sure they are eating a balanced meal

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

*I don't know as my kids already love dried fruit

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I do a picnic at least once a week with the dc. I choose what goes in it, we normally have grapes/bananas and raisins. I have never heard of Humzingers.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I buy the little boxes of raisins.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

A sandwich, salad, fruit and juice with one 'treat' Normally cake with my two dc.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make them 'cool'. Packaging, name, good unique flavours.

Aethelfleda Tue 21-May-13 21:35:41

5-a-day is an artificial construct.

However my one-year old is addicted to humzingers and salivates Pavlov-stylee when he sees the box come out blush

we use them as snacks rather than part of a meal though as their packaging makes them convenient to stash in my bag so there's always a fruity snack to hand. Picnics are great fun but I'd include "real" fruit rather than fruit sticks, as standard fruit feels more like part of a meal.

BornToFolk Tue 21-May-13 21:42:23

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Not exactly. I take tasty, easy to pack things on a picnic which includes fruit and veg. So a typical picnic would be sandwiches, crisps, Quorn mini eggs, cherry tomatoes and some form of fruit. Probably some cake or biscuits too though if we are out for the day I'd probably buy ice-cream rather than bringing a treat. DS does have a say and as long as there are crisps included he's happy!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Not specifically for picnics but I do buy small boxes of raisins or other dried fruit for DS's packed lunch. I'm a bit wary of things like Humzingers as I don't see them as any better than sweets really but I have bought them in the past. They can be useful on walks or days out when DS is starting to flag and needs a sugar boost!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

If you eat healthily every day, you can let go a bit for a picnic! We usually picnic as part of a day out so DS is usually ravenous by lunchtime and will scoff whatever I've packed so I don't worry too much about making it too special.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Do they need to be made more appealing? Personally I prefer to give DS fresh fruit (often keep an apple in my handbag as they travel best!) or something a bit more sustaining than sugary dried fruit. If Humzinger made a flapjack type bar with dried fruit I'd definitely be interested.

Bert2e Tue 21-May-13 21:50:41

~When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Fruit and veg are standard in most meals in our family so they just appear and the children eat them! Choice of picnic snacks tends to be a joint effort.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
We eat things like dried apricots / apple / mango and raisins but tend to avoid processed fruit snacks mainly due to cost and the funny after taste some of them have

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Everything in moderation and offset the unhealthy with healthy.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Bigger portions for older children.

dufflefluffle Tue 21-May-13 22:16:20

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Yes it is a factor and I choose - not them!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, I always have Humzingers - I even keep several in my handbag and in case of extra hunger in their lunch boxes as they are a clean, neat, added-sugar-free way to get fruit into my kids when we're out and about. I also give them small boxes of raisins and apricots.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Lots of water to drink, healthy sandwiches or quiche, some humzingers and then I won't feel so guilty about the chocolate treats!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? I think the small size of Humzingers and mini boxes of raisins appeals to them - bright colours too obviously. For my children the fact that the snack is not too big and daunting is a factor in their favour. My children don't like getting their hands sticky which is a plus in Humzingers favour but can be an issue with raisins and against fresh fruit when there isn't a whb nearby.

Grockle Tue 21-May-13 22:29:18

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Fruit & veg are part of every meal & readily available every day in our house. DC will just as happily eat strawberries & grapes as they would a handful of crisps. Who chooses the snack depends on where we are going, when & why. DC are often involved but not always.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Not specifically but we usually have dried fruit in the house for lunchboxes/ snacks at home.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Everything in moderation. Take plenty to drink. Have a sensible assortment of food. Take sanitiser gel.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make the packaging less babyish. And make the portions bigger.

Bracketfungus Tue 21-May-13 22:41:39

I have never heard of hum zingers before. Perhaps I don't shop in big enough supermarkets.

Picnic choices. I know what they like,so I choose things I know they will mostly like. It is not a democracy. I put what will fit in my bag. There has to be a balance of stodgy to fruit and veg and some treats to whip out once they have walked 5 or 6 miles.

I cut the fruit up and put it in small tupperwares. If you wanted to do a promotion, you could sell some of your dried fruit in really nice snack size tupperwares, as they always get lost or forgotten, so extra ones are usually handy.

My dc like dried mango dried cherries, dried pineapple and raisins.
I like it if you can see what shape the fruit had. I don't really like extruded stuff as it tends to be sticker. My preference, though, not kids.

I haven't seen humzingers for sale for literally years! Where do they sell them?

Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Yes, I pack dried fruits for picnics, especially for snacks during a long day out, they are convenient
We normally take sandwiches with cheese, meet, tuna or egg, carrot/celery/cucumber sticks with some houmous, and a mixed fruit selection bowl - berries etc

I like the humzinger style of dried fruit, still feel it has semblance of what the item is, not keen on fruit winders, strings etc. My son has always loved dried fruit so not an issue here.

tinypumpkin Tue 21-May-13 22:49:10

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose buy my DC are still pretty young. I do include some fruit/veg. Cherry toms, bananas, satsumas etc. This is counteracted with whatever yummy non fruit things we have in the house!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
I do although I tend to use them as snacks when out and out in the car etc. We always have humzingers although I agree with the poster who said they are tricky to open. They do need to be bigger too!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Variety! Picnic is about lots of choice and about fun. It needs to be eaten easily with fingers.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I am not sure as my DC love dried fruit snacks. They like the packaging, suckers for shiny and pretty things like their mother smile

Challengethisweek Wed 22-May-13 07:17:01

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Mu daughters too young to choose so I choose. I usually pack more than one peice of fruit each and if I remember, some raisins, so the 5 a day is something I think about but it doesn't always get eaten.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Raisins are the only one i have ever brought, I haven't heard of humzingers

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Bring fruit and fruit juice, and have a cariety, its more likely to be eaten then.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I think generally they are, its just normally more expensive than getting fresh fruit, thats why I don't buy it more often

Katz Wed 22-May-13 07:44:04

We also take veggie sticks as part of a picnic, mainly cause we all like it. We also generally packs punnet of grapes, great for sharing

Sometimes, dried apricots and raisins

We eat healthy most of the time, so I guess it's to eat healthy!

I'm not sure dried fruit isn't appealing to children, mine certainly like it. I think it's important that the price is the same wether you buy the raisins from the baking section or the childrens food isle. I'm more likely to buy a big bag of raisins from there then some 'child' brand expensive ones.

maman2012 Wed 22-May-13 07:45:15

I love having picnics with family & friends but the weather in London does let us down most weekends and public holidayshmm

elizaco Wed 22-May-13 07:49:06

Yes, when packing for a picnic I do try to include some of their 5-a-day. I take plastic tubs of grapes, carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes, and usually some little boxes of raisins. I try to include some salad in the sandwiches too. The girls usually get to choose some items too, so we're certainly not perfect - there's usually some crisps/biscuits packed too!

Yes, we pack raisins or other dried fruit. To be honest, they are usually packed as a mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack or as something to nibble on in the car.

Variety. Also, I think the fact that a picnic is a fun day out makes the children more likely to have try of everything. Make sure you use ice packs to keep everything chilled (or freeze the juice cartons - they make good ice-packs)

I think companies are doing a good job - these type of products always look appealing to children. I like their labelling to be clear though, as sometimes I'm abit worried whether they really do count as "fruit" or if the high sugar content outweighs any benefit.

