Picnics in the Park

Sprinkled among the concrete of cities are spaces of green that are perfect for family picnics. For city-dwellers, limited private outdoor space leads to adventurousness in seeking out grassy patches.

For tonight's dinner, we found a nearby grassy spot that allowed for plenty of running and twirling between bites. My two-year-old will typically only eat a green vegetable if it is hidden and disguised, so the fact that he devoured raw green beans tonight is a testament to the transformative power of al fresco dining.

In summer we aim to eat as many meals as possible outside. It adds variety to the day and offers another chance for us to soak in this fleeting season's warmth and beauty. As the kids move freely from blanket or table to grass and dirt, I am reminded of how special summertime is for kids -- and grown-ups. Released from the limitations of indoor dining, we are able to enjoy a longer, more informal, more dynamic mealtime together that seamlessly mixes food and fun.

...And carrots always taste better outdoors.