Five Healthy Family Picnic Themes and Recipes!

Vegan Protein Balls

By:  Angela Campos and Charlene Bazarian 

Venturing out to the great outdoors with the family can be a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate.  Getting some fresh air and vitamin D while enjoying time together dining alfresco can be a fun way to connect, but sometimes even planning a picnic is no picnic! 

We put together five fresh and fun picnic themed menus so, whether you are just laying a blanket out in the backyard or heading for the hills, we’ve got you covered! 

1. Vegan Picnic:

Vegan White Bean Burger

Whether you follow a plant-based diet or you are just looking to reduce the amount of meat you consume daily, you can create a vegan picnic lunch that the entire family will enjoy!  You can make simple Vegan White Bean Burgers and wrap them individually in foil to keep them warm. Pack up some of your favorite toppings like tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and pickles in a separate container so you can add them to the burgers when you are ready to feast.

Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas

Add some Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas for a tasty pairing and, for a sweet treat, give these Vegan Cranberry Peanut Butter Protein Balls a try!

2.  Brunch Picnic:  What could be more fun than a morning hike with the family and then settling down at a picturesque spot for a brunch-themed picnic. A make ahead Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole is a hearty and healthy dish that’s easy to pack and tastes delicious warm or cold.

Lemon Blueberry Scones

If you want to add a special treat to your brunch, pack along a thermos of Fresh Strawberry Mimosas that can also be made kid friendly by using sparkling apple cider.

Fresh Strawberry Mimosa

Unwind and enjoy a batch of these Lemon Blueberry Scones  for a zesty brunch treat.

Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole

3.  Mexican Food Picnic


Whip up a quick and easy batch of homemade quesadillas and pack them in foil to keep warm and bring along your favorite salsa and guacamole to go along with them.

Mexican Corn Casserole

A covered container of Mexican Corn Casserole is a great side dish with the quesadillas. Then, toss a bag of your favorite baked tortilla chips into your basket and you’ll have a delicious Mexican meal that the family is sure to love.

4.  Charcuterie Style Picnic

Dill Hummus

Charcuterie boards are all the rage right now and are limited only by your imagination.  Pack up your favorite cured meats, cheeses, and fresh or dried (or both) fruits and nuts in individual containers.  Choose some healthier option crackers. Brands like Simple Mills, Base Culture and Siete Foods make some great, minimally processed and low carb varieties. Crackers made from cheese or a simple sliced baguette also work well and they pair nicely with a homemade hummus like this Dill Hummus Recipe.   Add in a bottle of your favorite wine or prosecco. You can choose one that’s lower in sugar, carbs and calories, like Fitvine Wine for the adults, or add some sparkling water for the kids.

Photo courtesy of Fitvine Wine

Head out to a favorite spot along the water or, in a country setting, lay down a blanket and spread everything out on a large cutting board to graze on!

5.  Dessert Picnic Basket: This would be a fun treat for the entire family. After enjoying a meal at home, fill your basket with a few of your favorite desserts like these Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, Trail Mix Cookies or Apple Caramel Bars. Looking for an even healthier post-dinner treat? These Fruit Kabobs with Cream Cheese Dip would be fun to add to your Dessert Picnic Basket. Then, head to a local park and go for a leisurely walk with the kids before settling down to enjoy the sunset with some delicious sweet treats!

Fruit Kabobs with Cream Cheese Dip

Once you’ve packed up your picnic basket, get ready to de-stress and take a break from your typical daily routine and environment. The fun doesn’t have to be limited to the meal, so why not bring along a Frisbee, football or portable game like Spikeball or KanJam and mix in some fun family fitness during your outing.  A picnic just may be the perfect fun in the sun prescription for you and your family!