The Perfect Backyard Picnic Checklist
| 3 min read
Looking for a fun, low-pressure way to spend time together as a family?
If so, planning a close-to-home picnic could be the way to go. Picnics are a great way to switch up routine and the best part? You don’t have to go far to have one. The following is a short checklist to help you prepare for the perfect backyard picnic.
1. Pick Your Favorite Location
Do you like shade? Find a cozy spot under a tree or set up an umbrella. Prefer the sun? Pick a sunny spot and don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.
Pro Tip: Find an area in your backyard that is flat, this will keep food and drinks from falling over.
2. Choose Foods that Are Fairly Easy to Make
It can be tricky to find foods that are easy to throw together and pack up to bring outdoors.
- Sandwiches Galore – This is always a quick and easy option for a picnic. Sandwiches can include, but are not limited to peanut butter and jelly, BLC or deli meat and cheese.
- Just Dip It – A few options may include chips and salsa, chips and guacamole, hummus and veggies, Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip and veggies or pretzels and cheese.
- Don’t Forget Your Fruits and Veggies – Bring berries, bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, cut up melons, celery, green peppers and more. Try these fruit and veggie filled recipes: Family Fruit Salad, Rainbow Fruit Pizza, Rainbow Veggie Pizza, or Watermelon, Jicama and Cucumber Salad.
- For other healthy picnic ideas check out this post.
3. Food Preparation Safety Tips
- Cleanliness check – If you plan on grilling , be sure to clean the grill before use. If you plan on preparing your food at your picnic site, clean the space you’re working in first. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands before and after preparing food and before eating.
- The temperature danger zone – If the temperature of your food is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it is considered to be in the temperature danger zone. Hot foods after being cooked are considered safe if they stay above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep food hot using hot pads or slow cookers for a larger family picnic.
- Pack a cooler with bags of ice or frozen water bottles to keep things chilled.
- Safe meat temperatures – Pack a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the food you are cooking.
4. Don’t Forget These Essentials
- Sunscreen – SPF 15 blocks out about 93% of UV-B rays, where-as SPF 30 is more effective and blocks about 97% of UV-B rays.
- Sunglasses – Protect your eyes by finding sunglasses that block out UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Hat – A wide brim hat will better protect your head, neck, ears, and face from the beaming sunlight.
- Outdoor Blanket – The location you choose for your picnic could be grassy, sandy, wet, or potentially all dirt, so go prepared with a blanket to sit on.
- Utensils – Don’t forget to bring plates, silverware, cups and napkins.
- Bug Spray – Depending where you plan on eating your picnic, bug spray can help keep the mosquitoes away.
- Toys and games – Your kids may get bored sitting still during your picnic, so bring out a board game, an active game, a book, or other toys to keep them entertained.
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Photo credit: recep-bg