6 Perfect Picnic Tips
By Ali Struhs
Whether you’re headed to the mountains or your neighborhood park, picnics are the perfect family outing. Make your picnic healthier by packing a nutritious lunch and everything you need for a fun activity after you eat. Spend a summer afternoon or evening soaking in the sunshine and breathing in the fresh air with these six tips for a healthy, perfect picnic.
Picnic somewhere new
The neighborhood park is a suitable place for a picnic with the family, but if you’re feeling adventurous, picnic in a new spot. Perhaps drive across town to the park with the brand new playground for lunch with the kids, or on the weekend, lace up your hiking boots and try a new trail with a lake that’s perfect for picnicking. You could even go for a Sunday drive up your favorite canyon road and stop at a picnic area to enjoy the nature around you.
Go on two wheels
Sneak in extra exercise for you and your family by pedaling to a nearby park for your picnic. Skipping the car and choosing to ride your bike can burn around 100 calories in 20 minutes, even at a leisurely pace. To make packing your food easier, have everyone carry their own, individually packed lunch in a backpack, and don’t forget to wear a helmet!
Pack refreshing, low-calorie drinks
Ditch the sugary soda and fill water bottles with flavor-infused water. While you’re making breakfast in the morning, drop a cup of freshly sliced fruit into a pitcher of water and stir before chilling in the refrigerator. Your flavor-boosted H2O will be ready to go at lunchtime. Experiment by pairing different fruits with herbs, such as strawberries and mint, blueberries and basil, or lemon and rosemary.
Try a new recipe
You don’t have to bring the same ol’ macaroni salad to the picnic. Try a new, healthier salad recipe! Search for recipes that are high in fiber, like Citrus Bean Salad, or that are loaded with vegetables, such as Garden Pasta Salad. These salad recipes stay flavorful, while keeping it low-calorie and low-fat, by using fat-free mayo or various vinegars and spices, so you won’t need to worry about derailing your diet. Portion the salad in small mason jars for easy portability.
Switch up your sandwiches
Tired of taking along a plain turkey sandwich? Skip the lunch meat and bread and try a portable lunch option from the Jenny Craig menu. The Tuna Salad Kit features tuna salad in an easy-to-open can, crispy wheat crackers, and a side of diced peaches in a light syrup. Jenny Craig also offers a Chicken Salad Kit, another lean lunch option with chicken salad, wheat crackers, and a cup of naturally sweetened applesauce. You can even bring along your own lettuce to make a tuna salad or chicken salad wrap.
Make your picnic fun for the whole family by bringing fun lawn games. Not only will you have a great time with your family, but you’ll be getting in your daily exercise, too! Bring a volleyball if there are courts available, your tennis rackets and balls for a friendly tennis match, or baseball mitts, a ball, and a bat for a quick game with your kids.