When some people hear the word "spring," they think: Finally, T-shirts and flip-flops. When we hear "spring," we think: Picnics! Those wonderful outdoor lunches are the perfect way to celebrate the start of warm weather. But before you throw together a sad sandwich and a cheap bottle of wine, check out these tips that will guarantee you your best picnic ever.
Remember this: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says cold food should be at 40°F or below and hot food at 140°F or above. To keep your foods at these temps, the Shopaholic Mommy blog recommends packing two coolers – one for food and one for drinks. This way, when people go in and out of the drinks cooler, the cold isn’t escaping the food. Keep hot foods right off the grill to the side of the grill, away from the hottest area, to keep them warm. Also, if the temperature outisde is above 90°F, your food shouldn’t sit out for more than an hour.
If you’re bringing kids on your outdoor adventure, Kids Activities Blog suggests putting snacks in plastic Easter eggs. The portion sizes are great for little ones and they make packing and cleaning up easy. And wrap sandwiches in wax paper to keep them together.
Here are a few products that you can take along to keep all your essentials together:
This bag from Skip Hop is an outdoor blanket plus cooler — all in one!
With plates, flatware and wine glasses, you’ll have all the necessities in one classic picnic basket from Pottery Barn.
Bringing wine for the adults? This wine stand, also from Pottery Barn, is a must.
Not only are these blankets from Target colorful, but they wrap up nicely.
You won’t spend your picnic shooing away flies if you come prepared. Try a sunscreen like BullFrog Mosquito Coast, which contains insect repellant and lasts up to eight hours (80 minutes if you’re in the water). Citronella candles are a good trick, if your park allows an open flame (check signs at entrances). And to keep pests away from the food, use a net cover, such as this one from Target.