AARP holds senators accountable for key bipartisan Medicare vote. Learn more




Enter an ingredient, course or keyword and get cooking!




AARP Games - Play Now!
AARP Auto Buying Program


Contests and

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

most popular


Pack a Picnic for a Healthy Al Fresco Meal

Summer's the best time to eat outdoors!

Healthy Picnic Recipes: Chicken wraps, german potato salad

These 10 healthy picnic ideas will satisfy your appetite, as well as your waistline. — Jonelle Weaver/Getty Image

One of the joys of the warm weather months is eating outdoors, and picnics are the best way to have a meal out without stressing your wallet. Whether your outing is to a local park, a day at the beach or an outdoor concert, you can easily tailor a picnic to your specific dietary needs.

Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter.

Be sure to follow a few simple rules of food handling: Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Cold perishables should be kept in a cooler at 40 degrees F. with ice or frozen gel packs until serving time. Store hot foods in an insulated container until serving. As with cold foods, hot foods should not sit out for more than two hours, or one hour when the temperature is over 90 degrees F.

So if a picnic sounds like a good idea to you, but you're not sure where to start, or you just want some inspiration for something new, take a look at these healthful recipes.

Watermelon Agua Fresca by Adam Ried

Literally "fresh watermelon water," this drink would be a great start to a picnic. It is a traditional Mexican drink with a pleasing pink hue. Besides, what better way to enjoy summer than with the taste of watermelon?

Per serving: 65 calories, 0g fat, 1g protein, 1g fiber

Ginger Lemonade by Arlen Gargagliano

Lemonade is no doubt a classic summer drink, but why not add a Caribbean twist? Although this recipe includes vodka, there are instructions for an alcohol-free version, if you desire. Either way, it's sure to be refreshing and delicious.

Per serving: 339 calories, 0g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber

Mango and Papaya Salad by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

Need a bit more fiber in your diet? This salad will hit the spot. With so much fruit, it'll keep you full and satisfied. You'll get a good dose of vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium, too.

Per serving: 225 calories, 1g fat, 3g protein, 6g fiber

German Potato Salad by Robin Miller

If you're craving a potato salad for your picnic, this is a great choice. It travels and keeps well since it has no mayonnaise, and it's easy to make.

Per serving: 273 calories, 6g fat, 8g protein, 4g fiber

Carrot Slaw with Mango Chutney Dressing by Lorna Sass

Mango chutney gives this slaw an unexpected but delightful summer flavor. Enjoy it with a favorite sandwich of your choice, or over grilled chicken for a healthy lunch.

Per serving: 140 calories, 4g fat, 3g protein, 4g fiber

Asian Chicken Wrap by Ellie Krieger

Now here's a wrap to get excited about. It's all about varying textures for this one, from the smooth dressing to the crunch of the cabbage and bell peppers and the tender chicken.

Per serving: 380 calories, 12g fat, 35g protein, 3g fiber

Tuna Fish Salad Sandwich with Scallion and Pickled Ginger by David Ricketts

Pickled ginger adds an unexpected element to this tuna salad sandwich. Tuna is a great lean source of omega-3 fats, and may have benefits for cardiovascular health.

Per serving: 267 calories, 5g fat, 28g protein, 5g fiber

Egg, Tofu, and Tomato Sandwich by Steve and Elena Kapelonis

Need a filling vegetarian choice for your picnic? Look no further; this sandwich is a great source of protein and fiber, guaranteed to keep you satisfied.

Per serving: 340 calories, 9g fat, 35g protein, 8g fiber

Raisin and Apricot Breakfast Cookies by Debra Ponzek

What's not to love about these cookies? They're portable, healthy and scrumptious. You can even have the kids help out with these if you're planning a family picnic.

Per serving: 177 calories, 3g fat, 4g protein, 2g fiber

Summer Fruit Compote by Diane Rossen Worthington

Make this dessert ahead of time for a fruitful ending to your picnic. This dish is quite versatile because it can be made with fruits that you have on hand, and does not necessarily have to stick to the original assortment. Whatever's in season at your local farmers market will work well here!

Per serving: 329 calories, 1g fat, 2g protein

You may also like: 3 low-calorie strawberry desserts.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait


Eating healthy can be just as important as having a healthy sense of humor. Author Shelly Lewis shares her comedic sense to stay well balanced.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

denny's restaurant member discount membership

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny’s restaurants.

Member Benefit Discount Dunkin Donuts Cream

Members get a FREE Donut with purchase of a L or XL beverage at Dunkin' Donuts.

Outback membership benefit aarp festive steak dinner

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Outback Steakhouse.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.