Picnics are a wonderful way to spend the day with your family. With the expectations of making new happy memories, eating great food, and experiencing familiar locations or even a new adventure, it is always something to look forward to. Here are eight simple hacks to plan your healthy family picnic.
1. Food Safety is Essential
Perishable food needs to be kept cold. Use an insulated container filled with ice. If you don’t have ice, you can freeze empty bottles with water. Using multiple coolers will allow one cooler to be opened frequently (drinks or snacks) and the other to remain closed and cold until the picnic begins.
2. Pick a Suitable Protein for Your Picnic
Consider whether you will barbecue or use a camp stove to cook your food. If so, hamburgers, hotdogs, or other meats are always yummy. If not, then consider deli meats. You could bring a variety, and everyone can mix and match to create sandwiches. Cheese and nuts are also good sources of protein.
3. Offer Choices
Set up a charcuterie board. You can bring sliced vegetables, deli meats, sausages, cheeses, olives, or anything else your family likes to nibble on. Dips can be made ahead of time or purchased.
4. Figure Out Which Kind of Bread to Bring
If you will be preparing sandwiches or burgers, be sure to pack your favorite loaves or buns. Also, consider pita bread as the pocket is less messy. A healthy addition to any sandwich includes salad greens and other vegetables like tomatoes, pickles, or peppers.
5. Pack Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables double as healthy snacks and a tasty dessert. Apples, pears, blueberries, grapes, and many others are easy to transport, prepare, and satisfy any sweet craving.
6. Make a Salad
Salads are very healthy and have an infinite number of combinations. The most popular for picnics is potato salad and gelatins. Keeping the ingredients simple with greens, vegetables, and fruit, and a splash of olive oil or vinaigrette is the easiest to transport and prepare.
7. Dont Forget the Dessert
Consider pudding in a jar if your family demands dessert at the picnic. Exchange the sugary pudding for yogurt to make it healthier. Or even use multiple flavors of yogurt layered in the jar with fresh, unsweetened fruit and some nuts or granola for a satisfying crunch. Placing it in a jar allows it to stack nicely in the cooler, and it can be easily opened and closed.
8. Bring Some Beverages
Beverages at a picnic can be healthy. Grabbing some cans and bottles from the convenience store can be easy, but you can create tasty and healthy drinks. Often, drinks are full of sugar, but when you make them yourself, you can choose how much sugar to add. Some fruits may be naturally sweet. Or use an alternative sweetener. Lots of water should also be available.
The healthy picnic lunch is ready, and the cooler is in the car. Find a picnic table in your local park, and your family is now ready for a memorable afternoon that they won’t forget.