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What's good for a picnic

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

What’s good for a Picnic

July 07, 2020 | Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

Hey there, how are you doing? Are y’all “enjoying” the summer heat so far? I am literally melting the minute I step outside. IT IS WAY TOO HOT!!! Just a friendly reminder, when you are out in the sun, or even staying indoors, make sure you drink plenty of fluid (preferably water). If you are doing more outdoor activities and/or having excessive sweating, you may also want to consider drinking some oral rehydration solution (such as gatorade/powerade).

** NOTE: Dehydration can cause dangerous conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Although it is hot outside, we can still have some fun outdoors. My suggestion is to plan the activities early in the morning when the temperature is still considerably bearable. To take the heat and social distancing into account, the activities we can do these days are pretty limited. Camping in the woods, hiking, picnicking (in the backyard or in the park) are some ideal activities. I remember when I was little, my parents and my aunt occasionally took me and my siblings to picnic at a park or beach. It was super fun when doing activities like that with my family.

While having fun outdoors, it is crucial to practice food safety. Make sure to store your perishable food in a cooler; and to bring drinking water, hand soap, clean water (to wash hands), and hand sanitizer.

Next question is what type of food to prepare? Picnic food does not have to be boring (not just sandwiches). I love to have a little of everything. Of course, as a dietitian, I always make sure there is a good combination of food (a little of veggies, fruits, protein, and starches).

Over the last weekend, my besties and I were picnicking at the park. To make it easy, each of us brought some food to share. I made zucchini boats, air-fryer cheese sticks, lentil and mushroom balls, spinach and sweet potato samosas.

Vegetable items

- Baked Parmesan zucchini sticks

- Roasted Brussel Sprouts

- Zucchini boats (The recipe adapted from Gimme Delicious)

Fruits items

- Watermelon

- Cherries

- Grapes

Protein items

- Chinese braised hard-boiled eggs

- Air-fryer cheese sticks (The recipe adapted from Jo Cooks)

- Lentil and mushroom meatballs (The recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate)

** I have to comment on this recipe, as the recipe asks for too many different herbs and spices. I just used one herb, Italian seasoning, which I bought from Costco the other day. I also found by adding two eggs makes the mixture too wet, my suggestion is to add one egg. One more suggestion for this recipe, I recommend using a cookie scoop to form the meatballs to avoid making a mess.


- Homemade honey cinnamon bun

- Stir-fried noodles

- Spinach and sweet potato samosas (The recipe adapted from BBC good food)

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