Healthy Picnic Food Ideas
Lighten up your summer outings with these healthy picnic recipes and tips.
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 6: Better Beverages
"It is so easy to get dehydrated, without even knowing it, when you are
outdoors playing in the sun," says Neville.
Children are especially prone to losing fluids, and often don’t want to
interrupt their fun to drink.
Neville suggests beating the heat with plenty of ice water, sparkling water,
unsweetened iced tea, and an assortment of low-calorie beverages. You can
freeze water bottles the night before and use as cold packs to keep food and
If alcohol is on the menu, select light beer and wine spritzers. Both are
more refreshing in the midday heat and lower in calories.
Other options to satisfy thirst include:
- Frozen fruit pops
- Lemonade with a splash of cranberry juice
- Fruit juices mixed half and half with water
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 7: Sweet Indulgences
Dessert is a must at a picnic, and who can resist summer delicacies like
berries, cherries, and peaches? A colorful fruit platter or fruit salad is sure
to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. Most kids (adults, too) also
love diving into big wedges of juicy watermelon.
If you must have cookies, brownies, or cupcakes, keep the portions small. If
cake is on the menu, make it an angel food cake topped with fresh berries and a
dollop of light whipped topping.
Two More Tips
Finally, to make the most of your summer picnic:
Be Safe. Make sure your picnic food arrives safely by tightly packing
cold food into one cooler and drinks in a separate cooler. Keep both coolers in
Be Active. Enjoy the fresh air. Being outdoors is a great
chance to include some exercise and burn some calories. Take a hike, toss
a Frisbee or football, play baseball, canoe, or plan a fun game for the whole
Healthy Picnic Food: Recipes
For your next picnic, Guttersen suggests the following recipes from her
Sonoma Diet Cookbook:
Confetti Summer Salad
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal one serving as 1/4 cup starchy
foods and legumes without fat + 1/2 cup vegetables without added fat.
Prep: 30 minutes; chill: 4 to 24 hours.
4 medium ears fresh corn or 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn,
4 baby zucchini, thinly sliced, or 1⁄2 of a small zucchini, halved
lengthwise and thinly sliced (1⁄2 cup)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1⁄2 cup bottled clear Italian salad dressing (such as Newman’s Own brand)
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Fresh thyme (optional)
If using fresh corn, in a covered large saucepan cook ears of corn in a
small amount of boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water to
cool. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs (you should have about 2
cups corn kernels).