Summer is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate the warm weather and long sunny days than with a picnic? July happens to be National Picnic Month, a perfect time to gather your loved ones, enjoy the great outdoors, and indulge in delicious food. However, picnics don’t have to be filled with unhealthy snacks and calorie-laden treats – not that we don’t encourage some tasty desserts! By incorporating these healthy summer picnic essentials into your outing, you can have a nourishing and delicious experience without compromising your health goals. To help prepare you for next outing, here are some ideas for a healthy summer picnic that will keep you feeling nourished, refreshed, and guilt-free.
1. Fresh Fruits & Veggies
One of the best ways to ensure a healthy picnic is to incorporate an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Pack a variety of colorful produce like watermelon, grapes, berries, and cherry tomatoes. Not only are they delicious and refreshing, but they also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consider preparing a colorful fruit salad or packing pre-cut veggies with a tasty dip to satisfy those crunch cravings.
2. Light & Flavorful Salads
Salads are a picnic staple, and they can be a delightful addition to a healthy spread. Try opting for lighter alternatives like a refreshing cucumber and mint salad, a tangy Greek salad, or a quinoa and vegetable salad. These options are packed with nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats while keeping you hydrated and satisfied.
3. Lean Proteins
Include lean proteins to keep your picnic energizing and satisfying. Grilled chicken skewers, turkey wraps with whole wheat tortillas, or even plant-based protein options like chickpea salad sandwiches are excellent choices. They provide a good source of protein, which helps keep you full and fuels your active summer adventures.
4. Hydrating Beverages
Staying hydrated during picnics is crucial, especially under the hot summer sun. Instead of sugary sodas or artificial drinks, opt for refreshing and hydrating options like infused water, iced herbal teas, or freshly squeezed juices. Infuse water with slices of citrus fruits, berries, or refreshing herbs like mint or basil to add a burst of flavor.
5. Whole Grain Goodness
Swap out refined grains for wholesome alternatives to add a nutritional boost to your picnic. Choose whole grain bread or wraps for sandwiches, whole wheat crackers, or baked tortilla chips for dipping. These options are higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, providing sustained energy and promoting good digestive health.
6. Smart Snacking Options
Snacking is an essential part of any picnic, but it’s important to choose wisely. Instead of reaching for chips or cookies, pack healthier options such as homemade granola bars, trail mix with nuts and dried fruits, or air-popped popcorn. These snacks provide a balance of nutrients, are portable, and satisfy your cravings without the excess calories.
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Hayleigh Butcher is a Content Writer & Brand Strategist for Blender Networks. When she’s not managing blogs for FitMinutes, The-E-Tailer, Cartageous, InStyleRooms, NurturedPaws & Shoelistic, she’s finding a new trail to hike with her dog, Gemma or finding the best new spot in her hometown of Bedford, Nova Scotia for an iced coffee!