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Healthy Picnic Food Ideas

  • Category: Blog, Health & Well-Being
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Aleksandr Gavrilov, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Healthy Picnic Food Ideas

The temperature outside is getting warmer, which means it’s time to cut grass, go on walks, and enjoy the sun. There’s nothing quite like having a good picnic with friends and family on a beautiful day.

Let’s take a look at some picnic classics and easy ways to make them a little healthier:

  • Sandwiches and wraps:
    • Use whole grain breads, wraps, or tortillas.
      • You can even try lower carb, high protein and/or keto options.
    • Use light dressing (like light mayo or olive oil mayo)
    • Use healthier deli meats (sliced chicken, turkey, ham or roast beef)
    • Use lower fat cheese (mozzarella or lower fat versions on regular cheese)
    • Add veggies (spinach, avocado, tomato, etc.)
  • Recipes to make these picnic classics healthier:
  • Fruit:
    • Berries of all kind (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)
    • Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, melon cubes
    • Apples, orange, pear slices
    • Plums, cuties
    • Cherries
    • Grapes
  • Vegetables with a healthy dip on the side:
    • Baby carrots or carrot sticks
    • Celery
    • Sugar snap peas
    • Sliced peppers, radishes, cucumbers
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Pair them with hummus or your favorite light dressing 
  • Healthier snacks:
    • Cheese and meat platter (aim for lean meats and lower fat cheeses)
    • Whole grain or rice crackers
    • Low fat popcorn
    • Flex or Quest brand of chips
    • Nuts, seeds, dried fruits 
    • Whole grain tortilla chips and salsa and/or guacamole
  • Healthier drink options:
    • Water (add berries, mint, lemon, oranges, etc. to make it more fun and flavorful)
    • Healthier carbonated beverages
      • Sweet options: Zevia, Virgil’s Zero Sugar, OliPop.
      • Not sweet option: LaCroix, Bubbly, SpinDrift, Perrier

Remember to enjoy your picnic too! Nutrition doesn't have to be perfectly healthy all the time! Enjoy those cookies or pie! Aim to live a life of moderation, enjoy your favorite foods, just make sure to go for a walk or play some sports afterwards!

Aleksandr Gavrilov

Aleksandr Gavrilov, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at the Excela Health Well-Being Center