When you combine healthy summer picnic foods with the great outdoors and family and friends, you have a recipe for healthy fun all around.
Healthy Summer Picnic Foods
Picnics are a perfect get away. They get us away from the television, computers and everything else that keeps us plugged in and busy. That makes picnics an ideal way to spend time with family and friends in a casual setting that lets you enjoy the beauty of nature. Unfortunately for dieters, the term "picnic" often conjures up favorite foods like big juicy burgers, fried chicken, baked beans loaded with sugar and plenty of beverages filled with calories. If you're trying to lose weight, a picnic can end up being a pitfall in your road to healthy weight loss unless you plan ahead. To avoid a diet disaster, plan to pack a selection of healthy summer picnic foods. Pack enough for yourself and others to enjoy, so if your friends decide they want some of what you brought there's still enough for you!
Healthy Picnic Foods
Kebobs: If everyone is going to be grilling, instead of bringing prepackaged hot dogs or greasy burgers, make up some chicken kebobs. It's a great way to grill chicken quickly. Add some veggies like bell peppers and onions and you'll probably have others standing in line to add a kebob or two to their plate.
Turkey burgers: If you want something more like a standard burger, try a grilled turkey burger for less calories and fat than a beef burger and eat it on a whole grain bun.
Watermelon: Some standard picnic fare actually falls within the healthy category. Things like watermelon offer a sweet treat that's low in calories and tastes great. Not only that, but it's refreshing and can even be included in the activates in the form of a watermelon seed spitting contest.
If watermelon isn't your favorite you have a vast array of summer fruits to choose from. Just take your pick and enjoy a no-fat, sweet treat that's healthy, too.
Options for healthy picnic foods really are limitless. To keep picnic food options healthy, stay away from prepackaged foods like hot dogs and chips. Instead of chips create healthy snacks like a vegetable tray, or bring unbuttered popcorn or pretzels for that salty crunch. Healthy options are out there, you just have to be willing to plan them and then eat them.
When you spend time outdoors it's important to stay hydrated, Be sure to bring along plenty of pure water. You can always flavor it up a bit by adding lemons or oranges for a bit of citrus zest. If you want something other than water, enjoy seltzers, diet soda or unsweetened tea.
Healthy and Safe
No matter what foods you bring to the picnic it is important to store them properly. Keep refrigerator foods chilled from the time you take them from the refrigerator, until it's time to eat them at the picnic. This requires the purchase of a quality cooler or insulated bag made for carrying food.
A healthy picnic isn't all about the food. In fact, a healthy life isn't all about the food. Picnics can be planned for weeks or they can be a bit spontaneous and as simple as packing a light lunch and going for a short hike in a nearby park with a friend. Being outdoors provides the opportunity to drink in the beauty of nature and often provides bonding time between parents and their children.
Keep It Easy
Healthy does not have to be a lot of work. Keep your picnic foods simple so when you arrive at the picnic grounds all you have to do is unpack your cooler and at the most, grill your kebobs or turkey burgers. After all, when it's all said and done the memories you make will be with people, not the food you eat.