Summer picnics are a great way to enjoy good food, good company, and the outdoors.
When you’re planning a picnic, you want to choose foods you can make ahead of time that store well and are easy to eat. Here are some healthier alternatives, so you can ditch the mayonnaise-based salads and other calorie-dense picnic standbys.
Picnic main dishes
- Create an entrée salad. You can use a mason jar and layer your dressing, vegetables, greens and proteins. Just shake it up when you get to your destination.
- Sandwiches and wraps are also great choices. Build a healthier one by using whole grains or even lettuce as a wrap. Try using avocados, hummus, or pesto as a spread and load up on veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, shredded carrots, and green beans.
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Picnic side dishes
- Fruit is very portable and great to include in your picnic. Try grapes, sliced watermelon, orange wedges, or strawberries. Use skewers for smaller berries, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon to make eating even easier.
- Picnics are a great way to try new vegetable-packed salads. Heartier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, cucumbers, celery, and cabbage hold up well and can be prepared beforehand. Instead of a mayonnaise base, try an oil-and-vinegar combo with some herbs to add more flavor.
Water is the beverage of choice. Nothing beats ice-cold water, but these are some ideas for changing up your water routine:
- Sparkling water
- Infused water
- Modified “Agua Fresca” without the sugar. Mix water with blended fruit for an even more intense flavor!
- Unsweetened iced tea or other calorie-free beverage
Keep an eye on high-sugar beverages like lemonade, juice, and alcohol.