Planning the Perfect Picnic



It’s that time of the year for gathering with your friends and family for a picnic! Picnics are often associated with eating unhealthy foods and just sitting around relaxing. Although there is nothing wrong with that, a picnic can also be a great way to eat healthy without feeling deprived, as well as with getting some great exercise while having fun playing outdoor games. Here are some of my ideas for a really fun time with your family and friends along with a few simple picnic friendly foods.

‘Picnic friendly foods’ are foods that are not packed with mayonnaise and other ingredients that might spoil quickly if not kept cool. ‘Picnic friendly foods’ are also foods that you can eat and taste delicious when eaten cold or room temperature.
This easy chicken drumstick recipe can be made a few days ahead, it packs really easily, and can be eaten with just one hand. Kids love drumsticks! It’s also perfect for portion control.

Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 TBS Smoked Paprika
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 TBS ground coriander
  • 1 TBS ground garlic
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 1 TBS or less of black pepper
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper to taste
  • You can also add curry powder (optional)!


  • Directions

    1. Season the drumsticks with salt.
    2. Mix the rest of the spices in a bowl and liberally sprinkle it all over the chicken making sure you rub it into the skin.
    3. Place on a sheet pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 450 for about 25-35 minutes until the reach an internal temp of 180 degrees.
    4. Serve immediately or set aside and let cool before packing them in a container.


    Fruit Skewers

    Fruit skewers are easy to eat and everyone loves them!

    Just put fruit chunks such as grapes, melon, pineapple, and strawberries into a bowl and drizzle with a balsamic glaze and some fresh chopped mint. Stir and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Skewer the fruit onto each skewer starting and ending with a grape (they are the most stable and will keep the fruit from slipping) You can also add chunks of feta or blue cheese in between for an extra delicious treat! Serve cold or at room temp.

    Roasted Veggie Sandwich

    My Italian pressed roasted veggie sandwich is really delicious to make ahead too.

    Ingredients

  • Veggies for Grilling: eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • A crusty loaf of wholegrain bread
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Prosciutto
  • Directions

    1. Slice zucchini and eggplant lengthwise.
    2. Seed and slice colorful bell peppers in large slices.
    3. Place all the veggies into a bowl or a platter and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette or any kind of Italian dressing and toss to coat evenly.
    4. Grill them on medium for a few minutes each side until tender and slightly charred.
    5. Set aside.

    6. Get a really crusty loaf of whole grain bread and slice it in half lengthwise.
    7. Hollow the bread out and spread some basil pesto on one side and a thin layer of tomato paste on the other.
    8. Layer one half with prosciutto, grilled veggies, and mozzarella cheese.
    9. Top it with the other half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
    10. Press the sandwich between two plates and place a heavy skillet on top.
    11. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Unwrap the sandwich and slice if desired.
    12. Serve right away or rewrap each portion before packing into your cooler.

    Picnic Tips

    Packing a cooler using frozen water bottles is a great idea to keep everything cold without taking up extra space with ice packs. Always pack some fresh water and drink those first to give the frozen bottles time to defrost by the time you eat your food.

    Picnic Games

    Here are some family friendly games to play and really work up a good sweat while you are having fun:

    Tug O’ War

    All you need is a long rope! Separate everyone into two groups and each group takes a side of the rope lining up behind one another. Draw a line in the dirt, sand, or use a stick. Have each group stand on each side of the line and as a team try to tug the other team over the line!

    Potato Sack Races

    If you can’t get burlap sacks, you can use king size pillow cases…just know that they will get really dirty!

    Have each person step into a sack while holding it up with their hands. Then just hop to the finish line and whoever gets there first is the winner!

    Scavenger Hunts

    Give each person a list of items to find. For example, if you are at the beach the list will include things that you can find on the beach such as:

    1) a white shell
    2) a small round stone
    3) a piece of driftwood, etc.

    Who ever finds the items on the list first wins the prize!

    Badminton (or any small racket game)

    You will need badminton rackets and a birdie or gamecock. If you don’t have a net no worries! No net is required to play! It’s fun just hitting the birdie to each other without letting it hit the ground.

    Twister

    Bring your twister game and use it outside!! So much fun!

    The list of outdoor games is endless. It’s a really fun way for everyone to exercise without feeling like you are! Keep your picnic healthy and fun and you won’t be regretting it when you are back home!

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