What to Bring Along to Eat on a Family Picnic

Are you having a hard time thinking of ideas of what to bring along to eat on a family picnic? Today, we'll give you some ideas of how to eat healthy on these occasions.
What to Bring Along to Eat on a Family Picnic

Last update: 08 September, 2020

When the weather is nice, it’s always a good time to enjoy the great outdoors along with your loved ones. With that in mind, we want to give you some ideas on what to bring along to eat on a family picnic.

Although it may seem simple, it’s best to apply certain hygiene and preservation measures. Otherwise, the heat and travel time can work against you. What’s more, it’s best to prepare healthy and varied dishes, like those we’ll suggest below.

Basic guidelines for handling and preserving picnic food

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind the following four guidelines in order to safeguard yourselves against food poisoning:

  1. Wash and disinfect utensils, surfaces, and any fruits and vegetables that you’re going to eat raw. Also, be sure to use potable water. What’s more, be sure to wash your hands before and after handling foods – especially when alternating between raw and cooked foods. And, of course, wash them every time you go to the bathroom, cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
  2. Separate raw foods from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. One of the tips is to use different utensils, place them in airtight containers, and handle them in separate areas.
What to Bring Along to Eat on a Family Picnic

  1. Cook foods at a temperature higher than 150ºF. This is especially important when it comes to eggs, and even more so during the summer. That’s because warm temperatures can contribute to the appearance of salmonella.
  2. Cool dishes in as little time as possible and don’t keep them at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Place them in closed food containers inside the fridge until you’re ready to go. If you need to thaw any food, do so in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to go, place the food containers in a cooler. Then, when you arrive at your destination, place the cooler in the shade. Be sure to open it only when you’re going to eat something to make sure things stay cool.

Now that we’ve made all that clear, it’s time to get to work. Below, we’ll share some simple and healthy ideas that you can prepare and bring along to eat on a family picnic.

What to bring to eat on a family picnic?

There are multiple options that you can bring to eat on a family picnic. For example, snacks, sandwiches, salads, pasta, rice, legumes, and vegetables.

Foods for snacking

Besides typical snacks like olives, pickles, potato chips, etc, you can also pack the following:

  • Hummus with carrot sticks, sliced peppers, and celery. What’s more, you can create different variations of hummus by using different legumes like white beans, lentils, etc.
  • Quiche with chopped potatoes or vegetables. Remember that it needs to be well cooked.
  • Vegetable chips and oven-baked veggies. Wash vegetables and cut them into slices or sticks. Brown them in the oven for at least 20 minutes at 350ºF.
  • Oven-baked potato cubes with herbs.
  • Tomato and mozzarella skewers.
  • Chicken, onion, and pepper skewers.
  • Salmon rolls with cream cheese, cucumber, and dill.
  • Cucumber and zucchini (or eggplant) rolls with olive oil.
  • Fruit cocktail.
  • Watermelon cubes with mint and lime.
  • Grilled pineapple cubes.
What to Bring Along to Eat on a Family Picnic


Remember to use wholegrain bread and quality olive oil. Also, cut sandwiches into pieces according to how much each person will eat. Ideally, each sandwich should weigh about 1.5 grams. Here are some delicious combinations you can try:

  • Tuna fish with grilled peppers.
  • Hummus with baby spinach and mushrooms.
  • Grilled pork loin with green peppers.
  • Chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, and corn.
  • Grilled eggplants, dried tomatoes, lentil pate, and walnuts.
  • Zucchini and onion sautéed with eggs.
  • Blue cheese with apple and arugula.
  • Smoked salmon, hardboiled eggs, and lamb’s lettuce.
  • Finely texturized soy, tomato slices, and olives.
  • Tofu with pesto, zucchini, and carrot.

Salads and main dishes that are perfect to bring along to eat on a family picnic

Another option is to opt for canned fish and beans with some grain and varied vegetables or greens. You can combine them with nuts, seeds, and olives.

  • Salad with green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, sardines, olives, and olive oil.
  • Sautéed garbanzo beans, zucchini, carrots, and eggplants.
  • Pasta salad with cream cheese, cucumber, canned tuna, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Salad with lettuce, grilled chicken, soft cheese, apple, and walnuts.
  • A mix of white beans, raw peppers, onions, and olives. If you prefer fish, you can substitute the beans with codfish.
  • Rice with red peppers, carrots, peas, wrapped in a thin omelette.
  • Summer salad with lettuce, avocado, pineapple, mango, and shrimp.
  • Macaroni with tofu, broccoli, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomato pesto.
  • Salad with lentils, tomato, dates, avocado, and black olives.

The importance of taking food on family outings

With all these fun and delicious options, you have no excuse not to eat healthy when you go on outings with your family. What’s more, it’s the perfect occasion to plan and prepare the food together. So, what are you waiting for?


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Agencia Catalana de Seguridad Alimentaria (ACSA). Cuatro normas para preparar alimentos seguros. 
  • Agencia Catalana de Seguridad Alimentaria (ACSA). Consejos para comer al aire libre. 
  • Agencia de Salud Pública de Cataluña (2020). Salimos de excursión con la escuela. Consejos para los picnics de las salidas escolares. 
  • Agencia de Salud Pública de Cataluña (2019). Guía pequeños cambios para comer mejor. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.