Wheresthecoffee Wed 22-May-13 08:09:36

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Fruit is a part of every meal in this house, the children can choose what they like from the fruit bowl. Bananas are good for picnics as they don't need washing!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? Occasionally, as a treat.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? Keep a balance of healthy and treat foods to keep it interesting, a picnic for us is a treat.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? Easy to open packaging, eye catching, make it look as if it is not fruit but still fruity. Fruit strings/fruit stars etc do this well.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 22-May-13 08:57:40

I very rarely use dried fruit snacks because they are so bad for their teeth.If I do allow them as an occasional treat its dried apricots.

For a healthy picnic I use chopped up veg,little cubes of cheese,a big pot of chopped up melon and strawberries,and home made oatcakes.

I think packaging is key for kids.

If anyone is actually reading this,I really think anything really sticky that gets stuck in their teeth is a bad idea.
I would love to see something that leaves minimal 'residue' behind on the teeth - it'd make me a lot more likely to buy dried fruit for my DC's.

Kendodd Wed 22-May-13 09:37:14

Picnics are a treat and so I don't worry about healthy food, although there will still always be fresh fruit, veg and apple juice involved. I don't take dried fruit on a picnic.

I do put dried fruit in their breakfast porridge and sometimes in their packed lunch for school, not often though. I try to avoid dried fruit as a snack because the dentist told me it's the worse think you can give them for their teeth because it's full of sugar and sticks to their teeth for hours.

Babycarmen Wed 22-May-13 10:20:26

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I wouldn't say I obsess over them getting 5 a day (pretty sure they do anyway), but I am very strict about healthy eating with the odd treat now and then. I like to make sure when I give them snacks that they are healthy and doing them some good. I let them choose snacks but I give them 2 or 3 things to choose from that I think are OK.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes especially for my eldest DD who is 5. She loves fresh and dried fruit.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make it look good! Keep it cool in a cool bag, make sure there are plenty of colours to attract the kids, cutting sandwiches into funny shapes works great. Always take at least 2 varieties of fruit.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Bright, child friendly packaging that is easy to open. They usually are tricky for a child (or even an adult) to open.

BeCool Wed 22-May-13 10:53:13

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

My children are young (2 & 5) so I choose the picnic food - fruit & vege is always included in our picnics. But they will have a snack too though often later in the day. perhaps some crisp type snack or an ice lolly.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
I do buy dried fruit as a snack. I have brought dried fruit snacks for them before but they have never gone down well much to my disappointment

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Get some veggies in there with dips - carrot & cucumber sticks, sugar snaps, cherry tomatoes etc with hummous, tzatziki or other dips.

Keep snacks & sweet foods out of sight until the savoury foods have been eaten. Then offer fruit - before snacks.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
The ones I've tried were pretty much apple with added fruit flavour - the kids didn't like them. Though they tend to love ANYTHING that comes in a crinkly bag - perhaps more non apple fruit content? Though avoid bananas as cooked/pasteurised banana tends to dominate everything else

prakattack Wed 22-May-13 11:24:18

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I still choose at the moment as kids are only 3 and 1 but eldest I'm sure will be helping choose very soon! I don't consider 5-a-day as such when packing, but fruit and veg is always part of our picnics by default - fresh strawberries, grapes, crudites and dips - fresh summer food is what makes picnics yummy!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes quite often - used to buy Humzingers but I'm sure they got smaller! Or maybe 3 year old is getting bigger.... anyway, once he started having two at a time and still wanting more, they got a bit too expensive for us. We still buy yoghurt-covered fruit/ raisins, dried apricots, dates, mini raisin boxes. I try to restrict dried fruit to once a day but I'll admit it's almost certainly every day.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Variety. Picnics are all about picking and grazing. if there's anough choice, then the finished "meal" will be pretty healthy without much effort. Anyway, picnics are about treats (in my book anyway), I don't worry too much if they don't eat everything I'd like them to, it's all about having fun!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Nice bright, cheerful packaging, maybe with characters that appeal to kids i.e. animals. To be honest, both mine absolutely ,ove dried fruit and I've never really had an issue with making it appealing. Yoghurt drops etc are always seen as a treat... maybe that'll change as they get older?

LiveItUp Wed 22-May-13 12:51:00

Ooh yes, DC1 used to love these then the shop stopped stocking them so I assumed they had gone out of business !!

Top picnic tips - lots of variety and things to pick at, and little tube of sanitizer gel.

The packaging was fine for a younger child. Maybe less babyish for older ones? Why just a picnic, these were perfect in a packed lunch.

MerryMarigold Wed 22-May-13 13:07:55

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose the food (kids are 7,4,4), but usually include one treat-y item like a snacksize choc or a cake.
5 -a-day not that important as we usually take some veg sticks and fruit along. Would consider more "do I have something fresh?" than the 5-a-day.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Always have muesli bars in the house which contain dried fruit. Sometimes take apricots or raisins.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Water to drink or smoothies. Simple like sandwiches, crisps, fruit, veg and chocolate.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
We like the sort that come in bits like those yoghurt covered ones, but bigger bitesize bits covered in chocolate would be nice, sort of like maltesers. I would also place with them in the chocolate/ sweet area so it was the healthier choice in that section rather than hoping for people to replace actual fruit with a fruit snack.

snoworneahva Wed 22-May-13 13:54:47

When a choose food for a picnic, I think portability, tasty and balanced. I would be more inclined to take dried fruit on a hike than a picnic but wouldn't buy Humzingers despite the claim that they are 100% fruit they have added preservative - sulphur dioxide, which is something we avoid due to having asthmatics in the family.

Tips for a healthy picnic - home cooking rather than processed rubbish.

I'm sure Humzingers do a great job at appealing to kids and adults as they are incredibly sweet and full of sugar - maybe not added sugar but what's the difference?

MegBusset Wed 22-May-13 14:38:20

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I don't worry too much about getting fruit/veg in a picnic - I go for what is portable, easy and not too messy! The DC get plenty of fruit/veg in their everyday diet.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Not specifically for picnics, no. We usually have rolls, crisps and a yoghurt pouch.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
I don't worry too much about it, my DC have a healthy diet overall.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I have one who loves dried fruit and one who won't touch it - just their personal tastes. Neither of them like Hunzingers etc as they are "too sticky". I try to give fresh fruit instead where possible as it's not quite as bad for their teeth!

firawla Wed 22-May-13 14:56:38

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I find its a good opertunity to get more fruit and veg in them, as they are excited by the picnic - more likely to eat it!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Normally fresh fruit and raw vegs rather than dried.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Plenty of variety and fruits that they find excitin like strawberries. I have to chose different ones to cover all my kids preferences thoug

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Small packets and maybe just certain fruits in each not too much mixture.

Blu Wed 22-May-13 15:47:55

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose. Anything melty or sticky or messy is out. I do try and include some fruit and veg, rocket or watercress in sandwiches, etc. Mine is not a fresh fruit fan at all, except for strawberries, pineapple, kiwi or satsuma, and of those i would probably only take a satsuma on a picnic. We do now buy YoYos dried fruit strip things - though I am sure they are mostly sugar.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, a Yoyo for a packed lunch style picnic. Dried apricots for me.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Work from the protein / main course towards the edge! Good sandwiches made with good bread and some salad in, chicken legs. Mini kebabs made from pieces of chicken and small pieces of chopped salad. Maybe mini kebabs made of fruit or fresh strawberries to eat with a cocktail stick. Avoid cheap rady cooked cocktail sausages and sausage rolls.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

The wind-up format seems to appeal. Maybe a 'peel off' option a bit like cheese strings - fruit strings? Or a little pot and a little cocktail stick with a pineappple top to eat chinks of dried fruit with? My child has always liked spiking food with a cocktail stick to eat it - an advantage on a picnic or packed lunch when their hands have been anywhere and everywhere!!

