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Outdoor Eats

Nothing says summer like a pic-a-nic, Boo Boo! July is the perfect time to pack a meal and enjoy the outdoors with your children. While my little ones love peanut butter and jelly, we also like something a little bit more sophisticated.

So let me give you a few pic-a-nic tips before you head out with your family. I use our water bottles as our “ice packs.” I fill our water bottles three-quarters full and pop them in the freezer. Then, as they thaw we have more drinks for after hikes or time on the playground. Water is simply the best drink for kids and for hot summer days.

Additionally, I pack a watermelon. You can take it whole or cut into slices before you leave. I like to cut them at the park, and allow the kids to help out. Seeds then aren’t a worry; nor are sticky juices on the kitchen floor. Plus, cleanup is much easier. I also like that I don’t have to worry about finding a container or a zip bag big enough to carry the slices to the picnic. Mother Nature already made the perfect package.

What also ends up in our picnic basket is sunscreen, and since I can never count on water being available, we pack wet naps for dirty hands. And we bring two bags for cleanup: I use one for trash and the other for recycling.

So, for this picnic instead of PB&J sandwiches we’re making wraps. I’ve found my kids love peanut Thai sauce on noodles, wraps, and even vegetables. And wraps are easy to transport. I keep homemade peanut Thai sauce in my fridge. If you thin it, it even makes a great salad dressing.

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Chris Xaver, Ph.D., is a local TV and radio personality with three children and five grandchildren. Her healthy lifestyle show, The Sweet Life, is airing on public television stations nationwide.

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