7 Green Tips for a Great Healthy Picnic

Picnics are my favourite way to spend a sunny summer day with good friends or family, especially when it is a spontaneous!

It can be in a park, by the lake, sea or riverside, or even in a backyard.

It is more than just fun!  Our bodies and whole beings are nourished from the earth, the sky, and the clean air.

Here are 7 tips to make it really work

1.  Start with great healthy recipes:

Here are my favourites:

  • Healthy Potato Salad:  For some, a picnic just has to have potato salad.  Here is a vegan healthy one.  Potato Salad
  • Avocado Vegetable Dip:  Much fresher and and better than the procery store dips:  Avocado Vegetable Salad

2.  Don’t Get Sick:

People often get food poisoning when they go 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 like I do then there is one less thing to think about.

  • Wash your hands, before preparing food and right on site. You can set up a water container with a spigot and soap to wash with 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 those filthy watermelons skins.
    watermelon healthy picnicThe skins of thick skin firm 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 http://www.dressings-sauces.org/Mayonnaise_Dressings.html 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.  Don’t Get Stung: (naturally)

It might be debatable whether Deet, the main ingredient in most mosquito repellents, is harmful to your health at suggested dosages BUT NO ONE would try to argue that it is GOOD for your health.

Why then should we be using valuable earth resources to manufacture and transport something that in the long run is questionable for individual health and negative to the environment?

The most common alternative to deet formulas are those with citronella.  This doesn’t last as long but may be more than adequate for a picnic.

Many people use essential oils as repellents. These generally are even less effective on the mosquito or fly side but actually 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.   Don’t Get Burnt (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 like in the desert are not silly enough  to run around in muscle shirts and bikinis.  I follow their example  and wear a hat or long sleeves.
I’m interested though, in what What sunscreens have YOU found that work.

5. Green Clean up!

Acting green means thinking about everyone long term, not just yourself. Take your rubbish home or throw it in covered garbage and recycle bins to prevent attracting yellow jackets, rodents, or other wildlife. Keep our nature beautiful.

If you used a grill to grill your vegetables then clean if before you leave and place trash in a covered bin so the animals and bugs don’t get in..

6. Have a Backup Plan:healthy picnic

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.

You don’t need much for a great picnic. A basket, a  blanket and a loaf of bread is traditional.   Sometimes I just throw a few snacky things into a bag and go for a walk and picnic when the time comes. Picnics need to stay in the laid-back category.

Pretend you are 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’ a popular activity.

My Own Experiences  Of Picnics:

I remember my father coming home from work and 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 any picnics lately? What do you put in your picnic basket?

Copyright ©Diana Herrington  You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page www.RealFoodforLife.com or the direct link to this po

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4 thoughts on “7 Green Tips for a Great Healthy Picnic”

  1. I recently went on a picnic with my best friend. We made some salads and hiked up a hill in a nature preserve. At the top of this hill was a great view, and a clearing to rest in. The food tasted GREAT. Something about being out of doors makes everything more savory!

  2. Great tips Diana. As usual you know how to keep it simple and “smart”.
    Eating smart can solve most aches and pains. You and I both know the benefits of eating healthy. We both have been down the “sick” path in our lives.
    Thanks for being here for all of us.
    Pierre & Pierrette Trudel

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