The first day of summer, June 21ST, is right around the corner! It’s time to clean off the backyard decks and head outside for some warm outdoor fun. And what better way to celebrate summer than with a picnic!?
Luckily, today is International Picnic Dayand the perfect time to start the summer festivities!
Did you know that picnics date back to the Victorian Era? They were used as opportunities for communities to socialize, as well as enjoy the outdoors and eat elaborate meals. Typically, these feasts included meats, cheeses, sandwiches, fruit and pies. Nowadays, picnics are a laidback social gathering in which everyone relaxes on a blanket or at a table. Instead of fancy meals, simple foods like salads, sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of snacks and finger foods are enjoyed.
4 Perfect Picnic Picks
There is an infinite amount of ways to make International Picnic Day a fun, healthful event the whole family can enjoy. Picnic foods can be as diverse as you want them to be, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Colorful garden salad– Prepare your salad the night before your picnic so that the morning of is a breeze! Keep the dressing separate so your lettuce and toppings stay fresh and crispy. Try to add as many colorful fruits and veggies as you can to make a picnic salad that’s as fun to eat as it is delicious. Think of peppers, carrots, strawberries, grapes and mandarin oranges, or whatever fruit and veggie you enjoy the most!
- Flavored water– Ditch the boring beverages and try making your own infused water. This can be done with anything ranging from lemon and cucumber, to mint, to even freshly cut fruit! Mix and match your favorites to ensure everyone stays hydrated and satiated.
- Crisps with dip– Swap store bought dips and chips for your own veggie chips and homemade dip! You can simply replace your mayo/sour cream-based dip for a Greek yogurt alternative. To make your own chips, thinly slice sweet potatoes, potatoes, zucchini or yellow squash, season with olive oil and pepper and bake/broil in the oven! You can also mix some kale in there!
- Finger foods– Cut up some fruit and veggies the night before to have handy snacks ready to go the next day. Broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower are the perfect vegetables and berries, grapes, watermelon, oranges and apples are the perfect fruit for a picnic! You can also cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread into quarters for an easy-to-grab option!
Picnics are great for sharing a meal with family and friends, but they can also be the perfect time to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are a Frisbee fan, baseball enthusiast, or soccer fanatic, there are many ways to energize your picnic. Depending on how many attendees you have, you can make teams and have a friendly competition!
Be sure that you are enjoying your picnic safely. Keep these simple tips in mind.
- Keep cold foods chilled with a small, portable cooler.
- Cook any hot foods to their appropriate temperatures. Most picnic sites provide grills, however you may need to bring your own in order to prepare your meals.
- Serve foods shortly after removing from refrigeration or after they are cooked.
- Store leftovers properly so that they can be safely enjoyed at a later time.
International Picnic Day, and the rest of the summer, is the perfect time to enjoy picnics with friends and family. Be sure to use these tips to ensure your summer is safe and enjoyable for everyone!
Your turn to take action:How will you celebrate International Picnic Day? Let me know in the comments below!