As far as summers go 2014’s has been a pretty enjoyable one! The weather has remained relatively clear and beautiful (except for the odd thunderstorm) and we have been seeing temperatures sore to the high 20s a lot more than we are used to. So what better way to enjoy it than to get out into the great outdoors and have a picnic?
There are a lot of benefits to having a picnic over the usual meals in our home, not only are picnics a classic British tradition but they are also an ideal reason to bring friends and families together, and to eat healthy food that the summer brings. They are also an ideal way to combine a bit of physical activity with your eating plans, whether you wish to kick a football around, go on a leisurely bike ride to find a beautiful spot or wear out the kids so you can have a relaxing glass of wine in peace.
What To Put In A Picnic
Whilst the location and company are important to an enjoyable picnic experience, it is a meal and therefore you should pay close attention to what you are putting in your basket.
Carbohydrates are an important addition if you are going to be running around all day and your body can’t solely rely on snack foods to sustain itself, especially if you are having a drink or two! Make sure you pack some pasta or breads to form the bulk of your carb quota, but be sure to pick healthy options such as wholegrain. Protein is also integral in any meal, whether you choose to add it through lean meats such as chicken or with vegetarian options such as beans.
Water is also an important fluid to bring, chances are that nearly all the picnics you look at in a park will be well short of water compared to alcohol and this really isn’t a good idea if you are going to be spending all day out in the sun and if you are also going to be drinking a lot of alcohol too.
A picnic is the ideal opportunity to add the majority of your 5-a-day. There is nothing nicer than sitting in a park and tucking into some fresh strawberries and raspberries and having a tricolor salad of tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. Don’t be afraid to have one or two indulgent treats in your picnic but be sure they are kept to a minimum, doing this will also teach your children good eating habits too instead of having them crying out for sugary snacks and drinks all the time.
Picnics are all about having fun but the last thing you want to do is be unprepared. Always bring along a big groundsheet for comfort, an umbrella to block out the sun’s heat and keep you and the food cool, as well as SPF so you aren’t left regretting some major tan lines.