Infographic: Healthy picnic pointers for the Southern family


May 25, 2016

05_25 Picnic Basket Infographic


Check out our eat-this-not-that guide to dining on a blanket.


Summertime means eating alfresco, but what you pack can weigh down more than just your wicker basket. Lighten up your picnic picks — and your waistline — with these healthy picnic ideas.

Even if you’re going for Southern comfort, the main attraction doesn’t have to be fried. If you’re craving poultry, skip the fat by using Greek yogurt instead of mayo in your go-to chicken salad recipe. These healthy options from Food Network don’t skimp on flavor and will jazz up any picnic sammy.

A salad is a must. One with watermelon — always a Southern favorite — and cukes has the added benefit of leaving you hydrated rather than feeling heavy. The feta cheese in this Food Network recipe provides a protein punch.

Great sides make or break a picnic, but traditional dishes like cole slaw and potato salad come with a heaping helping of fat. This old-fashioned Southern succotash recipe from Southern Living makes use of all that fresh corn you’ll find at farmers markets this summer. Or opt for EatingWell’s vegetarian version of a traditional blackeyed peas dish if picnicking later in the season.

If your family likes to snack while tossing around the Frisbee, set out a bag of tortilla chips and this mouthwatering pico de gallo recipe from Epicurious. Potato chips and store-bought dips are loaded with grease and preservatives. If you want to avoid chips altogether, carrots and celery dipped in hummus provide a vitamin- and protein-rich alternative.

The right kind of sweet treat will leave everyone satisfied without a sugar crash. These strawberry-rhubarb bars from EatingWell are the perfect combo of sweet and tart. Nuts can be swapped for oats if you’ve got someone in your family with a food allergy.

Wash it all down with a flavored kombucha tea or other unsweetened tea from the grocery store. Whatever you choose to sip, check the label to avoid unwanted sugar from creeping into your healthy picnic.