Healthy Picnic Ideas

September 26, 2016

Summer is a great time for loading up your car, heading out to the countryside or to the beach, and enjoying a picnic. Sunshine, fresh air, food, family, friends – what’s not to love! Make your picnic as healthy as you can with these handy food and activity tips…


1. Have a cookout

Cooking on an open fire or barbeque is a great way to prepare a healthy meal during a picnic. Simply make like a caveman and get the fire started and then toss on some lean steaks, chicken breasts, or fish. Serve with lots of healthy salad or cook some veggies on the fire too. Much healthier than sandwiches and potato chips.

2. Drink lots of water

Being out in the hot sun can quickly lead to dehydration. Mild dehydration is no problem but if it’s really hot or you are playing sports or games, it can soon become dangerous.

Make sure everyone drinks lots of water to avoid dehydration and keep your water in a cooler as no one enjoys drinking water when it’s tepid. Consider freezing plastic bottles full of water the day before your picnic and then bringing them with you in a cooler so that your water supply remains cold and refreshing all day long.

3. Have a watermelon for dessert

A large, fresh watermelon is the perfect picnic dessert. Refreshing, hydrating, but messy to eat, they aren’t always the best dinner table food but, in the great outdoors, that isn’t a problem.

Use a sharp knife and carefully slice your watermelon up when you are ready to eat it. Because you hold the skin and do not touch the flesh with your hands, it doesn’t matter if you do not have running water available for hand washing. Don’t forget the napkins for wiping messy hands and faces!


1. Play team sports or games

While you might be tempted to laze around in the sun, your picnic will be a lot more fun and healthier if you get up and do some activity. Once way to do this is to play some team sports.

Boys versus girls, kids versus adults, family versus family – it doesn’t matter.  Just pick a sport and play win! Good sports to play include:

  • Baseball/softball
  • Flag football
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Short tennis
  • Badminton
  • Soccer
  • Running races and relays

If sports aren’t your thing, you could also play some games. Good choices include three-legged races, egg and spoon races, human wheelbarrow races, hide and go seek, capture the flag, tag, and any other playground favorites.

2. Have a treasure hunt

Treasure hunts are a great way to get people up and walking or running. Devise a series of clues that will take participants around the picnic area via several waypoints. Each waypoint should take them to the next. You could hide small treats or gifts at each waypoint or just make it a race around the treasure hunt course. If small children are going to take part, make sure that are paired up with adults so no one gets lost.

3. Play Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality video game where you view your surroundings through your tablet or smart phone to reveal mythical creatures called Pokémon. You then chase, catch, and collect the Pokémon – the more you collect the higher your score.

Kids of all ages love this game and it’s a great way to inject some walking or running into your picnic. Adults might be slightly baffled by the whole idea of chasing mythical animals but that’s okay, just team granny up with a couple of children and let them show her the ropes!

There are usually around ten Pokémon to be found per mile of walking or running so an hour of Pokémon Go will make sure that all players get some healthy exercise.

Eating and being active outdoors can be very healthy, fun and rewarding. Invite your friends and family and ask them to organize one of the activities for the day or share responsibility for the food. Explain you are planning a healthy picnic so they know what sorts of things you want for your trip.

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