Good Food Under the Sun—Plan Better Picnics in 4 Easy Steps

The weather’s warming up—it’s the perfect time to think about packing a picnic lunch. Read on for some tips and tricks to make your outing as stress-free (and delicious!) as possible.

1. Pick an ideal picnic destination

Scout out a few potential spots before you pick a place to enjoy your meal. Is there water nearby for washing? A restroom? A buzzing bee nest or noise from a busy highway can interrupt your relaxing lunch outside.

2. Prep for no mess

Choose foods that are easy to make and take. The less chopping and mixing you need to do once you settle down, the better. Pre-package snacks into individual containers, particularly if the kiddos are coming—that way, everyone gets the exact same portion size.

3. Be pro-planet

Using cloth napkins instead of paper is an easy way you can be more environmentally friendly when picnicking. Why not try compostable utensils and plates, or make it fancy by bringing real silverware and dishes from the kitchen? A picnic is a great opportunity to use that spork, set of bamboo utensils, bento box, or canteen.

4. Safety first

Unless you have constant access to ice, try not to pack food that could spoil in the sun (mayonnaise, dairy, etc.). Wash all of your vegetables before prepping them. If you’re planning to grill, make sure meat is wrapped separately and cooked thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is that burgers should be cooked to 160 degrees, poultry to 170 degrees, and beef/veal/lamb to 145 degrees.

Other things to bring:

  • bug spray
  • blanket
  • a good book
  • sunscreen
  • hand sanitizer
  • a pillow for a quick post-lunch nap

Enjoy picnic season!

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