Pack these foods for a healthier picnic
When you plan your picnic, add these healthy, delicious and easily portable foods.
There’s nothing like heading outdoors to enjoy an al fresco meal with family or friends. Whether you’re enjoying your meal on a blanket by the beach, a grassy area along the river or a picnic table at the park, somehow food just seems to taste better when consumed along with some fresh air and sunshine.
Just because you’re heading out with your picnic basket or a picnic cooler doesn’t mean you have to rely on fat-laden picnic standbys like fried chicken and potato salad or packaged, processed foods. Instead we’ve rounded up some tasty treats that are easy to prepare and transport. They’re not only picnic-friendly but they’re healthy and taste great!
Appetizers and finger foods:
- Hummus, guacamole or salsa with veggie dippers, baked chips or pitas cut into triangles
- Low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers
- Chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce
Salads, sandwiches and entrees:
- Seasonal veggie salads, bean salads or whole grain salads, using quinoa, farro or bulgar as the base
- Protein-packed sandwiches – Start with whole-grain bread or a sandwich wrap and add lean protein such as chicken or turkey. Load up on veggies and finish off with a savory spread such as mustard or hummus.
- Kebabs – Pre-grill chunks of chicken, beef or fish with veggies such as peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Wrap in foil and eat cold.
Desserts and snacks:
- Fresh whole fruit, fruit slices or fruit kebabs and dip (mix Greek yogurt with honey and cinnamon for dipping)
- Homemade trail mix – Put together a combination of heart-healthy nuts, dried fruit, wasabi peas or a small handful of dark chocolate chips.
- Flavored popcorn – Pop your own at home and sprinkle with a bit of your favorite seasoning – cayenne pepper, cinnamon, etc.
- Plain water
- Sparkling water or seltzer with fresh fruit