Healthy Children - October 2017

Pack a Family Picnic

Looking for a great place to picnic? Try these indoor/outdoor options!

  • City or County Park
  • Local Fair
  • Relative’s home
  • Community garden
  • Playground
  • Your yard
  • Parade route
  • Zoo
  • Beach, pool, riverside
  • Community center
  • Pick-your-own farm
  • Family idea: _____________


What’s in Your Picnic Basket?

No-chill Foods:

  • Whole fruit
  • Dried fruit (raisins, apples, apricots), juice boxes, canned fruit
  • Tortillas, bagels, pocket bread, pretzels, crackers, bread, and buns (Remember to choose more often those brands that list whole wheat as the first ingredient.)
  • Nuts, peanut butter, unopened canned meat

Cooler Foods:

  • Cooked and uncooked chicken, meat, shrimp, fish; hard-cooked eggs; deli meat
  • Salads that contain cut-up meats, or vegetables, or fruits
  • Low-fat or fat-free cheese, string cheese, yogurt, milk
  • Single-serving pudding

Warm-Up Foods:
(In an insulated container with the cover closed)

  • 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 food thermometer. Use it to grill to safe internal temperature: 160*F for burgers; a minimum internal temperature of 165*F 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 will not 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 1 hour or more in temperatures over 90*F

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, or jump rope
  • Take a city “walk around” to explore
  • Kids like to dance. Ask your child to pick music CD’s bring 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. Let your child invite a teddy bear, too.