Healthy Picnic Food Ideas
Lighten up your summer outings with these healthy picnic recipes and tips.
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
For many of us, packing a picnic basket and heading off to the beach, soccer field, or park is a wonderful rite of summer. But traditional picnic foods like fried chicken and potato salad can wreak havoc on your diet. The good news is that with a little tweaking, you can enjoy a picnic without compromising your waistline. Here are some healthy picnic food ideas sure to delight everyone.
American Dietetic Association spokesperson Kerry Neville suggests finding healthier alternatives or limiting portions of these familiar picnic foods and beverages:
Instead, aim for a picnic basket that contains a bounty of colorful fruits and vegetables; lean meat, fish or chicken; and a whole-grain salad or two.
Healthy Picnic Food Idea No. 1: Use Nature's Bounty
Summer picnics occur at the height of the fresh fruit and vegetable season. And the more colorful produce you add to your menu, the healthier the meal.
"Take advantage of the bounty of the season and fill your picnic basket with luscious summer produce like peaches, berries, cherries, watermelon, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, peas, and fresh herbs," says Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite show.