Pack a Picnic

Packed lunches and picnics don’t have to be boring – there can be more to them than half a sandwich, a few crisps and an apple. There are a whole range of foods you can eat on the go that are healthy, tasty and easy to prepare.
To make your lunch balanced you need to pack foods from the food groups to make it balanced:

Fruit and Veg

• Fresh fruit is one of the easiest things to add to your picnic basket or lunchbox without any preparation.
• If you have more time you could make up a salad and pack it in a Tupperware container
• Chop veggie sticks like celery, cucumber or carrot and pack a salsa dip
• Buy little tins of tinned fruit in natural juice with a ring pull
• Pack some little packets of dried fruit – they are healthier than crisps or chocolate

Carbs

• An ordinary sandwich is fine but you could also be more adventurous. Try pitta breads, bagels, baguettes, crackers, muffins, ciabattas……… Have what you can manage and share the rest
• Try making a pasta salad
• Pack some breadsticks to nibble on
• Make some curried rice – just add some peppers, onions and curry powder to cooked rice and serve cold

Dairy

• Pack yoghurt – you could freeze them overnight and they will help keep your picnic or lunchbox cool
• Pack some individual tubs of low fat cream cheese and have with the breadsticks or vegetable sticks
• Add some low fat cheese to your sandwich or bagel
• Throw in a yoghurt drink
• Try a pot of low fat fromaige frais
• Pack a milkshake for your drink

Protein

Add a filling to your bread of choice
i.e. ham and tomato, tuna and sweetcorn, beef and onion, chicken and peppers, egg mayo and cucumber, mashed pilchards and salad, smoked salmon and spring onion

• Pack some mixed nuts
• Add pulses to your salads
• Pack some boiled eggs as snacks
• Have a few cocktail sausages………..but go easy on them – the calories add up

Fats and Oils

• Use a low fat spread on your sandwiches or mayo but not both
• Have low fat mayo or salad cream with your salad
• Pack some coleslaw

Remember to add plenty of drinks, especially in the hot weather. Try water, flavoured water, cartons of fresh fruit juice, low sugar squashes.
In the cold weather you could add flasks of soup but remember to have something textured with it

Keep your lunchbox or picnic basket cool with an ice pack. Put it on the top for best results

Having a little of a range of foods is better than having a lot of one food – it keeps your diet balanced giving you a better range on nutrients

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