Packing a Healthy Picnic
- Saturday, 14 August 2010
Q: Help! It’s picnic season! How can I get away from all of those processed foods?
A: With a little planning and preparation, picnics can be a lot of fun AND healthy! I like to have prepared snacks like Cajun nuts, homemade whole grain muffins, cookies and baked beans in the freezer, and leftover cold unprocessed meats like chicken and beef in the fridge. If time permits, try to make a whole grain or bean salad the day ahead. Keep the pantry stocked with whole grain crackers, cans of wild salmon, naturally sweetened spritzers and healthy nacho chips (that contain no hydrogenated fats) and salsa. When the opportunity arises for a last minute picnic, just assemble an assortment of the above items and head out the door. Be sure to include lots of fruits and raw vegetables, complex carbohydrates and good quality protein.
Here’s a list of some great on-the-go food ideas:
For protein sources:
plain hard boiled eggs
cans of salmon
cans of sardines
cold unprocessed chicken
cold unprocessed beef
made ahead smoothies using either yogurt or protein supplement
cheese: vegan or dairy cheese if diet allows
thermos of hot chili
For complex carbohydrates:
whole grain crackers, buns or bread
whole grain tortillas
raw nuts and seeds
home baked nuts and seeds
popcorn, made ahead
whole grain muffins, made ahead
whole grain salads
legume (bean) salads
Fruits and veggies:
various veggies washed and cut up to serve with dip
raw beet and veggie salad
broccoli and cauliflower salad
any raw vegetable salad
watermelon or other melons
any fresh fruit in season; berries are best
Any of the above are wonderful options for snacks but for something special, pack a cooler with lots of ice throw in a tub of Rice Dream ice cream for a healthy treat.
Keep a container stocked and ready to go with utensils, plates, bowls, napkins, a can opener, table cloth and salt and pepper — it takes just minutes to pack up and you’ll be sure to have everything you need with you. Another tip is to have on hand a couple of stainless steel thermos containers for hot foods.
“What we think and what we eat – combined together – make what we are physically and mentally.” Edgar Cayce