A healthy picnic is a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer day with family and friends. I love it when it is spontaneous! Go to a park, a lake, the seaside or by the riverside. It is even fun to picnic in the backyard.
Our bodies love being nourished from the earth, the sky, and the clean air.
7 Tips For a Healthy Picnic
1. Bring Healthy Tasty Food and Drinks
Here are a few of my favourites:
- Healthy Potato Salad: For some, a picnic just has to have potato salad. Here is the recipe for a vegan healthy one: Potato SaladHealthy Carrot Salad with Black Currants and Sunflower Seeds
- Asparagus Tomato Salad – This luxurious asparagus tomato salad was enjoyed so much the first time I created the recipe so I never stopped serving it.
- Cool Summer Salad For Dinner – A summer salad is just what is best for a hot day. Who feels like cooking dinner on a hot summer day? Not me! Let’s keep cool!
- Healthy Carrot Salad with Sunflower Seeds – This carrot salad with black currants and sunflower seeds is especially unique and so tasty. Also, it is filling too.
- Avocado Vegetable Dip – Much fresher and better than the grocery store dips.
- Creamy Butter Bean Dip – This butter bean dip is a very tasty, healthy and vegan. The creamy texture makes it good for as a dip. Also, very easy to make.
- Great Vegan Yogurt Dip – This yogurt dip is nutritious with no additives that you get in store bought dips. Also, it is simple and easy to make.
Now for Some Healthy Picnic Drinks
Best not bring soft drinks or cartons of juice as they are not healthy. Often people think that drinking juice out of a carton or jar that has not had added sugar is a good idea but it isn’t. Well, it is better than drinking a soft drink or beer but really it is not so healthy. Also, it has usually been brought to a high temperature to preserve it. When that is done then many of the nutrients have been destroyed. Fresh is best.
Sparkling Cucumber Lemon Water – This is a wonderful, refreshing summer drink for hot days.
Wild Blueberry Juice Is Good For You and Easy To Make – This wild blueberry juice is very refreshing using frozen wild blueberries, stevia, and water and of course, it’s delicious. So you can easily make this juice in less than 5 minutes. How simple is that?
Lemon Water (AKA Sugar-free Lemon Aid) – Drinking lemon water is great for the whole body. Did you know that the most alkaline-forming food you can eat is a lemon? Here is a simple way to get some quick alkalizing going into your body with this refreshing drink.
Pomegranate Juice Made in a Blender– I love pomegranate juice and decided to make it in a blender rather than a juicer for two reasons. This is because it is easier but mostly because when the seeds are totally broken down they add bitterness to the juice. This is avoided when you do it in a blender. You will see how that works when you follow the recipe.
Sweet Grape Juice Freshly Made in a Blender – Grape juice can easily be made at home in a blender. Try this fresh version and you’ll never go back to drinking grape juice bought in a jar from the supermarket.
2. Stay Healthy
Food poisoning is very common when going on picnics. There is no reason to suffer if you take a few simple precautions. Much food safety is related to meat so if you eliminate meat as I do, then there is one less thing to think about.
- Wash your hands, before preparing food and right on site. Set up a water container with a spigot and soap to wash hands. As a very last resort, waterless hand sanitizers or disposable hand wipes can be used. I always carry a sanitizer made with safe natural ingredients so I don’t pollute myself and the environment with chemicals.
- Wash watermelons skins – Skins of thick skin fruits and vegetables transport bacteria from all over the world. Scrub them well before cutting so as not to transfer bacteria to the inside of the fruit or vegetable.
- Keep food cold – Potato and pasta salads should be kept cold until serving. Mayonnaise is not the main problem with these salads. Potatoes, eggs, and pasta can produce harmful bacteria; chill them before combining to make the salad. Keep the salads and all fresh foods cold till serving and after serving
3. Avoid Getting Stung: (naturally)
Deet, the main ingredient in most mosquito repellents, has had controversy about its potential harm to your health at suggested doses, BUT NO ONE would try to argue that it is GOOD for your health.
Why are we using valuable earth resources to manufacture and transport something that in the long run is questionable for individual health and negative to the environment? Let’s have a healthy picnic.
Citronella has been the most common alternative to deet formulas. This doesn’t last as long but maybe more than adequate for a picnic.
Essential oils have also been used as repellents. These generally are even less effective on the mosquito or fly side but actually are good for your health.
I just found a good one I like called Citronella Outdoor Lotion that has citronella, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil in it.
What is your favorite repellent?
4. Protect Yourself From the Sun (naturally)
Many people are concerned that popular sunscreens have additives which when absorbed through the skin, have long term health consequences.
I don’t’ use creams very much myself. Native cultures who deal with a LOT of sun in the desert protect their skin, they don’t expose it in muscle shirts and bikinis. I follow their example and wear a hat or long sleeves.
I’m interested though, in What sunscreens have YOU found that work.
5. Stay Green & Clean up!
Being green means thinking about everyone long term, not just yourself. Take your garbage home or throw it in the garbage and recycle bins to prevent attracting yellow jackets, rodents, or other wildlife. Keep our nature beautiful. A healthy picnic is good for our environment too.
If you used a grill then clean if before you leave and place trash in a covered bin so the animals and bugs don’t get in.
6. Always Have a Backup Plan
Some parks have covered buildings with picnic tables. We have sometimes had to picnic from an open doored car. If the worst happens even a picnic indoors is still fun.
7. Keep it simple … and Casual
It does not take much to have a great picnic. A basket, a blanket and a loaf of bread is traditional. Sometimes I just throw a few snack items into a bag and go for a walk and picnic when the time comes. Picnics need to stay in the laid-back category.
Imitate the French. They know how to have fun! The word picnic comes from the French word piquenique. Originally at these piqueniques, everyone would bring food to the event in a way similar to what we call potlucks today, and they were indoors. After the French Revolution, royal parks were opened to the public and ‘picnicking’ became a popular activity.
How My Love Of Picnics Began
When I was a child, my father would come home from work singing “We’re going on a picnic, picnic…..we’re going on a picnic!”
At that point we would all start getting ready to go; within half an hour we all piled into the back of our pick up truck and off we went to some secluded wild spot near Edmonton where there were no other people just our family. We would gather twigs and wood; our father would build a fire. After it was going; potatoes and onions were put straight into the fire without foil as we did not use it in those days.
Yes, they came out black so we would cut into them and eat what was in the middle with butter and it was so yummy.
Have you been on a healthy picnic lately? What do you put in your picnic basket?