Fun Picnic Ideas

This is such a wonderful time of year with the welcoming of warm weather and the thought of taking your family out on a beautiful sunny day to have the perfect picnic. The great thing about picnics is they can be anything you want them to be; a romantic picnic in your backyard under the stars after the kids go to bed, a fun, breezy picnic on the sandy beach, or the classic bucket of fried chicken and potato salad with your kids in the mountains or park. Here are some tips to make your next picnic experience fun and unique.


These plastic crates can not only be used for transporting picnic food and fun items, but flip them over and throw on a table cloth and they create the perfect picnic table.


You can transport your fruit, or any food you don’t want to get squished inside one of these preserving jars. After the food is gone, put candles in them to set the ambiance for a romantic picnic.


Is your picnic near water? Well then don’t forget your water wings! Put your drinks in the wings and put them on a leash to become little floating refrigerators in the water.


And one last fun tip: you can amplify music on your phone by placing it in a bowl or cup. The kids are sure to love this!

Another important aspect of a picnic is food safety. Potato salads and sandwiches are often things that are eaten at picnics and we need to make sure that our food is safe to eat. The FDA has some great tips for food safety with picnics and barbeques:

  •   Organize cooler contents. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. That way, as picnickers open and reopen the beverage cooler to replenish their drinks, the perishable foods won’t be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.
  •   Keep coolers closed. Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cooler is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold longer.
  •   Don’t cross-contaminate. Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared/cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

COLD FOOD

Cold perishable food should be kept in the cooler at 40° F or below until serving time.

  •   Once you've served it, it should not sit out for longer than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F. If it does - discard it.
  •   Foods like chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.

HOT FOOD

Hot food should be kept hot, at or above 140° F.

  •   Wrap it well and place it in an insulated container until serving.
  •   Just as with cold food - these foods should not sit out for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour in temperatures above 90° F. If food is left out longer, throw it away to be safe.

Enjoy your picnic!

Sources:
  •   http://www.diy-enthusiasts.com/decorating-ideas/fun-picnic-ideas-pack-use-clever/
  •   http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm109899.htm
  •   http://asubtlerevelry.com/how-to-amplify-music-on-a-phone

    Mary Richardson
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com




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