Blog Post

Messy Mealtimes – Eating Outdoors in the Summer

Summer is a great time to let little ones get a little bit messier – both at meal and playtimes.  When the sun is shining, much of the mess making can take place outside, making clearing up easier and saving your home from the mess making!  This week we’re covering Mealtimes:

Summer Mealtimes

Alfresco Eating

Move the highchair out into the garden or have a picnic on the grass or in the park – little ones will love the change of scenery.   Eating outside allows them to get so much more messy with little impact on your home.  Just make sure they’re not wearing anything too special for these occasions!  They can make lots of mess which can be easily swept off a wipe clean mat for the birds to enjoy afterwards.

Let them eat in just their nappy or a vest

When the weather’s warmer, stripping babies down to their nappies for mealtimes means fewer clothes to wash afterwards.  Regardless of the style of bib, at messy mealtimes, there will usually be some food bits which find their way onto clothes.  Feeding little ones when they are just in their nappies cuts down on washing afterwards, meaning parents often feel more relaxed about letting their little ones squash, squish and mush their food to their heart’s content.  How much fun is this little one having?!

Embrace picnics

picnic mat

Picnics are a great way to introduce more finger foods into your baby’s diet. There are so many delicious recipe ideas for baby led weaning finger foods – from savoury muffins and fritters to dips to mini quiches / tortillas or pasta salads.  They are not only delicious, easy to transport but can also a great way to sneak some extra vegetables into your child’s diet.  I also found the incentive of being allowed to play / run around with friends afterwards, was a great way to encourage my little ones to eat some nutritious food whilst we were out and about.  Our splash mats double up as picnic mats. They fold to be pretty compact so easily fit under a buggy and a quick wipe afterwards is all that’s needed.

As little ones get older, they can help prepare and pack for the picnic.  Excitement levels used to be pretty high in our house when the word picnic was mentioned and the children loved helping get things ready – whether it was chopping up vegetables when they were a bit older or just getting things out of the fridge and packing them in the cool bag when they were little.

If you’ve got children of different ages, it’s worth making sure you have things to keep all ages happy.  I often used to pack some bubbles to keep my littlest, Florence, entertained whilst her big brother and sister were charging around with their friends.  A few small toys or a couple of books won’t take up much space in your bag and can help extend the length of time you can spend on your picnic.

It’s always worth making sure you’ve got lots of water – running around is thirsty work and suncream / sun hats on hand for when the sun decides to shine

Hopefully the rain of the last few weeks is now over and we’ll have some beautiful sunny days to enjoy over the next few months.

Helen x

Thank you to, and @xbabiekatalinax for the photographs.




Leave a Reply

Related Posts

fathers day craft
5 Fun Father’s Day Craft Ideas

Father’s Day is coming up soon – on June 16th this year.  Here are

10 Tips For Happy Weaning

There is sooo much information available now for weaning little ones – it can

easter tree
Easter Craft Ideas for Little Ones

Hot on the heels of Mother’s Day, comes Easter – another great opportunity for

Mother's Day heart print
Mother’s Day Craft Ideas

Mother’s Day is fast approaching (next weekend Dads!)… One thing that always goes down

messy me messy eating
Getting started with weaning – the different approaches explained

Like every aspect of raising a child, there are different ways to approach weaning.

Ideas for Pancake Day fun

I love Pancake Day – I have very happy memories of it as a

cooking with toddlers baking box
Cooking with Toddlers – 10 Fun and EASY Ideas

Cooking with toddlers can be fun.  It can also be stressful, chaotic and very

Valentine’s Day Crafts

Looking for some Valentine’s Day craft and baking inspiration for toddlers? Here’s our round up

choosing high chair
High Chairs – our tips for choosing the right one for you

There are hundreds of different high chairs available for weaning nowadays – with so

navy mat
Craft & Baking Ideas for Toddlers – January

January can be a difficult month with toddlers – the cold, short days make

ikea cushion and mat
Weaning little ones over Christmas

Whether you’re at home or away visiting friends and family, here are a few

Autumn Messy Play Ideas

It’s a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumnal day here at Messy Me HQ, which has

small business happy dance
My highs and lows of running a business

There are many mums out there successfully running their own businesses around their families.

picnic mat
9 ideas for summer fun with toddlers

We’ve had some gorgeous sunny days here at  Messy Me HQ, which has inspired

fathers day
Father’s Day Craft Inspiration with Messy Me

Father’s Day is coming up soon – on Sunday June 17th… Surprise Dad this Father’s

outdoor play mat
10 uses for our Messy Mats

A recent testimonial about our Messy Mats said “You don’t need to use the mat

navy mat baking
Our 9 Tips and Tricks for Happy Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids – Part II Last week, we talked about all the benefits of

7 reasons why it’s great to cook with your children

Cooking with children… Just the words can often conjure up a variety of different images

tunic bib and oilcloth by the metre
Home Made Easter Cards Ideas

With Easter fast approaching, we thought we’d share some ideas for home made Easter

Mother's Day craft
Mother’s Day Craft Ideas with Messy Me

Mother’s Day is fast approaching – often sending Dads and Husbands into a panic

Valentine’s Day Biscuits

Here’s a lovely recipe for delicious biscuits – with a Valentine’s Day theme –

tunic bib
Making pizzas with little ones

Pizza Fun with Messy MeIt’s National Pizza Day on Friday – which sounds like

ikea cushion insert
Why we love our new Mini Cushions for the Ikea Antilop

Our new Mini Cushion Inserts – designed for the Ikea Antilop are the most

ikea antilop cushion pastel roses
Common Weaning Myths

There is so much conflicting advice about weaning nowadays – so many different sources

navy oilcloth by the metre christmas
5 ways Messy Me can help this Christmas

Whilst Christmas with little ones can be a magical time – watching their little

Our Top Ten Items for Easy Weaning

Starting the weaning journey can be a daunting process – with so many different

Messy Trays & Sensory Boxes – Why We Love Them & Lots of Ideas

Here at Messy Me, we know how important it is to let little ones

Messy Play Ideas for Rainy Days

We don’t need convincing that mess is lots of fun and so important for

Seasonal Superfoods for Summer

Eating foods with are seasonally available is a great way to get the nutrients

Messy Summer Outdoor Fun

We love mess!  In fact, we firmly believe that more mess equals more fun

grey oilcloth
Five reasons why our Oilcloth makes a great tablecloth

One of the things I love about summer is the chances to eat outside

Rainy Day Ideas for Little Ones

Inspired by the rainy weather we’ve had here over half term, we’ve come up

Five things we love about our new High Chair Inserts

We’re really excited about our new High Chair Inserts which have arrived and are

Removing Stains from Oilcloth

What’s the best way to get rid of stains on oilcloth is a question

prima baby awards logo
High Chair Cushions & Clutch Bags shortlisted by Prima Baby Awards

prima baby awards logo We are thrilled that both our High Chair Cushions and Clutch

Sugar and Sugary Snacks for Little Ones

With sugar and sugary drinks featuring in the news so much this week, here

baby led weaning
Baby Led Weaning – Staying Relaxed in the Early Months

I have recently listened to a really great podcast interview with Tracey Murkett, co-author

mealtime mess
Managing the Mess at Mealtimes

Allowing children to be messy at mealtimes can send a shiver through even the

autumn leaves
Boosting your child’s immunity this Autumn

At this time of year – as the nights start drawing in, the days