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10 tips for perfect picnics


Published: 05/06/2013

by Roslyn Ralph

If you’re anticipating a summer of picnics and roadside dining, here are some suggestions to make the whole process

easier and a heck of a lot more fun.


1. Invest in a good-quality cooler for perishables. Look for air-tight gasket seals around the lid and, on larger
ones, a leak-proof spigot for draining melted water. Consider the size; coolers filled with food and ice can be heavy

so you may want to buy two coolers of manageable size, rather than one large one you can’t lift easily.


2. Look for individual water-tight containers for storing salads, sandwiches or ingredients for grilling. Is there
anything more disappointing on a picnic than discovering that your sandwiches are waterlogged from melted ice?

Heavy-duty, reusable ones are best.


3. Try reusable dishes and flatware on the road. Heavy-duty plastic or melamine plates and cups are perfect for picnics,
along with metal flatware. And they lend a little elegance to your al fresco dining, too.


4. Keep a small wooden cutting board and sharp paring or pocket knife on hand for last-minute food preparation.


5. During the summer, keep a light, oversized blanket in the back of your car for impromptu dining on the ground. A
plastic ground sheet is also a good idea to protect the blanket – and your backside, for that matter – from ground moisture.


6. Two tea towels, one damp and one dry, sealed in plastic bags, will ensure you’re well prepared for almost any picnic
mess. A roll of paper towels is handy, too.

7. If you have the space in the car, folding campstools or other outdoor chairs are always handy for outdoor meals.


8. Thwart hungry ants by drawing circles around your plate with chalk. Talcum powder works equally well if dining on the
ground. Ants can’t stand the smell and texture of either.


9. Garbage bags take up very little space and are essential.


10. Stay hydrated. Have plenty of liquids on hand and remind everyone to drink often, especially kids and the elderly.
Water is always best, but 100% fruit juices or juices mixed with natural sparkling water are great, too.  


These picnic pointers were provided by the recipe pros at Whole Foods.

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