VestandKnickers Wed 22-May-13 16:51:18

* When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves? *
I generally choose what my children eat on a picnic. Occasionally we might make an activity of shopping for a picnic but that doesn't always end well! I definitely try to make sure they've got some fruit or salad items in a picnic.

* Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? * If I was buying for a planned picnic I would choose fresh fruit, but I'd definitely keep dried fruit products in the cupboard for spontaneous picnics when the weather is suddenly nicer than expected or we get invited to join friends on a day out.

* What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? *
My children definitely eat better if they can graze rather than having big things so we tend to avoid sandwiches and made up salads and have crackers, pates, dips, mini samosas, chopped up salad and fruit etc.

* How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? *
Depends on the age group. When mine were little they'd have loved anything with Peppa Pig or Thomas on. Now they're a bit bigger they're learning about healthy eating in school so the five a day logo would appeal to them. Nice small bits too - not a great big bar. They can always have two if they like them but can be put off by something too big.

Blu Wed 22-May-13 17:45:11

Is anyone actually planning a picnic in the near future?

<<gazes out at dismal sky>>

JudithOfThePascha Wed 22-May-13 17:55:38

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I do try to include some fruit and veg, although I don't get hung up on '5 a day'. I might ask the DCs if they want anything specific or I might just pack a lot of things we all like. It depends on whether I've been mad enough to take them shopping with me.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes. We buy Humzingers all the time, yoghurt covered raisins, fruit smoothie pouches and snack packs of dried apricots.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Pack a mixture of old favourites and new things. Put small pots of cut up fruit and veg (carrot sticks, mini corn etc), chunks of protein stuff (cubes of cheese, chicken strips etc) and carbs (pieces of 'posh' bread like focaccia, pastry whirls etc) in the middle and let everyone pick and share.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Unfortunately, using favourite cartoon characters is always popular. Bright colours and simple names they can recognise easily.

Smartiepants79 Wed 22-May-13 20:20:10

I try and make sure that the a picnic is 'balanced' but, as they are considered to be a bit of a treat it is important that they are tempting and fun.
I would include snack foods such as baby sausages, cheeses and pizza.
I do buy and include dried fruit snacks especially if it is a picnic for a car journey.
I don't really let my DD choose but will do as they grow.
Personally I hate dried fruit but my DD loves it. As many vitamins and as little sugar as possible is what makes it more appealing to the people who buy it - parents!

Sokmonsta Wed 22-May-13 20:44:01

1. No, we don't always think of the '5' a day when packing up picnics. Mainly because my children are fruit monsters and are quite happy scoffing fruit in various forms. They allowed to make their choices from the ones we have already made.

2. We always have dried fruit products in the house. They are a quick and easy 'go to' snack and I love them for picnics as there's no damage/squashed fruit complaints.

3. I find packing a healthy picnic is one which is going to be eaten, rather than over thinking how healthy it has to be. The kids are going to be out running around in all that fresh air.

4. The packs of shaped fruit jellies from the fruit factory have been the biggest hit with my dc so I don't know how that can be improved upon. They know it's fruit but they love the heart/star shapes. And they don't get targeted by the lunchbox police either so are a fab 'change' from regular fruit.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 23-May-13 09:06:53

LOL Blu - far too damn cold for a picnic. Even by British standards!

iwantavuvezela Thu 23-May-13 10:49:46

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I would normally let my child choose if I had a selection. But fruit would usually be part of our picnic, strawberries, apples etc.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

yes, they are easy to pack, dont get squashed; doesnt go off if a hot day. We love all dried fruits and nuts, and usually try and have in the house for snacking.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

There is normally a sandwich of some sorts; possibly a pasta/pesto; fruit; nuts, some biscuits; juice and water. To be honest I would usually just open the fridge and make do with what we had. If i had to prepare a special type of picnic then i would make more of an effort and perhaps take cooked cold chicken, cherry tomotoes and cucumbers; fresh bagels or rolls; berry type fruit; lovely biscuits or make a cake. HOwever if we are going to be in the park for awhile then it is always good to have some snacking stuff as the afternoon wears on, and for this i would do dried fruit; raisens, etc

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think that dried fruit is already appealing. i like the ability to buy big and small bags of dried fruit. I need to remind my daughter not to eat a full bag of dried apricots as it could effect her stomach later on. So smaller bags are easier to give out, and are seen as "little treats".

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

PolkaDotCups Thu 23-May-13 11:20:29

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

My daughter is a bit young to choose snacks but when we go on a family picnic with nieces and nephews we normally choose. As it is a treat we don't really consider the 5-a-day factor but will normally include bananas and apples.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, occasionally raisins but no other dried fruit as it can have a very high sugar content and I am diabetic. If I'm going to indulge sugar wise I'd rather treat myself to a bit of cake!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Keep it varied and salad based. A pot of carrot batons, pepper strips and cucumber sticks with a hummus dip goes down a treat. A big pot of pasta with olives and tomato sauce is something everyone can dip into. We try and not take too much packaging.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Interesting packaging and nice taste! The sugar content places it in the treat category for me (I know they are naturally occurring) so I am wary of encouraging them to see it as a healthy alternative to an orange or apple in getting their 5-a-day.

Aussiemum84 Thu 23-May-13 11:54:09

When it comes to special treats like picnics, I like to try and keep the snacks healthy but also don't mind if something a bit 'naughty' sneaks in. Thankfully with a 2 y.o. I still get to pick what we pack.

Dried fruit is great for picnics and outings in general as they can be eaten over a longer period of time, e.g. if you peel a banana it can be hard to keep it edible while there are so many other distractions.

I like a bit of variety on a picnic so it can suit everyone's tastes on the day. With a toddler it is easier to have sandwiches pre-made and fruit cut at home so when it is time to eat they can be handed out instead of waiting for them to be made and having a hungry child convince you that junk food will be better as it is quicker. This is also why dried fruit is great, quick to hand out when they forget they are hungry while playing!

I have seen some fruit snacks wrapped so they give the look that they might be lollies, however it also makes me think they might not be as healthy so I am less likely to give them to my children. This does make it tricky for the companies. Lots of information on the boxes for the parents helps too. Fun shapes such as letters, numbers and animals.

wickeddevil Thu 23-May-13 14:12:28

Definitely include fruit and veg in picnics, just as I do with any other meal I prepare.
I am also a big believer in keeping it simple so my typical picnic would be
French stick
Pâté or cheese
Grapes, apples, tomatoes, cucumber
Crisps
Cake
Drink
For a treat strawberries and squirty cream

arcticwaffle Thu 23-May-13 14:14:38

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I'd usually include a lot of fresh fruit, salad etc in a picnic. I do let my children help choose, especially if they're prepared to make the picnic - in fact if they do the preparation work they can put in practically anything.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, but I do buy them for school packed lunches.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? Variety, lots of fruit and veg, I do insist on everyone eating the healthier stuff before the "treats".

