Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Healthy Picnic Tips

This picnic season, as you enjoy eating in the great outdoors, remember these simple tips.
  1. Store food and drinks in clean insulated coolers packed with ice or freezer packs and keep in the shade. 
  2. Don’t let foods sit out for more than two hours. In temperatures above 90 degrees F., perishable food shouldn’t sit out for more than one hour. 
  3. Store raw meat separately from salad, fruits, beverages and other foods. Don’t reuse platters or utensils that held raw meat, poultry or seafood without thoroughly washing first. 
  4. Wash all fresh produce before packing.
  5. Use wet wipes and hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available, and wash hands before and after handling food.

Some easy-to-pack items include:
  1. Hummus with veggies and whole grain crackers
  2. Grapes, cheese and whole grain bread or crackers
  3. Sandwiches and wraps with lean protein such as chicken, turkey and tuna with veggies, such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and onion
  4. Fruit 
  5. Individually-wrapped string cheese
  6. Veggies and salads, such as cucumber and three-bean, as well as quinoa, whole grain pasta, and red potato
  7. Salads dressed with flavorful vinegars, such as balsamic, and olive oil instead of mayonnaise. 
  8. Trail mixes with your favorite cereals, dried fruit and nuts
  9. Water – pack plenty for staying hydrated.
  10. Create a spritzer bar with seltzer water and a variety of cut fruit and vegetables such as lemons, limes, oranges and cucumbers. 
  11. Encourage kids to play with their food by packing easy to assemble salad ingredients such as this “lady bug” Caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, black olives and balsamic vinegar glaze. I made these with my friend's 6-year-old son. 
Or for adults, another way to serve this simple yet elegant salad is to skewer small mozzarella balls with basil and cherry tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic glaze. 
For more nutrition information or to find out about WMHS nutrition programs, contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian at or 240-964-8416.