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Top tips for a healthy picnic

Date: January 10, 2022
Time to read: 5 min
Published in:

While the Healthy Lunch Box website is there to help you with everything you need to know about packing a lunch box for school … or work, it’s also packed full of simple and delicious recipes, perfect for a picnic!

Picnics are a great way to see friends and family outside or even while the kids are at home, moving lunch to the backyard or the park.

Packing a healthy picnic doesn’t mean a boring picnic – check out our top ideas for the perfect picnic.

Sensational sandwichesImage of three cheese and avocado salad wraps on a wooden chopping board with a milk jar with straw on the side

Sandwiches are standard picnic fare, but get creative. Try a stuffed pita bread like our Mediterranean vegie pita, filled rolls like our simple tuna roll or an avocado, chicken and salad wrap. You can make them before you go or just bring along different types of bread and fillings and everyone can build their own masterpiece.

Gourmet grazing selectionImage of three mini crustless chicken quiches on a wooden chopping board with chives and a white cloth napkin on the side

Sometimes a picnic is just about grazing, especially if there are kids and plenty of activity going on. Snacks can be as simple as guacamole, crackers and vegie sticks or if you have time to bake, carrot and zucchini savoury muffins, mini crustless chicken quiches or our easy egg muffin cup. Try falafels, Thai chicken meatballs or dolmades.

Spectacular salads Image of an Indian salad in a white bowl with orange trim on a wooden chopping board with gold cutlery on the side for serving

Salads are perfect for picnics. Try more substantial ones that are easier to transport like a chicken couscous salad or a delicious pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and a pesto dressing. Green leafy salads may not travel well so try our Nicoise salad, roasted vegetable salad or our Indian salad. For a hero salad you can’t go past our soy and ginger chicken noodle salad. You can make it vegetarian by replacing the chicken with some tofu.

Picnic tip: pack the dressing separately in a leak proof container and dress just before serving.

Delectable dessertsFruit salad parfait layered in a glass jar with an open lid and a serving spoon on the side.

Finish your picnic with these easy to transport dessert ideas that not only look good but taste amazing too!  Try packing individual desserts in jars like these fruit salad parfaits or make some bliss balls or fruit skewers. Even easier – just pack a container of cut up fruit or just a watermelon or rockmelon to cut up.

Keep it cool!

Being outside means you need to be careful about keeping your food cool, not only to maintain freshness and quality but importantly to keep the food safe from harmful bugs that can cause food poisoning.  Here are our top tips:

  • Keep food cold – use cooler bags and make sure you have plenty of ice packs or freeze water bottles
  • Only take food out of the cooler bag when you are ready to eat
  • Keep insects off food by covering with a net or tea towel
  • Make sure hands are clean before you start serving or eating
  • Don’t pack too much food – you’ll need to throw away any leftovers that have been out of the fridge for longer than 4 hours

Don’t to forget to pack:

✔ A bread knife and cutting board

✔ Cutlery and plates

✔ Serviettes

✔ A picnic blanket, chairs or cushions

✔ Hand sanitiser or wipes

✔ A Hat and sunscreen


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