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

My children find dried fruit snacks like humzingers extremely appealing. I don't think they need extra appeal. I don't mind them having them sometimes but only when we don't have fresh fruit and veg handy, or it might get squashed in a lunchbox. I wouldn't want them to be instead of fresh fruit.

dinkystinky Thu 23-May-13 15:26:35

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

My kids tend to get well beyond their 5 a day - but they do eat alot of fruit and veg in all meals (including breakfast and lunch anyway). Our picnics are fruit and veg heavy - I normally choose them but now my kids are getting older (4 and 7) they also suggest favourite things to take.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Not really - we do eat dried fruit and humzingers etc but they're more convenient fruit hits I can carry in my handbag/their school bags when running places between meals.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Eat seasonally - fresh fruit in season tastes divine. Salads - as lovely colourful and full of flavour as possible - always taste better outside.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think Bear Foods do a good job with their yoyos - attractive packaging, interesting fact cards in side, and easy access for kids to open. I think those are the key things to appeal to kids.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 23-May-13 15:38:46

Picnics are no different to any other meal when considering nutrition, so there will be some fruit and/or veg in there.

We all liked dried fruit, and the children often have things like boxes of raisins and Humzingers in picnics.

I think companies do very well to encourage children to try dried fruit snacks. All the fancy, colourful packaging is very well designed.

Just a gripe I have with Humdinger Foods (who produce Humzingers) is that some of their products are very misleadingly packaged and placed alongside fruit snacks in supermarkets. Fruit Strings/Stars/Hearts are essentially sweets, but are branded in the same style as the boxes of raisins and positioned with the dried fruit rather than with the confectionery. I think they ought to be clearer about what those products actually are. Big love for your Humzingers though smile

Both kids adore fruit so trying to meet the required 5 a day fortunately isn't a problem. For a picnic I'd pack some fresh fruit - berries, bananas, satsuma s and maybe some dried fruit like raisins or dried apricots. I am not familiar with Humzingers at all but will definitely check them out next time I'm at the supermarket

FannyFifer Thu 23-May-13 16:17:50

The opportunities for picnics are few and far between to be honest.

When we do have one, I don't worry to much about healthy stuff, I would bring things like, sandwiches, mini sausage rolls, mini pizza, crisps, there will prob be a bit of salad & cheese, crusty bread etc, maybe fruit salad as well.

I usually have raisins, mini rice cakes & humzingers in my bag as handy for quick snack when out & about.

Was delighted to find Humzingers in the pound shop today. So stocked up, was a pack with apple ones that I hadn't seen before. (Poundland if anyone looking) grin

hammyhunter Thu 23-May-13 16:40:22

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Fruit and veg are part and parcel of our everyday diet so they would automatically be included on a picnic. I would give my son a few choices and ask him what he wanted.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes, DS likes humzingers, boxes of raisins and small packs of dried fruit.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make it fun! Cut sandwiches etc into silly shapes.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

They have to taste good and my son tends to like packaging with bright colours, characters etc on.

moonbells Thu 23-May-13 16:40:40

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

We choose and yes, do try and get some fruit and veg in there. Things like carrot sticks and cucumber and other finger food are highly rated!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
No, but that's because DS has some chalky teeth and the dentist has recommended no dried fruit or fruit juice until the adult teeth replace them. We have at least 5 more years of this!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Pittas, baton vegetables, hummus dips, nibble-sized sandwiches, bananas, cherry tomatoes (though again, not too many of the latter due to DS's teeth. I can eat them though! grin )

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

They need to be easy to open! Several well-known children's snacks you need a pair of good scissors to get in, never mind 'tear the notch' !

thebestpossibletaste Thu 23-May-13 17:08:50

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes, I always make sure there are lots of berries and cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers etc. I also include something fun that is a bit of a treat like crisps.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, not really.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Lots of fresh salad and fruit, nothing processed, just cold roast chicken, cold salmon, smoked salmon, home made dressing or mayonnaise, home made cookies or muffins, lots of salad and fruit, hard boiled eggs.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think children quite like them being in cute little packs that look like fun, maybe mini versions, so smaller dates, smaller dried apricots. apart from that I don't think there's much they can do to be honest.

When we go on a picnic it tends to consist of whatever we have in the fridge/cupboards! However that always includes Humzingers. After contracting the rotavirus when she was 10 months old DD would only eat Humzingers (am pleased to report that at age 5 she now eats a varied diet - including Humzingers!) DS expects a Humzinger to get him through the school run... And they ate well known as contraband in our area after a well known Health Visitor stated that a whole Humzinger was " far too much as a snack" That particular HV still baffles the local community and is largely ignored!

janekirk Thu 23-May-13 22:40:30

I always include some mini bags of fruit in the cool box.
I like the sound of the fruit snacks, if they're packaged like sweet treats the little ones may be more enticed to try them.

daisybrown Thu 23-May-13 23:18:42

We usually make a fresh fruit salad to take with us, everyone tends to leave the fruits they don't like to one side though. A lot of the remaining food tends to be treat food so isn't that healthy.

nerysw Fri 24-May-13 07:42:31

We pack fruit, especially dried fruit as my kids seem to class these as 'as good as sweets' which is lucky as it makes it an easy way to get them to eat one of their five a day. Other favourites are bananas, tangerines and grapes. Instead of sandwiches we sometimes take cold cheese on toast which may sound weird but is nice!
I haven't come across Humzingers in the shops yet - are they available in most supermarkets? To make them more appealling - adding stickers is always a safe bet.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I pack the picnic , so I decide what goes in

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

My typical picnic is
Cheeses and picklie roll
Crisps
Pork pie
Kitkat / penguin
Apple

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Small boxes / sachets of dried fruit , needs to be softish , no additives .
Maybe appeal to the Mums first , as the parents will be doing the buying

serendipity1980 Fri 24-May-13 09:24:53

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I choose a variety of snacks for a picnic, nearly always homemade because then I know what has gone into it. We do always take fresh fruit,

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
I don't buy dried fruit for snacks because it's really expensive. I'd much rather give them fresh fruit. However, they do like the yoghurt covered raisins, I just don't generally buy them.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Making it yourself, and have everything in little bite size portions that the children can sample easily.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Make them look better than a dog's chew stick - the sticks don't look very appetising compared to a whole piece of fruit. My two LO's have tried the sticks but don't like them. They like yoghurt covered fruit though.

telsa Fri 24-May-13 10:12:37

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

5 a day is not so much a factor. Rather I buy predominantly what I perceive as healthy things without sugar and additives. So lets of fruit, vegetables, nuts, dips, breadsticks or crackers. Plus some cheese in some form, sometimes baby bels, preferably something more tasty, if I have a knife on me.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

yes, I have bought Humzingers, but usually buy some dried mango pieces or some organic apple rings.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

stick with fruit and veg and get stuff as little processed as possible.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Colourful and glittery packaging, variety of flavours in one pack.

Fillybuster Fri 24-May-13 13:20:36

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I definitely try to strike a balance between chocolate, crisps, dried fruit and fresh fruit for picnic snacks....and with 3 dcs aged 3, 5 and 7 I definitely choose everything myself to avoid the 'nag' factor!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Regularly...our family days out are Humzinger/Fruit Flakes/Bear Roll -fuelled events!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Don't make sandwiches in advance...it takes ages, and dcs always get picky. I bake a loaf of fresh bread, make a few salads (pasta and pesto, coleslaw etc), sometimes make a quiche, chuck butter, cheese, cream cheese, smoked salmon, hummous, cucumber and carrot sticks, crisps, cake, biscuits and fresh fruit into a cool bag, then let everyone help themselves to a 'proper lunch'. I find my dcs are more likely to eat a good range of fairly healthy stuff if they can pick and choose when it is all laid out nicely.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I don't think they need to....at least not as far as my dcs are concerned!

michelleblane Fri 24-May-13 14:08:01

When sorting out a picnic, I might ask the family what they would like me to include, but basically I choose, I prepare, I pack. Then I unpack and set it all out, then I clear up again.
Picnics usually consist of, chicken drumsticks, chipolatas, cheese, olives, pate, salad. Nice crusty bread and butter. tortilla chips/crisps
Homemade biscuits, traybakes, cakes. Fresh fruit.
Fruit juices and sparkling water.
I wouldn't usually bother with dried fruit or pre packed fruit strings etc for a picnic, but I do use them for school packed lunches.

