Pack a Family Picnic! (page 2)
A picnic is fun family time: Indoors or out.
- City or county park
- Beach, pool, riverside
- Local fair
- Your yard
- Community center
- Relative’s home
- Parade route
- Pick-your-own farm
- Community garden
What’s in Your Picnic Basket?
- Whole fruit, raw finger vegetables (Most can be left at room temperature for a few hours.)
- Dried fruit (raisins, apples, apricots), juice boxes, canned fruit
- Wheat tortillas, bagels, pocket bread, wholewheat crackers or bread, pretzels, buns
- Nuts, peanut butter, unopened canned meat
- Cooked and uncooked chicken, meat, shrimp or fish, hard-cooked eggs; deli-meat
- Salads that contain cut-up meats, or vegetables, or fruits
- Cheese, string cheese, yogurt, boxed milk
- Single-serving pudding
Warm-Up Foods (in an insulated container)
- Soup, hot cocoa with milk
- Baked beans, hot dishes (eat within 1 hour).
Keep Family Picnics Safe at the Plate!
- Bring water and soap to wash hands, surfaces, cutting boards.
- Bring a meat thermometer. Use it to grill to safe inside temperature: 160 degrees for burgers; 180 degrees for chicken.
- Store chilled foods in a cooler with ice or ice packs.
- Store uncooked meat, poultry, or fish for grilling in a well-sealed container. Pack it in the bottom of the cooler so juices won’t leak onto other foods.
- Put grilled foods on a clean plate, not the plate used for uncooked foods. Disposable paper plates are great!
- Keep coolers in the car as you drive, not a hot trunk. At the picnic, keep them in shade under a tree or bench.
- Return chilled foods to the cooler right after serving.
- Discard leftover meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and foods made with them if left out for one hour.
Turn Family Picnics Into Active Family Fun
- Explore with a nature scavenger hunt.
- Walk or ride bikes on a nature trail.
- Sled or ice skate on a winter picnic.
- Play water catch at the beach or pool.
- Bring a rubber ball, Frisbee, jump rope.
- Do a city “walk around” to explore.
- Kids like to dance. Ask your child to pick music tapes or CDs. Pack along a player!
Enjoy a Pretend Picnic!
Young children like to play “pretend.” Make an everyday meal into an indoor pretend picnic. Let your child pick the menu and set the table with colorful napkins, plastic utensils, and paper plates. Play “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” song if you have it. Let your child invite a teddy bear, too.
Nibbles for Health, Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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