Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

June is the ideal month for barefoot picnics and shoofly pie, so pack up your basket and kick off your shoes. With that sunny mission in mind, here are some grass-and-blanket necessities to sweeten any al fresco feast.

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Pack as much thirst-quenching Gold Peak Tea as you can tote in your Picnic Time Somerset Deluxe Picnic Basket. Check the bulletin board at www.goldpeaktea.com and order a batch in unsweetened, sweetened, green, lemon and diet for a classic iced tea taste that will complement an old-fashioned picnic. The Somerset Deluxe willow basket comes with a fleece blanket, cheese board, corkscrew, plates, salt and pepper shakers, real silverware, blanket, wine glasses and food containers. All you need to supply is the pie and rosemary-pinenut chicken salad; www.comfortchannel.com.

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No picnic or child’s lunch box would be complete without a healthy Snikiddy Snack. Choose between the gluten-free Organic Cheese Puffs or an assortment of home-style cookies. Made from family recipes, these snacks are devoid of fattening corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives — they’re as natural as the grass under your blanket (www.snikiddy.com). Another healthy choice is the Mary’s Gone Crackers snack packs, which are free of oils, trans-fats, sugar and dairy. These crispy gluten-free crackers have a nutty flavor that pairs well with cheese. Fashioned from all organic ingredients, including brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and sesame seeds, these crackers offer protein, fiber and omega-3s for guilt-free chomping (www.marysgonecrackers.com).

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While the kids are enjoying their grape juice, parents can savor grapes from down under with Jacob Creek Australian wines. The Jacob Creek Reserve Pinot Noir and reserve Riesling are both fruit-driven flavors that will complement any picnic fare. Stoneleigh’s Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay from New Zealand is another light, refreshing choice, and it pairs well with seafood, so bring jumbo shrimp and horseradish sauce. Ask for them at your local wine shop and visit www.jacobscreek.com.

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For many, no special day would be complete without fine chocolate, and John & Kira’s Chocolates are as fine as chocolate can be. The Ladybugs, Garden Mint, Lavender-Honey, Glenn’s Strawberry and Glenn’s Raspberry flavors are each chocolate odes to nature, and the Mut Vitz Coffee Whiskey, lemongrass, bergamot, pistachio and Starry Night bon-bons deliver flavorful exotica. Find them all at www.johnandkiras.com, and keep John & Kira Chocolates in mind for graduates and Father’s Day; they arrive sweetly in a wood box with ribbon and wax seal.

An organic, moisturizing hand sanitizer that’s gentle on the skin and effective sounds like a parent’s dream come true. Surya Brasil’s Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer includes the Brazilian plant ingredients aloe, jua, acai, and vitamin E to protect little hands and preserve older ones. Stash them in the picnic basket, and find them at www.suryacosmetics.com.

You’ll need wipes after your picnic (and summer barbecues or days in the sandbox), so take along Cucumber-Mint Cleansing Hand Wipes from Katie Brown’s Hand Care line. You can purchase them by the box or case and they’re incredibly refreshing and disposable. If you want to peruse a catalog or purchase a product, visit sales@companion-group.com.

A day outside with children often includes scraped knees and band-aids, so use the same blood-stopping technology the U.S. Army harnesses with KytoStat Bandages. KytoStat actually stops persistent bleeding while sealing and protecting a scrape. The secret to this brand’s effectiveness is Chitosan, a naturally occurring compound found in shrimp shells. Find these band-aids at www.drugstore.com or visit wherebleedingstops.com/AboutKytoStat.aspx.

June offers many reasons to frolic – so go pack your picnic bags!

Originally published June 2008
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