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Be a Picnic Pro with These Yummy Pinwheel Roll-Ups

Pinwheel process

Want an easy way to blow your child’s mind? Have a picnic! Dining outdoors on a blanket or at a picnic table at a park, by the lake, or even in your own backyard can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary for the Pre-K set.

From classic PB&J sammies to leftover casserole, any cuisine will do—but we think the very best picnic fare for wee ones is something easy to hold that produces minimal mess (note to self: pack extra wipes anyway, just in case). That’s why we love these pinwheel roll-ups: With all the tasty ingredients neatly wrapped inside a tortilla, this is a fresh, healthy, and kid-friendly option for your alfresco fête (full recipe below). Even better? They only take 10 minutes or less to make!

Pinwheel ingredients

Consider these pinwheel roll-ups a “choose your own adventure” eating endeavor—you can use any wrap or filling your crew will enjoy. Your kiddo goes nuts for tomatoes and avocado? Pile ‘em on! He’s not a fan of bell peppers or purple cabbage? Leave ‘em out!        

We think our creamy ranch spread will be a hit, but other yummy options like hummus, low-fat mayo, olive tapenade, white bean, roasted eggplant, and nut butters work well, too.

Assembling the pinwheels could not be easier. Simply combine your ranch seasoning with whipped cream cheese, and then spread the mixture on your wrap. Arrange any proteins and veggies in rows across the wrap, and then roll it all up and seal the seam with more cream cheese. Cut crosswise to get the jelly-roll-like pinwheel effect, and presto! Your wraps are ready to eat.Kids chowing down on pinwheel rollups

While we’re all about making meals your kid will actually eat, try making different varieties of these simple rolls that include veggies or other flavors your child hasn’t encountered before, or that he may have given a definitive “No!” to in the past. The fun pinwheel form just might change his mind!

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In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Sure, there will likely be some spills when little ones take the lead, but also lots of smiles.

In addition to these roll-ups, fill your picnic basket with other easy pack-and-snack kid favorites, like sliced fresh veggies with Rachael Ray’s creamy pesto dip, colorful fruit skewers, and a charming sweet summer treat like s’mores bites or apple hand pies. This meal makes a perfect intermission for a fun, activity-filled day in the sun.


Serves: 4–6

Total time: Approximately 10 minutes


  • ⅔ cup regular or light whipped cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning, store-bought or homemade
  • 4 large burrito-style tortillas (white, whole wheat, spinach, sun-dried tomato, etc.) 
  • 4–8 slices deli turkey 
  • ½–1 cup cheese, shredded or thinly sliced (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, mozzarella, etc.)
  • 1 cup red and/or yellow bell pepper strips, thinly sliced        
  • ½ cup carrot strips, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup baby spinach leaves     
  • Optional: tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, cucumbers, pickles, or bacon


  1. Mix the cream cheese and ranch powder together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.       
  2. Spread the cream-cheese mixture evenly over the 4 tortillas, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered on all sides.
  3. Lay out the proteins and vegetables as desired in rows across the tortillas, continuing to leave an uncovered 1-inch border.                                                                                
  4. Roll up each tortilla tightly and seal the edges with a bit more cream cheese. Cut crosswise into pinwheels and enjoy!
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