Not much can trump a gorgeous day spent eating and drinking on the beach or picnicking in the park. Whether you’re on a playful first date, sprawled out reading a new book about work to remember how much you love summer or hanging out with friends in your go-to garden, packing your picnic basket with healthy eats and drinks can help you keep your energy levels high all day long. Read on for 10 super simple swaps you can make to get fab nutritional benefits while snacking on tasty treats. Yum!
1. Perfectly Portioned Rosé Instead of a Pitcher of Sangria. Sangria is a fruity and fun picnic drink, but it’s packed with tons of sugar and can go down a little too easily. Swap your drink out for a mini bottle of crisp rosé, like our fave, Les Dauphins Cotes Du Rhone Rosé (price varies). You’ll enjoy just the right amount.
2. Nut Butter Instead of Cheese Spread. Leave the cheese spread at home and snap up some packets of almond or cashew butter for crackers, or pair them with fruit instead. Packed with protein, nut butter will keep you more full and prevent unnecessary noshing later.
3. Whole Grain Crackers Instead of Bread. Who doesn’t love to enjoy a freshly baked baguette during a picnic in the park? We sure do. Unfortunately, our adored picnic carb doesn’t have as much fiber as equally enjoyable options. Make a simple swap and grab a box of whole grain crackers to add in the nutritional benefit of quinoa, pumpkin seeds, flax or whatever you choose, for a healthier fix.
4. Protein Snack Bites Instead of Cookies. Cookies, brownies, cakes… oh my. Since you have to have something sweet in your picnic basket, think about toting along a batch of delicious protein-packed snack bites. They’re as easy to share as the more traditional treats AND they’re better for you. What a win-win.
5. Soda Water Instead of Tonic Water. If you’re crafting cocktails or mocktails, switching out tonic water for soda water can save you tons of calories and added sugar. If the taste with soda is too strong to bear at first, drop a few slices of fruit into your drink, add more ice and a splash of all natural fruit juice, and sip slowly. We promise you’ll be refreshed in no time.
6. Fruit-Infused Water Instead of Caffeinated, Iced Drinks. Staying hydrated is essential when you’re spending a day in the sun, so make sure you bring plenty of H20 with you. Though caffeine *doesn’t* actually cause dehydration, it won’t exactly help you stay hydrated either. Sip smartly to avoid headaches and to make sure you get the right amount of fluid on a warm day.
7. Hummus Instead of Dip. Made from chickpeas, hummus has tons of benefits that healthy eaters are crazy about, which include a mega dose of key vitamins and minerals with a hearty amount of protein. If you’re not a hummus lover, go for a homemade guacamole. Avocado is a total super food with healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins A and C and fiber.
8. Veggie Sticks Instead of Chips. You’ll definitely want something to dip into your hummus or heart-healthy guac, so pack your picnic basket with veggie sticks. Carrots, celery and bell pepper strips are all tasty options that will pair well with real cheeses, meats and whole grain crackers.
9. Hard Boiled Eggs Instead of Deviled Eggs. Skip out on the mayonnaise without missing the protein and bring hard boiled eggs to your picnic as a healthy snack.
10. Sushi Instead of Sandwiches. Sick of sammies? Switch it up and bring sushi on your picnic. Go for veggie rolls or healthy versions with tuna or salmon, and choose brown rice or quinoa for added benefit. You’ll stay full AND feel great.
Which healthy foods do you bring to a picnic? Spill with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)