Healthy Picnic Food Ideas
Lighten up your summer outings with these healthy picnic recipes and tips.
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 1: Use Nature’s Bounty continued...
If you're grilling at your picnic destination, take along vegetables such as
Portobello mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, and onions. Grilled or roasted
vegetables tossed with olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper (or your
favorite vinaigrette) can also be done the night before if there are no grills
available -- or if you just want to get ahead of the game.
Grilled vegetables are great as a side dish, as a topping on grilled chicken
sandwiches, or alone on a bun as a sort of "veggie burger."
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 2: Light and Crunchy Appetizers
Pack your cooler with a variety of crisp, raw veggies like cucumbers,
carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes, and radishes are ideal for
picnics. Take along a nutritious dip such as hummus, salsa, fat-free bean dip,
or low-fat yogurt with herbs and spices. Stuffed celery with peanut butter, and
baked tortilla chips and salsa, are favorites for both kids and
"For the folks who want to dip with a cracker or crisp, try one of the
many whole-grain crisps options available such as oat crisps, whole-grain rice
chips instead of high-fat chips," recommends Guttersen.
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 3: A Different Main Dish
Instead of picking up a basket of fried chicken or grilling burgers, why not
pick up a roast chicken or try making wrap sandwiches?
"Wraps are easy to eat and transport, and can be supernutritious if you
make them with lean meat, stuff them with veggies and a salsa or light
dressing," says Neville.
Making lean beef burgers or ground turkey breast burgers will shave fat and
calories over regular ground beef. Skip the cheese and save even more.
Skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, and veggie burgers are other
delicious picnic food ideas. Try them brushed with barbeque sauce and topped
with lettuce, tomato, and other veggies. Hot dog lovers, choose the lower-fat
brands or try a chicken or turkey dog.
Brighten up a chicken or turkey entrée salad with green grapes, mangoes,
peaches, or toasted slivered almonds.