TulipsAndWings Fri 24-May-13 14:29:53

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes, 5 a day is important, but we don't really think of it like that, we just eat healthy food which encompasses our 5 a day. I usually choose the kids snacks and they get to choose out of a selection. If we were in the supermarket I'd take them to the dried fruit area and that's what we call sweets.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Yes either Humzingers, Bears or supermarket own brand packs of dried fruit.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Substitute crisps for oat cakes.
Wraps can be healthier than bread and don't fall apart as easily.
Dried fruit can't get squashed, strawberries almost always do.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Do what Humzingers do. Basically my kids think they're sweets because they're wrapped like sweets, they taste good and my kids will eat a whole box in 5 mins.

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Fri 24-May-13 15:48:28

- I always pack as much fruit and veg as possible into picnics so the 'five a day' is certainly a factor. My children are 3yo and 6m so I choose what we have, although the 3yo has certain choices while we are shopping e.g. raspberries or blueberries.

- Yes, I often buy dried raisins, papaya, mango, apricots, apple and pineapple (not all at once!) for picnics.

- My top tips are to pack fruit that doesn't need any preparation (e.g. raspberries rather than strawberries that need de-leafing), to remember lots of wet wipes for sticky hands and faces, and to have a batch of home-made breadsticks in the freezer ready to bake on picn

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Fri 24-May-13 15:50:55

- I always pack as much fruit and veg as possible into picnics so the 'five a day' is certainly a factor. My children are 3yo and 6m so I choose what we have, although the 3yo has certain choices while we are shopping e.g. raspberries or blueberries.

- Yes, I often buy dried raisins, papaya, mango, apricots, apple and pineapple (not all at once!) for picnics.

- My top tips are to pack fruit that doesn't need any preparation (e.g. raspberries rather than strawberries that need de-leafing), to remember lots of wet wipes for sticky hands and faces, and to have a batch of home-made breadsticks in the freezer ready to bake for impromptu picnics.

- I hate to say it but my 3yo has just started noticing characters on packaging and asking for those products. I don't buy them on principle that they're bound to be full of rubbish and low-quality ingredients grin

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Fri 24-May-13 15:51:24

Sorry for mangled first post...

dotcomlovenest Fri 24-May-13 16:27:54

Sandwichs, crisps and dip, fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, grapes.
The only dried fruit we would consider would be sultanas.
We would not buy dried fruit products.

Bosgrove Fri 24-May-13 16:53:34

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Making sure that my children have 1 - 3 of their 5 a day is a big factor in what I pack for a picnic.

I usually pack smoothes to drink, some fresh fruit (apple / banana / grapes / satuma etc) and also 1 or some packs of dry fruit for snacks, they all like humzingers in any flavour, my DD's like most other dried fruit but DS will only have raisins.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

I do 3 of the 5 a day, 1 or 2 servings of calcuim (yogurt and sometimes cheese. Then think about a healthy sandwich and a treat. But the children do think that yogurt covered raisins or humzingers are more of a treat than biscuits.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

At the age my children are (8 and under) it is probably more important to make it more attractive to the parents. The biggest attaction to me is not having to fish a half eaten piece of fruit from the bottom of my handbag after a day out.

Pollaidh Fri 24-May-13 20:16:47

~When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
We choose, and we usually ensure there are some fruit or vegetable snacks included.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, usually dried apricots.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Cheese cubes, fresh peppers and cucumber.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Pictures on packaging.

LentilAsAnything Fri 24-May-13 20:25:32

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Yes. I usually pack fresh fruit, it's not that difficult!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Not for picnics, no, but I do keep some in my bag in case DS is peckish when we are out, and he's eaten everything else I've packed.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Lots of fresh fruit, veggie dips like houmous, guacamole and babaganoush, with veg sticks e.g. carrots. I always homebake cakes and cookies too.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Nice fun shapes. Make them look like sweets.

LentilAsAnything Fri 24-May-13 20:26:46

@Humzingers, thanks for labelling your stuff suitable for vegans. Always nice to know.

mrsbunnyw Fri 24-May-13 21:21:31

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I try to give them healthy food including plenty of fruit and veg at every meal, including picnics. I choose the snacks.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Not for picnics, though I do like to keep a box in the car for emergency snacks as they last for a long time, unlike fresh fruit.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Don't make it heavier than you can carry; include plates or store things in pots that can be used as plates, and always take wipes with you! Also don't take food that turns brown if it's not eaten immediately as no-one fancies it once it has done that.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make them bigger. They are so tiny, even though full of sugar. Make them more filling, without adding any more sugar - fruit doesn't need it!

Hopezibah Fri 24-May-13 21:25:29

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I do think of 5 a day but usually think of fresh fruit for a picnic. so we might take some grapes or strawberries or an apple or banana. Something simple to eat on a picnic and easy to take with us. For my youngest I do use products like humzingers or little packs of raisins etc but the older two are fine with fruit.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
occasionally for one year old.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
plan ahead so you don't rush into picking up packs of crisps and chocolate bars so make sure you have some healthy alternatives in the house.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I hate to admit it but my kids love well-known characters eg moshi monsters and that would appeal to them hugely if it appeared on the packaging or with a related offer.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not?
YES
And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves? They may get to chose a few options themselves, like whether to take biscuits or cupcakes

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family? Yes. Real proper dried fruit, such as dried mango. Small boxes of raisins

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Bring proper natural unprocessed food that actually looks like what it is

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Keep it natural, rather than processed goo in a stick. Dried fruit covered with chocolate, or youghurt

zipzap Fri 24-May-13 23:05:21

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Yes - but they love crudites so there's usually always cucumber, carrot, red pepper, chicory and tomatoes plus there might be other things around too. For fruit at picnics I usually keep it simple - strawberries or grapes or melon or a mixture. My problem is the opposite - making sure they eat enough protein - as they hoover up the fruit and veg first.
They're always allowed to choose extra fruit and veg when we're at the greengrocers at the market or in the supermarket, just depends what they have in, how much I can carry (recently done away with the pram and I swear my arms are several inches longer after buying stuff and then having to carry it all!). DS2 (just 5) asked me to buy parsley last week - which I did. And when we got home, he proceeded to direct me in making his 'favourite' sandwich - cheese, parsley and squares of dark chocolate hmmgrin which he proceeded to eat with much enjoyment and has subsequently had again. And whilst it is not something that I can see catching on, it actually ticks quite a lot of boxes when it comes to being a healthy sandwich, plus as ds pointed out, means you don't need to waste time having a main course and pudding separately, leaving more time to play...

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Rarely - often have raisins and dried apricots in, but don't often think of taking them out on picnics. To be fair, this year and last year haven't been very conducive to picnics!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
keeping it simple - lots of chopped up veg and dips, fruit, and on a practical side, making sure that you have plenty of ice packs in your picnic bag to keep things fresh and safe to eat, a bottle of tap water to use to rinse hands beforehand (antibac gel or wipes are also great but I worry about using too much antibac stuff, if their hands aren't likely to be particularly germy then having tap water can be fine or used in conjunction with the antibac gel or wipes).

