Enjoy food and fun this winter. Whether you’re heading out for a hike, finding a spot to sit and whale watch or having a night-time picnic, we’ve got food inspiration to nourish the whole family. There’s plenty of winter family fun to enjoy in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter. Check out our winter family fun article for all the details.
Winter is such a beautiful time to get out and explore. The ocean is crystal clear, the bush comes alive with wildflowers, and whales start moving along the coast. The best way to enjoy a winter’s day out is to pack the right food so you can stay warm from the inside out.
We caught up with local food guru Lauren Branson from Your Food Collective to get some tips on what we should be packing in our picnic basket this winter. Like any meal, the key is to keep it simple and start with fresh, local ingredients. Then you can’t go wrong!
In winter, our bodies are looking for a little more nourishment, which means we really need to make sure we are eating food that’s fresh and grown locally and sustainably. This means what you’re eating is nutrient dense and can give your body the right kind of love to stay warm and fight off any nasty bugs.
Hikes are all about the snacks right… just make sure you save some for the way home so that you’ve got something to motivate the kids up the last of the hills.
Here’s what I’d be packing:
- Brookfarm Explore Brothers Blend of Fruit & Nuts – this blend was specifically curated to keep the Brook Brothers nourished on their long hikes and day trips around the farm.
- Mandarins – jam-packed with vitamin C and easy to peel, they are a winner when you’re on the go!
- Chocolate Sprinkles – everyone needs a little something to get up the last hill.
- Sourdough Baguette Sandwiches – using a sourdough baguette means that the bread won’t go too soggy and they’ll hold up pretty well in your backpack. I’m a sucker for a salad sandwich or you can keep it low key and use amazing local peanut butter from Chunky Dave (there’s a reason his peanut butter is always sold out!!)
For the salad sandwiches I’d be using:
- Local Hummus from Naked Byron Foods – (bonus this is plastic free)
- Truffle Salami from Melander Park – salami will last out of the fridge for a while so you won’t need to worry about it in your backpack.
- Lettuce and cherry tomatoes
The best time of day to see whales is in the morning because the ocean is calmer, so it’s easier to see their spray. So why not get up a little earlier, pack a takeaway brekky and head out to the coast. Find a spot where you can sit down and get the rug out – whales are something you can’t rush! Here’s a list of the best places to go whale watching in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens.
Breakfast is one of the best meals of the day so let’s make it count.
Creamy Porridge with Macadamia and Banana
This recipe is so moorish, the thing that makes it do delicious is the fresh single origin oats – rolled not dried which means they are jam packed with nutrients and flavor. Cook this up and pack it in individual takeaway container and wrap them in a tea towel to keep it warm.
Morning Glory Muffins
Bake this the day before, you can swap out the carrot and pear for whatever you’ve got hanging around in the fridge. Again just wrap them in a tea towel for transport. Here’s the recipe.
Picnic Under the Stars
One of our favourite winter activities is an early evening picnic. The kids love watching the sun set and seeing the city light up. It can get cold and that’s where a warming dinner comes in.
- Start with a classic cheese platter for the adults whilst the kids get stuck into some corn chips and salsa.
Roast Tomato Pasta Bake
- I’m a huge fan of making things ahead so there is nothing to do when I get there. This slow-roasted tomato pasta bake is perfect. Being winter, you’ll struggle to get full-sized tomatoes with any flavor so I use truss cherry tomatoes, and swap out the eggplant for pumpkin. Bake it in a pyrex dish with a lid if you’ve got one then you can just wrap it up in a tea towel when you’re ready to go and it will stay warm.
Clever Cookie Dough Pie
- Get the kids to knock this dessert for you, it might mean a little less in the pan but they’ll have heaps of fun helping out. It’s super easy to make a Clever Cookie Dough Pie.
To learn more about this local business, check out the Newy with Kids feature about Your Food Collective. You can also visit the Your Food Collective website. Use the code GOODHABITS with your first order over $100 to receive an exclusive gift.
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.