Clean Eating Picnics

Clean Eating Picnics

It’s summer and it’s definitely time to get out into the sunshine, stretch our legs and enjoy some good, clean summer foods. And what better way to do that then with a clean eating picnic!?

In this post, I’ll share with you some ideas for fun picnic goodies, and I can’t promise there won’t be chocolate involved. I mean, who goes on a picnic without just the teensy-tiniest bit of chocolate for dessert, hmmm??? Sacrilege!

I have to admit, I do not remember the last time I went on a picnic. But with our current economy being what it is, statistics show that picnics are on the rise! And why not? What a fabulous and economical way to spend a warm and fun-filled afternoon! Just remember a hat and some sunblock please. The only lobster attending this picnic should be the one you are going to eat.

So without further ado, here is a quick checklist of foods to take on your upcoming picnic.

Finger foods. Picnics should be full of finger foods. That’s half the joy of a picnic! So don’t forget these fun, fabulous, finger foods:

  • Chunks of melon
  • Grapes
  • Sun flower seeds
  • Olives
  • Dried fruits – no added sugar please
  • Cubes of hard cheese, like cheddar or jalapeño jack
  • Clean eating crackers
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain pretzels
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Kale Chips
  • Small chunks of low-fat, hard cheeses

Drinks. If you’re going to play in the sun, you need to stay hydrated. Liquids are heavy to carry, but an important element of enjoying your day!

Main course. Let’s face it. Sandwiches are the quintessential picnic food. So lets start  with some clean eating sandwich supplies!

  • Whole grain bread, no added sugar please
  • Mustard, no added sugar (yep, they put it in mustard now too.)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Clean Ketchup
  • Sliced fresh chicken or turkey breast
  • Ground turkey patties
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms
  • Low fat cheese slices
  • Pita bread (sometimes easier than regular bread on a picnic.)

Dessert. Okay, so I warned you. If those chunks of melon and other fruit are just not enough of a dessert for you, give these ideas a try.

While these are not food related, they certainly will go a long way to making your picnic more enjoyable.

  • Sunblock
  • Hat
  • Band-aids (better safe than sorry)
  • Frisbee or some other easily portable fun stuff

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  1. so glad i stopped by today! i’m actually planning a birthday picnic for a friend of mine next week! i’m going to peruse more today on your site and see what i can bring along!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Judith – yay!!! I love picnics. I don’t go on enough of them. I’ll have to change that this season. Enjoy your picnic!

  2. Hi,
    We go to the beach, our brand of “picnic”. We always have some kind of fruit, cheese for the kids, and either popcorn or clean-as-we-can-get-pretzels. Homemade granola bars, or protein bars, are always popular too.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      PJ – That sounds fabulous!! We love the beach as well in the summer. Such a great place for a picnic!

  3. Sometimes when the kids are at home and getting bored, we get the picnic blanket and have a picnic in our backyard, on the back deck or the front veranda. It’s fun choosing picnic foods, eating outside and enjoying the sunshine even if you can’t get away!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelly – I think that’s wonderful! What a great way to have a meal together!!

  4. Love Nugget says:

    We have “picnic parties” a lot. I have a cooler backpack (yes, very cool – got it at a second hand store) that I pack up with fruit salad (cut strawberries, raspberries and blueberries), sandwiches (peanut butter and Nutella or turkey and sass), granola bars, water bottles (frozen – they melt fast in hot weather!), cut veggies (carrots, celery and cucumber are our favorites) and hummus. My daughter begs for it everytime it is a nice day and we are heading toward the pool!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      LN – I think that’s fabulous!! And what great memories you are creating with her!!

  5. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Jenny – Great! Picnics are so much fun!

  6. Great ideas! You got me in the mood!! I was stopping by today to pick up your protein bar recipe, but got stopped here. Glad I did.

  7. jill conyers says:

    Great ideas for a picnic. I also wanted to let you know I made your clean banana muffins yesterday and they were delicious. Now a family favorite!

  8. Sugar in mustard now?? Are you serious? Do you have any suggestions on where I can find sugar free mustard? Thanks in advance!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – I get mine at Whole Foods. I find that it’s nearly impossible to find in a regular food store. Check at your local health food store. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

  9. What are some brands of clean eating crackers you’d recommend? I’ve yet to find any =/

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kirsten – They are tough to find, but they are out there. There is a brand at Whole Foods called “Back To Nature” that does a “Triscot” (sp?) style cracker. Fabulous and clean. Whole wheat mazos are great too.

  10. thank you so much! We don’t have a Whole Foods around here, but I do believe a local store carries the brand.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kirsten – You’re welcome! Hope you find it!

  11. graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! Enjoy your picnic!!

  12. What kind of store bought pickles are clean?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Roanna – That’s a great question! I haven’t bought them in so long I can’t remember the brand name I got. But I will check next time I’m at the store for you.