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Individual portion sizes with something printed on the packet or box to make it interesting. Doesn't need to be a character, a joke or puzzle or fact are all good too. Something that makes the packaging stands out - like the smartie boxes (little square ones or the tubes), ds1 (8) still loves them and will choose smarties over a sweet he prefers sometimes just because he wants the box for a project he has in mind.

Cantdothisagain Sat 25-May-13 09:31:51

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I would always include some fruit/veg. Probably cherry tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries and grapes. My children are young still so I choose to some extent but I choose based on what they like. And I am a bit of a crisp fascist but they are essential on picnics, as are mini brownies.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, for the kids -I wouldn't eat them though.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Colour and variety. Lots of fruit - fewer sandwiches than you would imagine as they are very unappealing once they've been sitting around. Better to take bread rolls or baguette with separate protein and let people choose their combinations.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
The packaging is the obvious thing, but for now mine don't seem to need tempting. The other way for my kids is to stop with the gimmicks - they seem to prefer food not to be cut into weird shapes, but they may well be odd; they're certainly fussy! I'd say keeping the portions small is sensible.

majjsu Sat 25-May-13 20:06:33

I always pack fruit for a picnic and variety is the key. The only dried fruit tends to be apple or apricot in a box with raisins/ sultanas. Bright coloured packaging or a recognisable character always catches my LO's eye.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 27-May-13 08:24:44

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

5-a-day factor is always in my mind and I take this into account when choosing my picnic ingredients. We usually choose our snacks together out of a limited choice! Convenient snacks are a winner with time always being of a premium!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes. They keep nicely in the packaging..they don't get squashed or melt and they are a nice healthy stop gap until lunch.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
I normally take lots of little plastic pots filled with carrot batons, cucumber sticks, hummous, peppers, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries etc. and then add convenient dried fruit snacks and a little treat.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Bright packaging, hate to quote from lazy town but calling it something like sports candy or nature's sweets might encourage children to choose them! smile

DoTheStrand Tue 28-May-13 01:20:37

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose the picnic food with some input from DS1 (nearly 4). There is always fruit (including humzingers) but not usually vegetables as they have them for all evening meals and most lunches anyway. In summer we may do a couple of picnics a week so while the food is a bit more treat-y than a usual packed lunch, I try to make it reasonably healthy. So ham and cheese wholemeal rolls, homemade cake, fruit (humzingers, blueberries, grapes etc), plus a packet of salt n shake crisps (no salt) for the two boys to share.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I might take chopped up dried apricots with us if we didn't have fresh fruit in the house but I don't buy them specifically for picnics. We nearly always have Humzingers in so don't buy them specifically for picnics. Agree with the poster who said they are v hard to open!

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Make it look appetising, and when they are old enough get DC involved in choosing what to take (within healthy boundaries). But picnics are meant to be fun and a bit of a treat so no harm in including a treat that perhaps wouldn't be allowed in a school / preschool lunchbox...

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

no idea! I think raisins can get a bit dull (and why is it always raisins for toddlers - they aren't nearly as nice as sultanas). But I've seen more exotic dried fruit available as snacks, it is more expensive though. to be honest I don't want them eating too much dried fruit as it sticks to their teeth and is very sugary, so we would stick to fresh fruit and rationed Humzingers (brightly packaged, easy to take) anyway.

aristocat Tue 28-May-13 11:28:05

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Our picnics are usually sandwiches/crackers, crisps, sausage rolls and fresh fruit. I am not over concerned about getting 5-a-day into a picnic - as we will have vegetables at dinner time anyway. I choose what snacks to have but it is based on what my children like.
I know ours are not the most imaginative!

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, to be honest my children prefer fresh fruit.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

We have a rucksack which is our 'food bag' and it all needs to fit into the bag. Make sure you have enough drinks and water and always some kitchen roll/tissue/wipes. I usually take a teatowel too ~ is that just me?

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I do not think that they can, it is important for the packaging to be eye-catching and bright. But children either like dried fruit or they dont. As I said earlier my 2 much prefer grapes, bananas or an apple. Sorry.

Rosehassometoes Tue 28-May-13 15:09:31

We always have fruit on our picnics. DS has fruit with every meal so its just the norm. I try to vary what we have and have been buying things like papaya, blackberries and pineapple recently. That said DS likes apples best of all!
We also have sandwiches, crisps and cake and a flask of tea.
If it's a family gathering we'll also have chicken, quiche etc

We buy 'value' packs of dried fruit, prunes, apricots and raisins. We sometimes buy dates, cherries abs cranberries from more expensive ranges.
I serve them in ramekins or weaning pots.

Include fruit/veg as well as treats as it us more fun for kids eating anything outside (or in the car boot weather depending!)
Wraps filled with primula cheese, cream cheese, houmous or peanut butter and cut into triangles travel well and don't get squashed.

As DS (3) loves fruit anyway I don't need to make it appealing. However, he enjoys hearing what the fruit will do- help his eyes, good for skin, make strong/clever etc

Dillytante Tue 28-May-13 16:23:09

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
-I don't worry too much as picnics are a treat, that said our picnics are often very meat based (sausage rolls, mini sausages, scotch eggs -I know, we're classy!) as my kids are pretty fussy
~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
No

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
A balance of foods

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I don't know, as despite appearing to look like sweets my kids don't like Humzingers as they are fussy badgers! Chocolate raisins are about as adventurous as they get!

TheSecondComing Tue 28-May-13 16:29:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

racingheart Tue 28-May-13 19:36:43

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

5 a day is very important and I'd always include at least 2-3 portions on a picnic. had one today and they had fresh veg soup in a flask, carrot & cucumber sticks and fruit juice, plus salad in their sandwiches.

Usually the snack part of the picnic is a treat because the five a day are already included in the main picnic. I choose what to buy but based on what they like. We are going on a very special picnic tomorrow and I phoned the DC from the supermarket to ask what their ideal snacks would be, but usually I'd tend towards whatever is on offer that I know they like

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

yes. for tomorrows picnic I've bought a big bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit, and a bag of dried dates,

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Pack food they love which is also healthy - roast drumsticks, cubes of cheese, strawberries etc. Add sweet and high fat snacks according to what you're doing. We tend to picnic when we're doing something active like climbing or kayaking so that justifies a few sweets or crisps.
bring lots of water, and soup for a cold day or iced smoothies if it's hot.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I think there needs to be a change of attitude along with the products. Just as hard ad campaigns made smoking uncool, we need campaigns that make fatty sugary high processed snacks uncool. Trying to pretend they are like sweets has never fooled my boys. But they'd be persuaded if they truly believed the fruit leathers were cooler than the choc bars.

star1000 Tue 28-May-13 19:46:41

I always choose the contents of a picnic but always include some items that would be in 5 a day and also some treat items

I do buy dried fruit snacks as my two love them and they are convenient. I'd also rather they eat dried fruit snacks than cakes/chocolate all the time.

I think the key to a healthy picnic is the balance of foods. My children like lots of little things to choose from and if you include a balance of naughty and healthy items they always eat a bit of everything so you know they've had the goodness but also felt like the picnic has been a treat.

I think bright coloured packaging helps to appeal to children and also if the contents are a bit different to normal. My 2 like boxes of raisins with bits of apple or apricot in them - makes them more interesting.

