From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.
“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian, nutritionist and TV host. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”
Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.
- Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
- Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to- make option.
- Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
- Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
All you need:
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp green onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 oz walnuts (about 14 halves)
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (8 oz) spinach
- 1 can (6 oz) crab meat or fresh lump crab
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 grapefruit, cut into sections
All you do:
- Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- To make dressing, mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
- Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.