Simple picnic food ideas include cut fruits and veggies like berries, grapes, cherries, carrots and celery; bottled water and juice boxes; chips and dip; crusty bread; and sliced meats and cheeses. Other options include sandwiches, wraps and basic salads.
To keep a meal simple, picnic planners should consider how much preparation goes into each item, and how much additional effort that item requires at the picnic location. Initially listed items require little preparation beyond washing, slicing and storing. Picnic goers need, at most, plates, napkins and a blanket to enjoy items such at these and cleanup is straightforward and easy.
Sandwiches, wraps and salads require more preparation, but also add variety to picnic menus. Since these recipes are easy, allowing children to make them gives parents extra time to prepare other items.
Sample menus for easy picnics are found at Real Simple and about.com. Real Simple's picnic ideas feature targeted menus for specific outings, including two beach picnics, a hiking picnic, two concert picnics, a playground picnic and a travel picnic.
About.com focuses on picnic preparation, offering four different options: a pack-your-own-picnic, a supermarket-stop picnic, a dipping picnic and a grilling picnic. Each option includes both a sample menu and tips to keep the meal from getting too complicated.