HannahLI Wed 29-May-13 15:08:49

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I usually don't think too much about five a day as I know my kids hit it without thinking usually. I will let them choose the snacks and most of the time they pick fruit.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes raisins or sultanas in a box

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Give your children ownership with their choices then they want to it it too. Pick fruit that will still look good when you arrive like apples. Things like bananas often don't travel very well.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Not sure to be honest

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

No - a picnic is about fun stuff, so I pack nice savouries that we might not usually treat ourselves and raid the local deli instead of a supermarket.

Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, but i do keep them in the car for snacking on long journeys.

What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

I think that a picnic doesn't have to be healthy - it's supposed to be a treat.

How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

The small boxes of raisins are popular with my daughter. I find some of the large dried fruit, such as prunes or peaches, can be quite tough.

JenaiMorris Wed 29-May-13 17:35:21

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Possibly. There would be fruit and salad I imagine but I wouldn’t be thinking about anyone’s 5-a-day. It’s a picnic! As for choosing his own food, I might suggest that my ds holds back a bit on the quiche or the cheese if he was scoffing it all (well I would have when he was wee – he is plenty old enough to not need telling now) so everyone can have some but other than that, he’d choose.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
No.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
If I’m going on a picnic I’m not terribly worried about “healthy”.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I don’t see the point. Children like raisins and things anyway. Parents buy them so that other parents don’t see them feed their children Penguins. They’re not as bad as rice cakes though, in the pointless stakes, and can be very nice. When he was small, ds couldn’t open Humzingers so they’d come back unopened.

They’re not exactly great for children’s teeth (a bit of chocolate is probably better on that score) and I’m not convinced they’re especially nutritious either.

JenaiMorris Wed 29-May-13 17:36:30

Just to clarify - I meant dried fruit generally there, not Humzingers. I'm sure Humzingers are a dentist's dream wink

GetKnitted Wed 29-May-13 22:43:37

We always take fresh fruit with a picnic, and we picnic a lot! We rarely, if ever, take dried fruit snacks, I guess it is because I don't think they are very much different from actual sweets.

Our regular picnic contains sandwiches, olives and/or carrots, grapes and/or bananas and lots of tap water.

manfalou Thu 30-May-13 10:17:21

My 2 year old will not eat fresh fruit but will each dried fruit so for us its really important that there is a range for him to try. We usually take some raisons or dried bananas on picnics with us and to be honest they always look really appealing with colourful packaging etc. Top tips for a healthy picnic... try to avoid chocolate biscuits and crisps. Swap for the dried fruit crisps or try 'healthier' versions like warburtons new pitta crisps.

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin Thu 30-May-13 13:32:36

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Adults in my house choose the picnic food. Healthy but tasty foods are a prerequisite. 5 a day is a bonus.

Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

We have little boxes of raisins and sometimes buy things like yoghurt coated dried apple, etc.

What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Incorporate veggies in sandwiches, eg: chicken salad. A big box of salad with lots of leafy greens can't go amiss either. Lots of fruit. Pasta salad is a good one, particularly when made with brown pasta. Popcorn with no salt/sugar is also a popular choice in our house.

How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make cartoon characters for each different product so the products seem collectible. Eg, Reggie Rabbit for some raisins. Diggles the Dog for some dried dates. That kind of thing is always appealing to little kids. Boring packaging never makes them reach for it on the shelves in the supermarket!

33goingon64 Thu 30-May-13 19:28:40

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Yes it is important and I don't give them what you would call 'snacks' at a picnic - snacks are for between meals, not as part of a meal.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Not for a picnic but I do buy them for snacks between meals.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Tupperware for chopped up veg, dips to make the veg more appealing, wholemeal bread for sandwiches, fruit for pudding, no crisps

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I think they are already very appealing to children

hytheliz Thu 30-May-13 20:53:04

First I have to say that my two children are absolutely addicted to Humzingers. I buy them 5 boxes at a time usually to ensure they're always in the house!!

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I always try to include some type of fruit but usually it's dried like Humzingers or raisins for convenience/cleanliness.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Absolutely, my children eat Humzingers every day as a snack.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Including some veg and fruit at every meal is so important and makes for great variety!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
I don't think you do. My kids love them just as they are and I love buying them because it's 100% fruit.

hytheliz Are you aware that many dentists are not fans of high dried fruit consumption?

halcyondays Sat 01-Jun-13 16:03:45

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

It wouldnt' be one of the main factors, but i would usually include some fruit that I know my children like.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
sometimes, we usually have them in the cupboard for handy snacks anyway. they are a good snack to carry around if you are going out anywhere as they keep well.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic? just having a good mixture of foods, sweet and savoury. it depends what your children like, I would pack the kinds of fruit, veg and other healthy foods that each child likes. they do both like dried fruit snacks.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? i think they are already appealing, as they are usually in colourful packaging which catches their eye.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Jun-13 14:38:49

Thanks to everyone who has posted on this thread, here's a thank you message from Humzingers:

"Thank you for all your contributions, which will prove invaluable when developing our product range going forward."

The winner of the prize draw for a hamper of goodies is...

Bert2e - congratulations! I'll PM you to get your details

soundstrue Sat 08-Jun-13 22:55:09

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose the snacks for a picnic. Yes, we do think about their 5-a-day. We always take fruit or carrot sticks.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

No, we tend to take fresh fruit. Although we do buy dried fruit for packed lunches.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Be prepared, take healthy snacks like carrot sticks. Also great to take humzingers. Good to have healthy snacks for the car.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Nice and colourful packing, with monsters and funny fruits. Also saying it's healthly children are interested in this.

littlemonkeychops Mon 10-Jun-13 20:23:17

Yes we definitely think about healthy options when we do a picnic, always include some freshfruit, yogurts, cheese etc as well as crisps and sandwiches etc.

I've not tried Humzingers but i would if they're no added sugar, i'm put off other similar products because by the time you take into account the sugar they're not that healthy.

beanandspud Sat 22-Jun-13 23:26:40

For us, a picnic is a chance to have some lovely food so often quiches, salads, big bowls of fruit, pâté, nice meat and cheese. I do always make an effort to have plenty of fruit and veg - I seem to keep a mental tally of DS's five-a-day.

We do have some dried fruit but it's more likely to be packs of fruit or bars that are in the bottom of my bag for emergency snacks on the go if we're out for the day.

DS sometimes takes dried fruit to school for his snack. He loves it, and most is quite appealing but if I'm honest I'd rather he had fresh fruit. My big concern is the damage that dried fruit does to teeth.

Lemonytrees Wed 26-Jun-13 19:22:47

When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Yes, I always try to take some fruit and veg. I sometimes let the children choose one thing, but I make most of the decisions

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Yes, we buy humzingers and bear fruit as well as dried fruit such as mango / raisins etc/

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Make it varied and interesting. Children like to have small amounts of different things

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Make them easier to open! My children love humzingers but won't have them in a lunch box because they can't open them

Elainey1609 Wed 03-Jul-13 22:30:27

We love a good picnic
We always take finger type food
fruit and veg nibbles including dried fruit

My children often say what they fancy and I always try to include them in the picnic especially if fruit and veg.

I try to have a range of different food and drink the children like variety.

