There’s no holiday that kicks off the warm-weather season quite like Memorial Day. This year, why not celebrate by planning a healthy picnic with family and friends? From crunchy vegetables and juicy fruits to reduced-fat cheeses, lean sandwich meats, chilled soups, summery salads, and whole-grain breads and wraps, a South Beach Diet-friendly picnic is easy to pack. If you take perishable food, it’s essential to keep it cold, so be sure to pack items like fruits, veggies, reduced-fat cheese or other dairy, lean meats, and soups and salads at the bottom of the cooler, and the nonperishable foods like nuts and crackers at the top. Here are some tips for packing the perfect picnic:
a fruit salad. Skip the
ice cream truck and satisfy your sweet tooth with a refreshing fruit salad
(Phase 2) at the park. Cut up apples into cubes, toss with a little lemon juice
to prevent browning, and combine the apples in a resealable plastic container
with grapes, fresh sliced apricots, peach slices, chunks of cantaloupe or
honeydew, and your choice of berries. Store the fruit salad in the fridge until
you’re ready to pack in a cooler. Bring along some fresh mint or basil in a
plastic bag for a last-minute garnish.
along lean deli meats. On Phase 1 of the original diet or the Gluten
Solution Program? Bring along lean deli roll-ups. Choose a slice or two of
low-fat reduced-sodium all-natural ham, turkey or chicken breast, or lean roast
beef and roll up with a slice of reduced-fat cheese in a Bibb lettuce leaf.
These hold up well if well-wrapped and kept chilled. On Phase 2, enjoy the cold cuts and cheese
with a whole-grain sandwich bread and layer it with romaine lettuce leaves and
tomato slices. If you’re not a meat-eater, make a nut-butter sandwich instead.
refreshing soups and salads. Summery first-course soups and salads can be packed
in reusable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids and served in disposable
bowls once you get to the park. Try a chilled gazpacho soup or a big garden salad
made with crisp romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet onions.
Bring a South Beach Diet-friendly dressing and toss just before serving. On
Phase 2, you can also take along a sweet potato salad or prepare a whole-wheat
macaroni salad with a pesto sauce instead of mayonnaise your soup and salad.
- Pack non-perishable snacks. Chances are your day at the park will be filled with plenty of fun-filled activities, so to help keep you energized and ward off hunger and cravings, be sure to pack some healthy snacks. On Phase 1, you can enjoy veggie sticks with hummus or a South Beach Diet-friendly dip, have a reduced-fat cheese stick, or snack on a container of plain Greek yogurt with some nuts sprinkled on top. On Phase 2, you can have any of these or perhaps a whole-wheat cracker sandwich: Simply spread a cracker or two with some reduced-fat spreadable cheese or natural no-sugar-added peanut butter and top with another cracker. If you don’t have time to prepare picnic snacks, our South Beach Diet Sweet Delights — either dark-chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or soynuts — will fulfill your chocolate cravings at just 100 calories. Our creamy, cooling 100-Calorie Snack Smoothies, which come in three tropical flavors, Strawberry Banana, Wild Berry, and Perfectly Peach, are another good take-along choice. Be sure to keep the smoothies chilled until ready to serve.