Be Picnic Ready!

by Gabriella Patel on April 9, 2013

Take advantage of the warmer temps and longer days and head outdoors for a fun family picnic!  My kids love going to the park for a picnic or having a picnic in our own backyard!   Be ready for your next outdoor dining experience with these time-saving tips and healthier recipes.


Picnic Packing Checklist

Keep a basket, backpack, bin, bag, or anything else that starts with a “b” 😉 packed with these picnic essentials.  You will always be ready for that spur of the moment picnic, and packing your picnic will be less stress and more fun!


Cups and plates

Plastic utensils

Serving utensils: you may need tongs or serving spoons

Cutting knife: look for one with a cover for safe transporting

Small cutting board: for cutting fruit, bread, or slicing meat or cheese


Trash bags

Moist towelettes: to sanitize hands before eating and to wash up after

Paper towels: what kid doesn’t have an occasional spill?


Inexpensive or disposable table cloth to cover a dirty picnic table

Small first aid kit


Plenty of drinking water


Skip the fried chicken and deli store sides and try these delicious and easily portable foods!


oven friedOven Fried Chicken

This oven fried chicken is just as crispy, but way lower in fat and calories than the oil fried version.


1/2 sleeve (about 20) whole-grain salted crackers, pulsed in a food processor until fine (about 1/2 cup)

2 1/2 cups corn flakes cereal, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 egg whites

1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive oil cooking spray

4 medium sized skinless chicken breasts and 4 skinless chicken thighs



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.

Combine crackers, corn flakes cereal, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.  In a large bowl, combine yogurt, egg whites, Dijon mustard, and salt.  Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture.  Dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken.  Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet.  Spray chicken lightly with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear.


Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Salad

This kid-friendly pasta salad is packed with healthy ingredients like broccoli, whole wheat pasta, tomatoes, and chicken.  This pasta salad can be made the day before to help reduce your to do list on the day of your picnic.   Using salad dressings that contain acidic ingredients such as vinegar instead of mayonnaise not only cuts fat but helps keep foods safer at room temperature.


1 package of whole wheat pasta of your choice (cooked al dente)

2 cups chicken breast (cooked and diced)

1 large bunch broccoli, cut into small pieces (lightly steamed)

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. soy sauce

2 garlic cloves

2 cups shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese



Combine cooked chicken, noodles, and broccoli, set aside.  Mince the garlic cloves and mix with remaining ingredients to make the dressing.  Pour dressing over the chicken, pasta, and broccoli mixture and set in the refrigerator to chill overnight (or at least 4 hours).


fruit kabobsFruit Kebabs

For dessert, what can be healthier than a variety of fresh fruit!  Thread bite-sized pieces of fruit onto skewers for a healthy hand-held snack the kids will love!  Grapes, strawberries, melon balls, kiwi slices, pineapple, bananas, apples, almost any fruit is great for to put on a skewer.


I hope this will inspire you to get out there and enjoy the warmer temperatures with your family.  If it still feels too cold to picnic outside, get the items on your picnic packing checklist all ready to go so when that warm day comes around, you will be ready!

Gabriella Patel

Gabriella Patel

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I grew up in a family who has a long history in natural supplements. I've always found such a greater level of health and well being because of the choices I've made to seek natural and organic products. I've taken a lot of my knowledge now to be able to help others make the right decisions to achieve a higher level of wellness. From what I've seen most of where the problems come from is what we put in our bodies, and what we're not. I hope to shed some light on many issues we all face. Subscribe to my work Gabriella's favorite product is Detox Diet 1234
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