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Nutrition Articles  ›  Seasonal & Holiday Tips

Healthy Labor Day Picnic Ideas

Make the Last Fling of Summer a Healthy One!

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
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The Perfect Side Dish
To WOW your partygoers, add a side dish filled with flavor and nutrition!
  • Baked Beans are easy to prepare and packed with protein and fiber. Go easy on the bacon and added fat.
     
  • Pasta Salad, prepared with whole-wheat pasta, onions, black olives, cherry tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, and low fat Italian dressing, is loaded with complex carbohydrates, calcium and healthy fat.
     
  • Fruit Salad: A blend of watermelon, cantaloupe, white seedless grapes, and blueberries makes a colorful centerpiece. It also provides antioxidants and phytochemicals, plus fluids to help hydrate the body.
     
  • Spinach-Asparagus Salad with Strawberry Dressing: Combine 1/2 cup whole strawberries, 3/4 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp raspberry vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 4 tsp honey, and 1/8 tsp salt in a blender until mixed and slightly chunky. Place 10 cups trimmed spinach leaves, 1 lb. asparagus (blanched, drained, and cut into bite-size pieces), 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, and 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers in a large bowl. Pour on dressing, toss and serve. Makes 10-12 cup servings, 1-cup each.
 
Good-bye summer…it’s been wonderful.

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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • Great ideas. - 12/8/2013 11:47:13 AM
  • DSHOOK4
    Wonderful ideas - 9/4/2011 5:03:56 PM
  • I just happen to have everything I need for the Spinach Salad - think I'll add that to my menu for today. - 9/6/2009 11:50:51 AM
  • CATHEITE
    Great suggestions, thanks! Even a noncook like myself can handle the fruit and pasta salads. - 9/6/2009 9:34:33 AM
  • I really like the pasta salad idea - I'm still having problems getting past the taste of whole-wheat pasta. I'm hoping the combined flavors will help. - 9/6/2009 8:44:30 AM
  • BETWEENUS
    I liked the tips and recipes. The next time a do a spa weekend with my mum, I think I will be able to adapt the concept so we can eat lunch on the patio. - 9/6/2009 12:29:38 AM
  • The spinach Asparagus Salad with Strawberry Dressing looks awsome. I'am going to be making it next summer for sure. - 9/6/2008 6:47:40 AM
  • RUTHIE_D
    That Spinach-Asparagus Salad with Strawberry Dressing sounds wonderful! - 8/31/2008 11:58:36 AM
  • Wow! I sure wish I had seen this article 2 days sooner - I kinda blew it at last night's BBQ. These recipe ideas would have helped with "damage control"! WIll institute them in future BBQ's! It's all about learning, and even though it seems like just good common sense, we all sure can use a gentle reminder - - especially before a beautiful weekend's celebration. Thanks so much! - 8/31/2008 8:04:16 AM
  • Great article - 8/25/2008 12:29:39 PM