beach picnic

Picnic season is FINALLY here!

My kids and I always struggle with enjoying picnics without overdoing it on the cheese and dessert. Everyone tends to eat more than they normally would because picnic food is always so good, but there’s no reason to go overboard. The key is moderation.

You should treat yourself, but decide ahead of time what that treat will be, whether it’s for you or your family. The kids can even vote on the dessert that they prefer – Rice Krispie treats vs. chocolate chip cookies? A tough decision, but a vote is a vote! If you have time before a picnic, try some of these healthy snacks to bring with you so that you’re not so tempted to overindulge.

Fruit Skewers

fruit skewers

Thread pieces of banana, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi and melon onto a wooden or metal skewer. These are easy for the kiddos to eat (and help make!) and just as fun for the adults.

Mason Jar Salads

salad in a jar

Fill mason jars with cut-up veggies, spinach, carrots, avocado, nori, and grilled chicken or sushi grade tuna. The mason jars reduce waste, are easily customizable to what you and your family love, and easy to tote around. You’ll love my other salad-in-a-jar recipes!

Cheese Platter

cheese plate

Go for parmesan, asiago, goat cheese, or raw cheeses with Mary’s Gone seed-based crackers, Jilz crackers, or flax crackers as gluten-free options.

Fruit Iced Tea

fruit infused water

Steep your favorite unsweetened tea bags in water and mix in fun additions like strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, oranges, mint, or herbs.

Fresh Nuts and Seeds

nuts and seeds

Loaded with vitamins and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are so easy to bring to a party and are a great salty snack to have with a cocktail.

Baked Sweet Potato Chips and Guacamole

hummus and guacamole

Instead of regular corn tortilla or potato chips, try making your own baked sweet potato chips instead. Sweet potatoes are a lower glycemic complex carb, and are full of fiber and nutrients. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they taste delicious.

Veggies and Hummus

Homemade hummus can be pureed with olive oil and veggies to get an extra boost of those extra servings that we all need everyday. Since chickpeas are higher in carbs, the extra fiber in the veggies and fat in the olive oil will help reduce blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Almond Flour Tortillas

avocado wrap

Fill these nourishing tortillas with grilled chicken, avocado, goat cheese, sprouts and romaine for a healthier take on tacos. Siete Foods makes wonderful almond flour tortillas, or you can often find them at Whole Foods.

Spirulina Balls

spirulina balls

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, and antioxidants. The whole family will enjoy, they’re easy to make, and just as easy to bring to a picnic!

These are all wonderful, nutritious alternatives to the usual suspects you’ll find at a picnic or barbecue. But if you find that you don’t have the time to whip one of these up – DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT! Summertime is about spending long afternoons with your friends and family, and letting go a little bit. Eat mindfully, but if you end up having a hot dog or a little too much ice cream, that’s okay too.

melissa