Pack a Healthful Picnic

by Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Pack a Healthful Picnic

What's for lunch or dinner? Why not pack a picnic cooler ahead of time for that family outing? Here are some tips to get you ready:

  • Keep clean. Bring hand wipes or sanitizer, a clean tablecloth, and separate utensils for preparing and for eating.
  • Keep cold food cold. If perishable (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, mayonnaise), keep your food in a chilled cooler. Don't store your cooler in a hot car.
  • Keep bug free: Put food in well-sealed containers.

This summer, remember to make your picnic simple, safe and savory:

  • Go vegetarian: a hearty salad (beans, cooked rice or pasta, and chopped vegetables, tossed with an herb vinaigrette), peaches or mangoes, and breadsticks.
  • Keep it easy: several cheeses, hearty whole-grain bread, grapes and berries, zucchini sticks, and Kalamata olives.
  • Remember drinks: juice or water, perhaps frozen ahead to stay cold as they melt.
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About the author:

Roberta L Duyff MS RDN FAND

Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Author of "Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Fourth Edition" and "365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association" (both published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey).




  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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