Summer time is full of picnics, sporting events, outdoor concerts, and we can’t forget days at the pool or water parks. It can be easy to pack healthy for these events if you can remember 3 things. HIP H=Healthy Food. I=Icy Water. P=Proper Portion
Start with an insulated cooler that is size-appropriate for the group. Add a few frozen ice packs or frozen water bottles. These bottles can then be used to drink as they thaw. There are many different kinds of containers that keep food hot as well as cold, such as Bentgo compartment containers or Thermos dual compartment jars.
It’s best to pick foods that are easy to transport and that are not messy to eat. Sometimes it’s nice to have salads pre-made that contain something from each of the categories below
1) Think Protein first – tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey, ham, turkey burger, beans, rotisserie chicken
2) Grains – wheat tortillas or wheat pitas (less likely to get soggy), quinoa salads, brown rice
3) Fruits – grapes, peaches, plums, apples
4) Veggies – cherry tomatoes, peppers, celery, carrots
One of my family’s favorite salads is Quinoa or orzo pasta, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and shredded chicken. Mix with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Eat with a fruit of your choice.
Snacks to pack – popcorn, baked chips, rice cakes with almond/peanut butter, string cheese/cheese sticks,
WATER – This is one that I can’t stress enough. Being out in the sun can be exhausting and dehydrating so drinking enough water is important. This does not include sodas or sugary drinks. Pack many water bottles filled with ICE water. Plan to pack 2-3 bottles per person/day.
With all different shapes and add ins, ice has definitely changed how some look at water. Try adding fruits or herbs to ice cube trays. Some fun examples are blueberries, raspberries, strawberry slices, mint, basil or thyme. These can be a fun, non-sweet addition to water for the summer!
Keeping the packing simple and easy will make these days in the sun more enjoyable for everyone. Don’t forget the sunscreen, bug spray and most importantly, to enjoy the time with family and friends!