The Perfect Picnic

Family having picnic

July ushers in a season of gathering with close friends and loved ones, and nothing is more fun than a summer picnic. When packing your picnic basket, follow these tips from the Grain Foods Foundation to ensure a healthy, fun time is had by all.

Variety is the spice of life. We all may love tuna on white bread, but why not try a new variety of breads for your sandwiches? From cinnamon raisin to banana bread to Ciabatta, the picnic possibilities are endless.

Made with Love. If you want to get really creative, use cookie cutters to transform your child’s picnic sandwiches into a work of art – or even into their initials.  These little surprises are sure to bring a smile to their faces.

BYOS – Bring your own sandwich and SHARE! This is part potluck, part tea party.  Ask your picnic partners to bring their favorite sandwiches. The catch (and the fun) is that everyone will cut their sandwiches into tiny squares, the modern day cucumber sandwich, and share!

Even better the second time. There’s no better way to save on time and money than with leftovers. When cleaning up after dinner, instead of putting the leftovers into storage containers or even the trash (gasp!), take out the bread and sandwich bags and get to work. Friday’s leftover chicken and veggies will make a delish sandwich for Saturday’s picnic.

Tic Tac Dough. Mix up the bread in your children’s sandwiches, using one slice of whole wheat and one slice of enriched white; then, after cutting the sandwiches into quarters, flip two of the quarters over to make a checkerboard. This is a great way to start introducing kids to whole grain bread. Kids love fun-looking food, even if it’s good for them!

Put Some Pep in your Prep
To avoid a soggy situation, leave the dressing off your sandwiches until you arrive at your destination. Slice your tomatoes and cucumbers and put them in a hard plastic container until they’re ready for the main event. Keep your condiments packed tightly and make sure they’re kept cold to prevent spoiling.

Would You Like Fruits and Veggies with That?
Many of us stick with tried-and-true picnic sides like potato chips or potato salad. If you’re looking to serve lighter fare, opt for apple slices topped with all-natural peanut butter or create ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter, topped with raisins). This will give the little ones plenty of steam, without the crash later.