Weight Loss Wednesday: Picnics Done Healthy

Believe it or not, summer is here- bringing with it longer warmer days and plenty of outdoor dining opportunities. Whether you’re planning a backyard cookout, or a picnic in the park, make healthy choices and fuel your family with summertime meals that are both nutritious and fun.

Lean Picnic Eats

Just because you’re having a picnic doesn’t mean you’re limited to macaroni salad, cheap hotdogs and store-bought cupcakes. There are plenty of healthy options. Good choices are fresh vegetables and hummus, fruit salad or skewers, bean salads, and trail mix! Here are some additional ideas to inspire your picnic basket or cookout spread:

·       Make vegetable kabobs with raw or lightly grilled cubed zucchini and summer squash, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Pair with heat-friendly dips such as salsa, pesto, hummus, or baba ganoush (pureed eggplant).

·       Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas make a flavorful high-fiber protein-packed snack.

·       Going meatless? Don’t despair. There are several plant proteins that are picnic friendly and hold up well in the heat, such as beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, or tempeh. These can be mixed into salads, grain dishes, and casseroles

A Healthier Grill

Hot dogs, and processed sausages are natural choices for grill food but are often lacking in nutrients. They are linked with an increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. To reduce your risk, try:

·       Grilled fish, or lean poultry trimmed of any visible fat, veggie burgers, and a range of veggies. Need it fast? Reduce your grill time by cutting poultry or meat into small chunks for kebobs or wrapping the meat in foil.

More Inspiration

 Try the recipes below for more healthy, picnic- appropriate eats!

Grilled Dijon Chicken

Chopped Salad With Lemon- Chipotle Dressing

  Healthier Potato Salad

Paleo Lavender Shortbread Cookies