Nutrition Articles

Last Fling Summer Picnics
What better way to enjoy the last lazy days of summer than picnicking in the great outdoors?
To make your picnic a breeze, check out our list of essential supplies plus ideas to make your season finale a special occasion.

Prepare to Picnic!
Don't let missing supplies hamper your picnic fun! This is a great time to snap up bargains at end-of-season sales.
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Clean, dry cooler
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Frozen cold packs to keep food chilled
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Tablecloth
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Napkins
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Set of plastic or inexpensive silverware
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Paper or plastic plates (look for eco-friendly, biodegradable options)
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Serving utensils, spatula, tongs
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Small cutting board and knife
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Plastic cups and bottle opener
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Roll of paper towels or cloth kitchen towels
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Hand sanitizer
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Pitcher
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Food storage bags
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Storage containers for transporting food
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First aid kit
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Matches
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Citronella candles
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Toys such as Frisbee, football and paddle ball
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Portable grill, charcoal and lighter fluid

Pick and Pack a Special Picnic
Try the "theme" picnic ideas and menus below—they feature 100% summer fun. And when you pack your picnic, follow steps to keep foods safe such as keeping cold foods well-chilled and hot foods piping hot.

Take a hike picnic:
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Fresh fruit (choose fruits like grapes or cherries or tote cut-up fruit in a plastic container).
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Ready-to-eat tuna salad kit (find it next to our canned tuna).
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Whole-grain crackers.
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Baby carrots.
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Trail mix (combine nuts, raisins, whole-grain cereal and a few chocolate chips).
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Water—and lots of it.
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Low-fat granola or energy bars to snack on during your hike.

Have a ball at the beach picnic:
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Sandwich wraps. PBJ&B for kids: Spread chunky peanut butter and strawberry jam on whole-grain flatbread; top with thin banana slices; roll and wrap. Chicken Caesar for adults: Toss Romaine lettuce with light Caesar dressing and shredded Parmesan cheese; place salad mixture on whole-grain flatbread; add slices of grilled chicken; roll and wrap.
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Fresh fruit kabobs. Thread fresh fruit chunks on wooden skewers.
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Three-bean salad. Drain and rinse one can each of kidney, cannellini and garbanzo beans. Add to bowl, along with finely chopped red bell pepper, onion, celery and cilantro; toss with light vinaigrette dressing.
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Mini oatmeal raisin cookies.
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Minted iced tea or lemonade.
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Frisbee and beach umbrella.

Go fly a kite picnic:
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Curried chicken salad. Mix cooked, shredded chicken with low-fat mayo, curry powder, diced celery and grape halves. Serve with whole-grain bread sticks.
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Hummus and baby carrots, red bell pepper slices and snow peas for dipping.
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Couscous salad. Mix cooked whole-wheat couscous, diced bell pepper, onion and carrots, and minced mint and parsley with a light lemony dressing.
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Brownies (if homemade, substitute applesauce for half the oil in the recipe).
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Kites.

See the sunrise picnic:
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Low-fat bran or whole-grain berry muffins.
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Fresh fruit salad.
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A thermos of hot coffee.
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Low-fat milk and sugar packets for the coffee (plus coffee mugs).
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Morning paper.

Enjoy a romantic concert in the park picnic:
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Antipasto platter. A variety of cheeses, olives and marinated and grilled vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini.
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Crusty loaf of whole-grain bread.
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A bottle of your favorite sparkling beverage.
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Strawberries.
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Dark chocolate.
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Candle and matches.

Play some sports picnic:
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Grill hamburgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers, reduced-fat hot dogs or chicken breasts and serve on toasted whole-grain buns. Offer toppings like lettuce leaves, ripe tomato slices, sliced raw onion rings, and a variety of relishes, mustards, reduced-fat mayo and ketchup.
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Baked tortilla chips with pineapple salsa.
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Broccoslaw tossed with tangy light poppy seed dressing.
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Blueberry cobbler.