Six tips to plan the perfect summer picnic

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Warmer temperatures mean it’s time to get outdoors – and one of the best ways to do this is with a picnic. Appetites soar outside and picnics are not only an opportunity to enjoy nature all day, but they’re perfect for spending quality time with friends and family.

Before you head out, consider these six tips for planning it:

1. Pick your spot: Look for treed areas where there’s shade available in case it gets too hot and make sure that there’s space for children to play.

2. Pack smart: Baskets look nice, but aren’t always practical. Try an insulated tote or cooler that you can roll or carry with ease. Use mason jars for salads, sides and condiments for a portable container that won’t spill.

3. Plan your menu: Focus on finger foods. Tips from Ozery Bakery, for instance, include mini pitas with hummus, crackers with sliced meats and cheese. Veggies and fruit can make a complete meal with little fuss.

4. Be food safe: It’s important to keep everything at the right temperature to avoid food borne illness. Bring a cooler if you are serving salads with dairy-based dressings, or any meat and poultry.

5. Don’t litter: Bring along garbage bags so that you can leave your picnic area as clean and litter-free as you found it.

6. Have fun: It’s not all about the food – bring along board games, a Frisbee or portable speakers, and enjoy.

More picnic-perfect recipes and other on-the-go meal ideas are available at – NC

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