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Wellness Wednesday: celebrate National Picnic Month with these healthy ideas

Posted at 6:17 AM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 08:17:16-04

IDAHO — Grab your picnic basket: July is National Picnic Month!

If you're planning to enjoy Idaho's outdoors anytime soon, there's no better time to do so with fresh fruits and vegetables lining the aisles and local farmers markets.

"Really leaning on those fresh produce items, the colors of summer. They're going to provide us with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, plus hydration so as we're packing our picnic baskets, really throw in your fresh cut fruit, your vegetables that way you have something nice, light, and refreshing during the hot summer days," says Molly Tevis, a registered dietitian with Albertsons.

When you're picking out which fruits and veggies to bring on your journey, there's one, in particular, you should add to your grazing menu.

"In addition to National Picnic Month, it is also National Blueberry Month. Blueberries are one of the highest antioxidant fruits among our most popular fruits. They also provide fiber, and again, hydration so water. They're 85% water so sneak in those blueberries," Tevis explains.

Tevis says while we mostly think of blueberries as a sweet treat or a sweet fruit, they can make a fun and delicious addition to savory recipes.

"One of my favorites that I made for us this morning is this grilled corn salad and then add in those blueberries so you get a little sweet, a little savory, plus all the health benefits of adding in those blueberries."

For those looking to get in a good meal while on the go, portability is a key component to keep in mind.

"I like pre-made wraps or sandwiches like my little BLT pita pockets that I have here ready to go, something that you can take and wrap and throw in your picnic basket or cooler and it's not going to need a lot of utensils or make a lot of mess," says Tevis.

Other things to consider for your picnic lunch: pre-chopped vegetables or items already sliced and diced for a charcuterie board.

It's not just about savory treats. If you're traveling with someone who has a sweet tooth, there are plenty of on-the-go options for them as well.

"Really lean into those fresh fruits of summer. We have local cherries, blueberries, and watermelon in our stores right now, and they're so refreshing. If you're looking for something a little more special, have some bite-size sweet treats like brownies or bars and keep them small. They don't make a lot of mess or take up a lot of room in your basket or cooler. Plus, then they're the perfect little portion to just give you that little bite that you want."

For more ideas, head to your local Albertsons or click here.