From the trees to the breeze, Seafood Nutrition Partnership offers recommendations to make picnics a fun way for families to soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.
“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “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 planning picnics 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 heart and brain health. 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.
- Don’t bring phones, tablets or any other device that can distract from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside of a bag or cooler to ensure the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in a cooler, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons green onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 ounce walnuts (about 14 halves)
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (8 ounces) spinach
- 1 can (6 ounces) crab meat or fresh lump crab
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 grapefruit, cut into sections
Heat oven to 300 F.
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 4-5 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.