Tips to enjoy a healthy picnic season

Packing a picnic and heading down to the beach or park is a much-loved tradition for many of us. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the warm weather, spend time with family and friends and savour the taste of good food.

Fish and chips may be the iconic outdoor Kiwi meal; however there are plenty of healthier ways to dine alfresco (‘in the fresh air’). Here are some simple tips to kick-start your picnic season. 

  1. Are you feeding a couple or a crowd? When everyone brings a plate, social gatherings can quickly turn into a banquet. Consequently, it becomes far too easy to overindulge. Take some time to estimate the amount of food you will need and think about quality rather than quantity.
  2. Plan what’s going into your basket; this is a great way to get the kids involved. Include items on the menu that will satisfy everyone like homemade frittata or wholegrain filled rolls. They’re nutritious yet easy to pick up and eat with your fingers.
  3. Bring colour to your picnic table with a selection of seasonal salads, these can be premade and stored in containers. Over the next few months you will find a plentiful supply of avocados, asparagus, beans, berries, melon, kiwifruit and citrus fruit. Seasonal fruit and vegetables offer a wide range of health benefits and help keep the cost down.
  4. The Christmas period can be an expensive time of year. Another way to remain within budget is to make use of leftovers. Rather than making the supermarket your first stop, check to see what’s in your fridge or pantry.
  5. Many of us like to finish a picnic with something sweet so why not put a healthy spin on your treats. Try fresh fruit kebabs or these easy overnight bran muffins (page 12 of our new Tick Recipe Guide).
  6. When embracing the warm outdoors, it’s important to keep hydrated. Ensure you have plenty of water for everyone. Chill water bottles in the fridge or freezer the night before to help keep them cold throughout the day. Add sliced lemon or orange to your water for a healthier alternative to juice.
  7. It’s also important to take extra care when preparing, cooking and storing food in the warmer months. Ensure equipment and hands are clean before eating and use chilly bags or pads to help keep things cold.
  8. Don’t forget activities. Pack a ball, Frisbee, your togs or walking shoes to work up an appetite. A wholesome meal combined with physical exercise makes a healthy, affordable family outing. Relax, share stories and enjoy the company of those around you.

If you’re feeling inspired after reading this, you will love our new Tick Recipe Guide, Picnic Perfect. It offers a collection of nourishing recipes for your next outdoor adventure, along with simple tips for safe summer dining. Whether you’re heading out on the boat or down to the park, these tasty, transportable nibbles make perfect additions to any basket.