Grass Roots Nutrition: Picnic Tips

Grass Roots Nutrition: Picnic Tips

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Dear Holly: Any tips on packing a picnic? -Yogi Bear
Dear Yogi: I do! I love a great picnic; spreading out a blanket or commandeering a picnic table and spreading out an afternoon snack or dinner feast. It is a celebration of good food and good weather.


Start with excellent food. Plan a meal with lots of color: we feast with our eyes first – a wide variety of color indicates a great blend of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in the meal (unless it is skittles!).


Do the prep at home: the most enjoyable picnic is one without stress. Plan your menu so that it is ready to eat straight from your picnic basket. Fruit kabobs, grain salads, kale salad, hummus and veggies, smoothies, sandwiches and wraps are all delicious, portable and ready to go from picnic basket to table.


Use the real stuff: cloth napkins are lighter on the planet, are harder for the wind to blow away and add ambiance to your picnic. Plastic silverware is simply harder to use: get an inexpensive set of metal flatware and reuse them all summer.


Skip the sugar: sodas and sweet drinks should be minimized. Have fun and stay hydrated with infused waters; experiment with fruit and herbs to find your favorite custom blend. Make it sparkling by adding seltzer water.


Keep it safe: Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Use ice packs or frozen water bottles to prevent bacteria growth and food poisoning if you are transporting perishable foods. Remember food is no longer good if it’s been sitting out for more than two hours, or one hour in weather above 90°F. If packing burgers or chicken for the grill, make sure to keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate in your picnic basket.


Beyond the basket: Sunscreen and bug spray will help ward off burns and bites. Pack a soccer ball, Frisbee or bocce set for some active fun in the sun!


Looking for recipes? Check out my blog for picnic ready ideas! June 18th is International Picnic Day, after all!


Ready for a Real Food Wellness Challenge? Start the month with 21 Days of Real Food! Click to enroll in the challenge; we launch the 1st of each month.


What’s your question for Holly? Send them to For more information and to make an appointment to work on your goals, visit Grass Roots Nutrition, LLC and BrideBod, owned by me, Holly Larson, a Registered Dietitian. Visit me online at and follow us on Facebook. Have a delicious, healthy day!