Very often packaging needs to be more cheerful and colourful to appeal to children and many brands stores and ranges have already done that making them more children friendly and appealing

StickyFloor Sat 06-Jul-13 20:41:16

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose everything as I am the one who organises every aspect of outings. I do consider what they like and for something like a picnic which has a fun, social element I would be more concerned with things that they like, and occasional treats than with healthier choices.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

I save up my Graze dried fruit packs for outings and also buy raisins. I prefer these to fresh fruit which tends to get battered by the time we reach our destination.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

I would include one item that was clearly the healthy option, either dried fruit or salad, but the rest would be sandwiches, savoury snacks and then some treats. A picnic is not really the time to be making a stand about healthy eating.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

My kids are suckers for items which are endorsed by celebrities or TV / Film characters. Call them Star Wars prunes and we would buy tonnes. Also they always get hooked on things where there is a collectable item associated eg trading cards or magnets in the packaging.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I guess not really if i'm totally honest, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables have always been a consistent part of our eating habits anyway, my children love fresh fruit and veg, they always have, i was brought up on plenty fresh fruit and veg and i guess it's more a habit than a thought! I would say i am more conscious of them not eating rubbish than i am of them eating healthy if that makes sense x

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

sometimes my children have never liked much dried fruit snacks despite me trying them from they were very young, they do like Raisins and Sultana's so we always have a packet or two where ever we go

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Top Tips

Get as fresh as you can in terms of what you are eating and only pack your food as you are leaving not several hours earlier x

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Make them look more appealing seriously, the colours are often grey and comparable to the type of foods i would buy for feeding the birds and squirrels, not sure how that could be achieved but it would certainly help us parents in the quest of getting our children to like new things, children are habitual so intoducing something new it has to look appealing xooxx

twoboots Mon 15-Jul-13 10:37:21

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

my dd likes fruit, she is very aware of the 5 a day message so it is af actor. yes we normaly choose, she may "choose" as part of packing

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

we keep lots of dried fruit in the house normally for baking and snacking not just for picnics

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

use what's in the house: ie throw together an easy pasta salad
take lots of water
hard boiled eggs

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

i dont think its their job. i think its the parents job not to buy unhelathy snacks. i use the apricots, raisins, cranberries etc for baking to make up and after school snacks with whatever nuts i have in the house

perhaps recipes using dried fruit- as my child loves baking

snowgal Mon 15-Jul-13 13:16:51

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
Our little boy is only 19 months old, so at the moment I choose exactly what he eats. I always try and add in some fruit and veg, our son is big fan of blueberries, tomatoes, cucumber etc so I always add those. To be honest even is DS wasn't coming I would still ensure we had some nutritional nibbles as I think picnics can feel a bit heavy otherwise

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
Occasionally, we'll sometimes have some dried mango or cherries - usually something a bit unusual for a picnic because it's a treat

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Cheese, crackers or bread, grapes, lots of cut up salad bits, possibly some salmon pate or similar. Fruit juice, water and possibly some chocolate as a treat!!!

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?
Small packs, more unusual types of fruit (personally not a fan of "flavoured" sultanas etc., colourful packaging. Encouraging children to think of dried fruit as a treat akin to chocolate etc. Mixed packs i.e. cranberries, cherries, sultanas etc, I would like to be able to offer my son a large piece of dried pineapple, mango to chew on rather than lots of tiny bits which tend to get lost in the car somewhere

Letitsnow9 Thu 18-Jul-13 16:06:25

I wouldn't take dried fruit on a picnic, and any fruit/veg has to be the type that doesn't matter if it gets warm unlike things like cucumber

MrsOgg Mon 22-Jul-13 23:30:28

My son is only 1, and we picnic fairly regularly at the moment. I do prioritise him getting his 5-a-day, if we're having a picnic lunch I'll always put in some fresh fruit (usually apple or pear) and quite often a fruit pouch from the babyfood section of the supermarket. At the moment he doesn't eat much dried fruit because I understand it's bad for his teeth, but when he's a bit older I would consider dried fruit a good picnic component.

My number one top tip for a healthy picnic is to stay away from the deli pork pies because I love them too too much.

Not sure how companies can make dried fruit more appealing, but suspect making it somehow unhealthy (a la cheese strings) would probably help. Deep-fried and sugar-encrusted with cream-cheese frosting maybe?!

Maggietess Wed 24-Jul-13 11:18:08

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I choose what go in the picnic. I don't focus on 5 a day as such but always put at least one piece of big fruit (apple, banana, oranges etc) and pots of fruit salad.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
I do buy raisins normally and would have them with me everywhere! Other than that I haven't heard of humzingers before. I wouldn't tend to take other dried fruit or picnics.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

I think you can get away with being extra healthy on a picnic as there's the excitement of unwrapping all the little parcels of food and looking in pots etc. I try to make the kids look the same as their dads and mine so that hey feel grown up and we might get them to try new stuff.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I think dried fruit snacks are generally already appealing to kids as they are sweet.

Tyranasaurus Sat 27-Jul-13 15:06:07

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

Not really, but I am thinking of taking a balanced healthy meal. My LO too little to choose yet

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Sometimes

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

I like to pack ingredients rather than finished things, e.g. don't pack sandwiches pack bread and chesse, etc.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

I don't know that they should. I hate things aggressively marketted at children and/or with licensed characters on them.

lolancurly Wed 31-Jul-13 12:19:07

We tend to just pack YUMMY STUFF when we make a picnic; like sausage quiche, a big fat home-made cake, crisps, drinks, flask of tea for mummy etc It does usually also include fruit - some times the real deal (bananas and strawberries and apples etc) depending what's in season. For convenience, we do also use the dried fruit snacks - these are great in picnics because of the longer shelf life. My advice to Humzingers is to ADD A JOKE to your packets. My girls love anything with a corny joke on it, that they can read and tell themselves. I could possibly start writing jokes on bananas, I suppose.......

MrsGeologist Sat 03-Aug-13 16:47:24

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?

I always make sure I bring some fruit along for them, and I chose their snacks, otherwise it would be just chocolate bars and crisps.

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?

Occasionally I'll take some raisins, but DS2 doesn't like them and DS1 isn't always in the mood for them.

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?

Take only healthy things along, that way they can't fill up on cake and crisps and things like that. If they're hungry they'll eat it.

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children?

Well, DS1 often doesn't have the patience for fishing around in a tiny box for raisins and DS2 won't eat them because they don't taste of much when you lick them (he's only one and if he licks something and it doesn't immediately taste good, he'll disregard it.)
Possibly making it less fiddly and looking more like sweets.

It's harder now my ds is gluten free- we do carrot sticks and hummus a lot, sometimes crisps and dips.

I usually try and put something healthy in- cherry toms are popular with mine. Instead is sandwiches sometimes do hot x buns and babybels ( not for gf!).

Quite like the him zingers sticks- how about a fruit and nut mix, like those naked bars? Would be less sweet, and more filling.

I really hate those flavoured raisins so don't suggest them!

Little chdn like fun wrapping, but it embarasses teens, so go with grown up I think.

~ When you choose snacks to take on a picnic, is giving your children their 5-a-day a factor in your choices or not? And do you usually choose what snacks your children get on a picnic or do they choose themselves?
I always include at least one piece of fruit each for them, put salad in their sandwiches too. As snacks we take yogurt, those fruit strings, crisps, sausage rolls and fruit. If they chose their own it would be chocolate, cake and biscuits

~ Do you ever buy dried fruit snacks for picnics with your family?
My DH takes dried apricots if we have some in, but not usually

~ What are your top tips on packing a healthy picnic?
Hide the healthy stuff, salad on sandwiches, fruit snacks and don't take too many 'treats'

~ How do you think companies can make dried fruit snacks more appealing to children? 
make then fun to eat, for example my DS's love yogurt where they mix the corner of fruit in, or when they have things to dip and add other flavour too. Basically they like to play with their food

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