July is National Picnic Month
Get your family or friends together and grab your picnic basket! It is a great way to combine some activity, healthy eating, and spending time together.
Keep your family and friends healthy and safe this summer with these tips to keep food good on a picnic.
Temperature and time—be mindful of how much your food is outside. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold as you head out for your picnic and outdoor activity.
Extra coolers—pack your cold food in an additional cooler away from beverages to keep down on the number of times the cooler is open until you are ready to eat. Remember to insulate the cooler with ice or ice packs.
Bring some non-perishable foods—you can still get healthier options to pack for your picnic. Try baked chips or pretzels, washed fruit, dried fruit, trail mix, nuts, or sunflower seeds.
Keep it clean—if you are going somewhere without a way to clean your hands or have safe water to drink, be sure to pack some. You can also make your own cleaning packs with wet paper towels packed in a baggie. Don’t forget to bring a few with some soap or hand sanitizer.
Myplate.gov offers a variety of healthy recipes that you can enjoy on a picnic. Here are a few to try.
The chicken in this recipe is juicy and flavorful even though it's baked and not fried.
- 4 pounds chicken pieces, skin removed
- 8 yogurt, non-fat plain (8 ounce)
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (or crushed cereal)
- non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Coat chicken with yogurt. Roll in breadcrumbs or crushed cereal.
- Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken pieces on them.
- Bake 1 hour, turning chicken pieces after first 30 minutes or when chicken browns.
- Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Rainbow veggie salad
This easy and colorful salad tastes best after marinating it overnight. Enjoy it as a side dish at lunch or dinner.
- 1 can red kidney beans (15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed)
- 1 can black beans (15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed)
- 3 carrot (scrubbed and sliced)
- 1 yellow squash (medium, washed and sliced)
- 1 zucchini (medium, washed and sliced)
- 1/2 cup light Italian dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over vegetables.
- Sprinkle with pepper.
- Stir gently, coating all vegetables.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
Peachy pops will be the perfect partner to your playful summer picnic. Enjoy these frosty treats on a hot day.
- 2 peaches
- 2/3 cup yogurt, low-fat vanilla
- 2 cups orange juice
- 6 paper cups
- 6 spoons
- Use a knife to remove the skin from the peaches, and to chop the peaches.
- Spoon the peaches into each of the 6 paper cups.
- Place the yogurt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour and stir the orange juice into the yogurt. Mix well.
- Pour some of the juice and yogurt mix into each cup to cover the peaches.
- Place a spoon in the center of each cup.
- Cut 6 squares of aluminum foil big enough to cover the tops of cups. Stab each spoon handle through each piece of foil. The foil will hold the spoon in the center of the cup.
- Place cups in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
- Just before serving, peel the paper cups away from the pops to eat.