How can I plan a healthy picnic?

If you're heading to the beach or enjoying a day at the park, follow these tips to plan a healthy picnic.

Provide your guests with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Great ideas for healthy dishes include a whole wheat pasta salad that is loaded with chopped veggies. Another option is to stuff whole wheat pita pockets with lean meat, chopped veggies, shredded cheese and tomato chunks.

For snacks, bring baked chips, pretzels or nuts and hummus or fat-free salad dressings for dips. For sweets, pack ripe peaches, melons or apples and chocolate syrup for dipping. A fruit crisp topped with oatmeal crumbles is another healthful option.

Keep foods safe by keeping perishables like meat, fish, poultry and cheese chilled below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once served, food should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F. After that much time, discard it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.