Faith Communities Alive!


FCA Logo

| Share

Pick Up Some Picnic Tips

Picnic Table
Picnic Table
Enjoying food in the great outdoors is a fun part of summer and makes memories for family and friends. Make picnics healthful and safe with these tips.
  • Go Green:Add some greens and other fruits and veggies to your picnic menu.
    • Try packing fresh-cut vegetables with a low-fat dip or a tossed salad in a cooler filled with ice. Vegetables contain fiber to fill you while providing you with many more nutrients than chips or crackers.
    • Make fruit kabobs. Check out the fun ideas on the back of the newsletter.
  • Go Lean:Traditional picnic foods, including potato salad and cookies, tend to be higher in calories than some other options.
    • To trim calories, choose extra-lean meat, turkey or chicken to fill your sandwich.
    • For mixed salads and sandwich condiments, look for reduced-fat versions of your favorite mayonnaise, dressings or sauces.
    • If you want to trim calories and add nutrition to your recipes, see “Recipe Makeovers” available from the NDSU Extension Service (
  • Go Whole:When picnicking, you might be tempted to turn to prepackaged, convenience foods. Choosing “whole” foods can save calories and provide more nutrients.
    • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat milk and yogurts. Add some whole-grain foods to your menu, too.
  • Go Safe: Remember to follow proper food safety practices when preparing for a picnic.
    • Find out if your picnic destination has a source of safe drinking water. If not, bring water or moist towelettes for cleaning hands and surfaces.
    • Be sure that raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely to prevent their juices from cross-contaminating other foods and beverage containers.
    • Keep your food out of the temperature danger zone (40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Pack the cooler just before leaving home. Keep the cooler in an air-conditioned car and in the shade at the picnic site.
  • Go Clean: Always clean your picnic spot and extinguish camp fires carefully.

Reprinted from FoodWi$e newsletter by Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service,

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.