Picnics are a great way to spend time with your loved ones. You get to eat your favorite meals together while outdoors. While it requires a lot of preparation since one has to make sure that only the best and enjoyable meals are served, it should also be taken into consideration that there's no substitute for healthy and nutritious meals. Yes, picnics may be a great way to enjoy your favorite dishes but it could also be an opportunity to have a date with nutrition.
Let's face it. More often than not, potato salad and pasta are served on almost every picnic menu. Fact is, potatoes and pasta alone are enough to exceed your calorie intake for the day. What if you're also serving soda? Imagine the total calories that you and your loved ones have collected from the whole picnic.
Thing is, people can enjoy picnic and stay healthy, too!
Here are some ways you can turn your picnic foods into a low-calorie, nutritious and enjoyable meal:
1. Replace your refined and traditional pasta and bread (or roll) with the whole-grain kind. It tastes just as good and is healthy, too.
2. Add anti-oxidant nutrients by putting more greens to your salads. If you're serving pasta salad, substitute your pasta with freshly chopped vegetables instead. Veggies, anyway, blend more with a lot of salad dressings.
3. Limit the fat content in your salad. You may be using veggies on your salad but if you're still using reduced-fat dressing or mayonnaise, your salad will still turn out to be not as healthy. Use healthy dressings with a more nutritious proportion of oil and vinegar instead.
4. If you're serving steaks or barbecues, pick out the meat that you will use for grilling. Go lean. Cutting down on the fat is always the best way to go.
5. Serve natural fruit juices instead of soda. Besides, the taste of fruit juices blend more with your healthy, nutritious picnic dishes than with carbonated drink.
6. Whipped cream and gelatin may give out the best in your dessert but nothing still beats if you go for the healthy option. Instead of serving with your favorite cream, serve fresh fruits the way they are. Just make sure that they're washed first. If you want, you can also serve sliced fruits on a platter. Not only does it give the vitamins needed for the body, it also replaces the fluids in body especially if you're having picnic on a summer day.
There are a lot more ways to come up with a healthier menu for your picnic. If you don't want to change your favorite picnic menu, the key is to just substitute your carbs, starch, calorie-rich ingredients with the lean, whole-grain and healthy ones then just follow the same recipe instructions. Once you get the hang of it, you will eventually be able to come up with your own healthy recipe.