Health Advice



Best and worst foods for a picnic

Nicci Micco and Jessica Ball, M.S., RD, on

Published in Health & Fitness

As the temperatures warm and summer is quickly approaching, it’s time for meals eaten outdoors while enjoying the sunshine. Most of us love the traditional foods of summer: burgers and dogs, creamy salads, yummy desserts. Unfortunately, many of these foods tend not to be the stuff that’s going to win any nutrition awards. Some might not be easy to pack and bring with, either.

That said, there are plenty of ways to have a healthy and delicious summer picnic. We broke out some of our favorite picnic-friendly foods, as well as some dishes to skip. Check out our picks for the best and worst picnic foods.

Best foods for a picnic

Here are some of our favorite easy-to-pack items that can be thrown together for a healthy, tasty meal outside.

Fruits and vegetables

Fresh produce is packed with vitamins, nutrients and water to help keep you hydrated and feeling your best. Vegetables are a low-calorie, high-fiber choice to scoop dips and enjoy with cheese. Fruits make a nutritious and refreshing sweet treat for when you’re spending time in the sun. Prep ahead by washing and cutting up your produce in advance so all you have to do is enjoy it at your picnic.


Hummus and dips

Pair veggies, chips and crackers with a healthy and filling dip. Options like hummus, guacamole and bean dips are packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied.

Cheese and deli meats

Cheeses and deli meats are a great way to add protein and flavor to a picnic. They are easy to bring on the go and simple to serve outside. Just make sure to pack perishable foods in a cooler and don’t let them sit out for more than an hour.


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