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Joanna Dolgoff, M.D.

Joanna Dolgoff, M.D.

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Healthy Picnic: What To Pack

Posted: 05/16/11 06:00 AM ET

Whether at the park, on the beach or in your own back yard, a family picnic is a great way to spend time together while bonding over the food you eat. Unfortunately, traditional picnic foods like fried chicken, dips and mayonnaise-based salads can wreak havoc on anyone's health. With a little modification, you can enjoy a picnic while keeping your family happy and healthy.

Fresh and Crisp Produce
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Go raw! Summer picnics occur at the height of the fresh produce season. The more colorful produce you add to your menu, the healthier the meal.

Get your picnics off to a "fruitful" start by packing your cooler with a wide variety of colorful fruits. If they are in season, there is nothing quite like a juicy watermelon to finish the meal.

Sliced apples, berries and dried fruit like raisins and dried apricots are perfect travel snacks, without the mess of fruits you have to peel. Pack a nutritional punch by filling your cooler with colorful vegetables, which will provide your family picnic with antioxidants and vital vitamins and minerals. Try baby carrots, slices of celery, cucumbers and peppers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli- all perfect for dipping.

Pack low- fat or fat- free dressings for a fun and nutritious snack. Be sure to keep uncooked meats and fresh produce separate in your coolers to avoid potential food-borne illness.
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