BBQ Basics with Toddlers in Tow

By Nancy Cozine
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BBQ Basics with Toddlers in Tow

Hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, and fresh cool salads and fruits. The tastes of summer – yum. Picnics and BBQs are a summer essential in my book. My husband’s office recently had a company-wide family BBQ on a Saturday afternoon. I was a little hesitant at first thinking about Jack – my picky eater. But as I began to pack the diaper bag, I realized there was no reason to skip the fun. Here’s a peek at some of what I put inside.

1. Extra clothes. Along with the usual extra set of clothes for messes, I stuck in a long sleeve shirt and long pants incase it got chilly in the evening or if he was cold after any water games. I also added an extra shirt for me too, have you noticed that when the kids get messy, so do you?

2. Insulated straw cup. Jack thinks it’s just fun to use, but it’s really pretty great for on the go afternoons. In addition to keeping his drink cold, the top turns to hide straw so spills are kept at a minimum and it stays cleaner. Plus, I can decide what goes in it. So instead of an afternoon of juice boxes from the cooler, I was able to skip the sugar.

3. Easy Go Folding Bowl. I filled it with some crackers, cheese and cut up veggies (the select few that Jack will eat), so if he decided it was going to be a picky day, I was armed with some food to keep him going. (You can also stow bibs and utensils in it.) And then I simply slipped it into the diaper bag close to the ice packs for Delaney’s bottles. Another picky eater solution is the Mealtime Organizer, which Jack uses to bring lunch to day care. There are enough separate compartments for a full meal, if necessary.

4. Kid friendly activities. Since there were going to be a wide range of children of different ages, I figured not all the games and activities would be geared toward toddlers. So I put a soft ball, some bubbles, and a few small cars –in the pockets of the diaper bag, hidden away, but ready to occupy him when there was something going on that was not quite his speed.

It took a little preparation, but we had a great afternoon. Jack had no reasons to complain or get cranky and he even won a race! What can be found in your diaper bag when headed to a picnic or BBQ?