June Nutritional Article

 We’re Going on a Picnic


Having a picnic is a great way to start the summer. For children in particular, picnics can be a year-round way to enthusiastically enjoy a meal. You can have a picnic just about anywhere, at a local park, in your backyard, or on a blanket laid out in the middle of your living room. The excitement comes from the fact that eating isn’t happening at the traditional table, and that the foods may be different than at other meal times.



Unfortunately, typical picnic foods such as fried chicken, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and potato salad are not at the cornerstone of healthy nutrition. It’s time to think outside the picnic basket and devise some creative and healthier picnic menu ideas, such as:

* Edamame or sugar snap peas

* Hummus and whole wheat pita chips/crisps

* Pita pocket filled with turkey, cheese, and shredded carrots

* Pasta salad made with whole grain pasta

Sandwiches shaped with flower cookie cutters

* Fruit and cheese cubes on popsicle stick kabobs

* Raw vegetables with white bean dip

* Tuna salad with whole-wheat crackers

Turkey, avocado, and cheese tortilla roll-ups

Mini homemade muffins

Roasted chickpeas

* Waldorf salad

* Trail mix



Keep in mind that it is still important to include appropriate foods for food program reimbursement; however these are several ideas to get you started when planning your picnic menu.


Other Picnic Tips:

* Bring hand sanitizer or wet wipes to sanitize hands before and after eating.

* Bring sunscreen to apply.

* Maintain food safety. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

* Pack plenty of ice to keep drinks cold and cold foods at the proper temperature.

* Consider exploring nature and/or playing outdoor games on the picnic.


Pack your picnic basket and picnic blanket, and sing along to the tune of “A Tisket, A Tasket:”

A-tisket, A-tasket,

Let’s pack a picnic basket.

We’ll fill it up with food to munch.

What’s in our picnic lunch?