Forth of July is a perfect occasion for a picnic. I love to relax in the park with friends and enjoy great food while waiting for the fireworks show.  Here are recipe and tips for how to pack for a picnic all summer long.


  • Sandwiches
    • Greek Salad Club or Cucumber and Apricot Sandwich.  Recipes from Better Home and Gardens.

Cucumber and Apricot Sandwich from Better Homes and Gardens

Greek Salad Club from Better Homes and Gardens

  • Refreshing Summer Salads
    • 5-Bean Summer Salad. Recipe from Country Living

5-Bean Summer Salad from Country Living

  • Avocado, Mozzarella,Tomato, and Basil

Avocado, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil


  • Whole Grain Salad
    • Black Bean Quinoa Salad from the Sustainable Food Center’s The Happy Kitchen
BB Quinoa Salad

Black Bean Quinoa Salad from the Sustainable Food Center’s The Happy Kitchen


  • Dip with Fresh Vegetables, Fruit and Chips
    • Edamame “Guacamole” With Chile-Dusted Pita Chips

Edamame “Guacamole” With Chile-Dusted Pita Chips


  • Dessert ideas
    • Cupcakes and cookies are an favorite mess-free option
    • Get adventurous and try creating a fruit skewer

Photo from MyRecipe by Jennifer Davick; Styling: Allison R. Banks




  • On extra hot days bring reusable plastic ice cubes or use frozen grapes to help keep your beverage cold.

reusable ice cubes

  • Remember to pack water to stay hydrated!



  • Cups, plates and utencils
  • Don’t forget a serving spoon, cutting knife, small cutting board, corkscrew, and bottle opener
  • Napkins (or paper towels)



  • Grab an old sheet or you can find a blanket with a waterproof bottom, such as this one from L.L. Bean.

Waterproof Outdoor Blanket. $45 at L.L. Bean.




  • Santa Cruz Picnic Cooler for Two

Picnic Cooler. $55.99 on Wayfair




  • Don’t forget trash bags!
Melanie Sanders

By Melanie Sanders

Melanie Sanders is a Registered Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from UT and completed a year of supervised dietetics practice through UT’s Coordinated Program. Melanie returned to UT to study nutrition after working in communications for 10 years. Initially, she received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and worked planning and implementing PR programs for a variety of food and nutrition companies, including Safeway, ConAgra Foods and Weight Watchers. Melanie sees patients in a clinical setting as a Registered Dietitian at St. David’s Medical Center and enjoys the opportunity to provide nutrition counseling at iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy. Specialties include speaking with clients about nutrition for women, seniors, oncology, diabetes, heart and cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal disorders, and weight management.

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