July is National Picnic Month. Use this as an excuse to have a socially distant gathering with friends or family. You can head to a backyard, rooftop, or park. According to the CDC, gathering outside seems to be safer than indoors.
For added safety:
- Have each family bring a blanket and use that as their hangout area
- Ask people to bring their own food and avoid sharing
- Wear masks when within 6ft of others
- Wash your hands often and bring hand sanitizer with you
No matter what your picnic looks like, you’ll need some nutritious snacks to bring with you. These tips will help you stay energized on long summer days.
- Fruits & Veggies–Pre-cut some fruits and veggies for easy, healthy snacks. They are naturally a good source of fiber. Try pairing them with hummus, peanut butter, or yogurt dip for additional protein.
- Whole Grain Crackers or Chips – Look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient. Try pairing them with low/non-fat cheese, guacamole, or salsa to boost nutrition.
- Granola bars– Granola bars are an easy and shelf-stable item to have outside. Look for bars that are high fiber (10% or more Daily Value), high protein (10% or more Daily Value), and lower in added sugar (6g or less).
- Low/non-fat Cottage Cheese & Yogurt– These are great sources of protein and calcium. Choose products lower in added sugar and sodium. Add granola or fruit for more flavor. Be sure to keep these items cool.
- Sandwiches—Make sandwiches ahead of time and package them individually. Make sure sandwiches are kept cool.
- Hydration – Don’t forget about beverages! Make sure you have plenty of water for everyone. You can freeze some of the water bottles ahead of time to have them serve double duty– as ice and later as a drink.
Written by Rachel Caty, MPH, RDN, LDN