By: Anahi Reyes, Dietetic Intern, Baptist Health System
Reviewed by: Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD
Edited by Andi Champion, CHEF
Spring has sprung! Now that the weather in Texas is finally warming up, why not plan a picnic? Enjoying the great outdoors with your family can help you to destress and bond. If your family has been cautious about eating in restaurants, it can also be a fun way to mix things up and get your children excited about eating outside of the house.
Here are some tips on how to prepare the perfect picnic getaway.
Make a list! Don’t forget to take a blanket and the food you will eat. Preparing food at home will be easier than making it once you’re at your picnic spot. Once it’s ready, make sure to store it properly to limit your family’s exposure to foodborne illnesses.
- Avoid foods that must be reheated.
- Take plates for the food or make individual serving sizes in mason jars for each person.
- Food that is meant to be refrigerated should be stored and packed with an ice pack for food safety (40℉ or below).
- If perishable foods are exposed to hot temperatures, make sure to refrigerate them within 1 hour.1
Invite all of those that are in the same household. Limit contact with those that don’t live with you. A picnic is a great way to create a stronger bond and get to know those that live with you better. Since you’ll be away from the television, technology, and daily chores you’ll be able to chat and catch up.
Choose a location.
Chose where you would like to have your picnic and make sure to find out if there are any specific rules or hours of operation ahead of time.
- Look for a shaded area.
- Find an area that is at least 6 feet away from others.
- Maintaining social distancing is important since you will be enjoying your meal without your mask on.
Check park rules here:
This is the perfect time to try new recipes! Trying something new during a different setting can help make the experience fun and easy. How many times have you told your children “Eat your vegetables” while sitting at the dinner table? Bringing vegetables or trying a new recipe with vegetables during a picnic can encourage a new opportunity for food testing. Below are some recipes that would be amazing for an ideal picnic!
- Colorful Black Bean Salsa
Include masks and hand sanitizer in your picnic basket. Remember to disinfect your hands.
Hands should be disinfected:
- Any time before eating.
- After you touch pets.
- After you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
We all know that Texas weather can be unpredictable. Try to check the local weather the night before your picnic and the morning of, to be prepared for any changes. If it will be too sunny or hot, remember to take plenty of water and sunscreen.