Simple, Healthy Eats to Pack for Your Next Picnic

Do you ever feel extremely sluggish after family picnics? Too much potato salad, baked beans, and sugary soda can drain your energy. However, there’s no reason you can’t make some healthy food swaps and still enjoy those family outings!

Since picnic season is in full swing, we found some healthy alternatives to some of the traditional summer foods you love. Make these recipes for your next family picnic:

Main Dish

Lightened Chicken Salad

Recipe adapted from POPSUGAR

Serves 6

  • Two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup celery diced
  • 1/3 cup apple diced
  • 1/3 cup grapes halved
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Place the chicken in a large bowl. Mix in Greek yogurt until all the chicken is covered. Add celery, apple, grapes, and almonds to the bowl and mix. Store mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. You can also enjoy the chicken salad by itself, as a lettuce or in a whole grain wrap. Remember to have a small cooler when transporting this meal to your picnic destination.

Nutritional information per serving: 139 calories, 4.4 g fat, 1.2g saturated fat, 75mg sodium, 3.9g carbohydrates, 19.8g protein

Sides

Baked and Crispy Sweet Potato Chips

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Serves 3

  • 2 organic sweet potatoes
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and put the oven rack in the center. Rinse your sweet potatoes and slice them as thinly as possible. This will help them crisp. Toss the potato thins in the olive oil to lightly coat, then add a dash of salt to each potato. Place potatoes on the baking sheet evenly spaced out. Bake for about 2 hours, flipping chips halfway through. Remove the chips and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving. These chips are easily transported in a sandwich bag or bowl.

Nutritional information per serving: 198 calories, 9.5g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrates, 9 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 1.5 g protein

If chips aren’t your favorite, try some fresh fruits or vegetables. Wash your favorite vegetables off and serve them with a side of hummus for an extra healthy kick. If you’re looking for something a little more filling, try a healthy version of a traditional picnic dish, coleslaw.

Drinks

Fruit-Infused Strawberry and Cucumber Water

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

  • 2 quarts of distilled water
  • 8 ounces of strawberries
  • ½ cucumber

Slice strawberries and cucumbers and place in a pitcher or large mason jar. Muddle the strawberries and cucumbers together and then add ice. Pour distilled water in the pitcher or large mason jar. Use sparkling water for an extra boost. The infused water can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

What are your favorite healthy picnic foods? Share your suggestions in the comments.

Photo Credit: Wicker Paradise

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