Eating outdoors can be a delightful experience, and there’s something about dining al fresco that makes food taste better. Eating outside can be a great way to add variety to your dining routine, whether you’re planning a picnic, a trip camping, or just want to eat in your backyard.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of eating outdoors and share tips and tricks for creating the perfect outdoor dining experience.
The Benefits of Eating Outdoors
Eating outdoors has numerous benefits beyond just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Here are some reasons why eating outdoors can be good for you:
- Reduced Stress: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Eating outside can help you relax and enjoy your meal without distractions.
- Improved Mood: Fresh air and natural light can help boost your mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being.
- Better Digestion: Sitting down and taking time to eat can improve digestion, and eating outdoors can help you slow down and savor your food.
- Exposure to Vitamin D: Getting a little bit of sun exposure can help your body produce vitamin D, which is important for bone health and immunity.
Tips for Outdoor Dining
- Plan ahead: Make sure you have everything you need for your meal, including a cooler, utensils, plates, and cups. Consider bringing a tablecloth and some outdoor lighting to set the mood.
- Keep it simple: When planning your outdoor meal, focus on simple, easy-to-prepare foods that don’t require a lot of fuss. Grilled meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and simple salads are all great options.
- Stay hydrated: Don’t forget to bring plenty of water or other beverages to stay hydrated while you’re outside.
- Pack for comfort: Bring blankets, pillows, or camping chairs to make sure you’re comfortable while you eat.
- Clean up after yourself: Make sure to pack out all your trash and leave the area cleaner than you found it (or cleaner :)).
Top Foods to Bring for Outdoor Dining
1. Sandwiches and Wraps
Wraps and sandwiches are a common dish for outdoor dining. They can be made to your specifications and are simple to pack. Pick entire grain breads or wraps for added fiber and nourishment, and load them with lean proteins like barbecued chicken or turkey, or plant-based choices like hummus or tofu.
2. Salad Jars
Salad jars are a great way to enjoy a fresh, nutritious meal on-the-go. Start with a wide-mouth mason jar and layer in your favorite salad ingredients, starting with the dressing on the bottom and working your way up to the greens on top. Shake or toss the jar before eating to mix all the ingredients together.
3. Fruit Skewers
For outdoor snacking, fruit skewers are a fun and colorful option. Essentially, string pieces of your number one natural products onto sticks and pack them in a holder or cooler. For a snack that is both refreshing and hydrating, try a variety of fruits like watermelon, pineapple, kiwi, and berries.
4. Energy Balls or Bites
Energy balls or bites are a convenient and healthy snack that can be made ahead of time and packed for outdoor adventures. They are usually made with a combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, and can be customized with different flavors like chocolate, peanut butter, or matcha.
5. Raw Veggies and Dip
A classic snack that can be packed and enjoyed anywhere is raw vegetables and dip. Cut up carrots, cucumbers, chime peppers, and cherry tomatoes and load them with a holder of hummus or tzatziki for a crunchy and fulfilling nibble.
Breaking out of your routine and experiencing your meals in a new way can be made more enjoyable by eating outside. You can create a memorable outdoor dining experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed with a little planning and preparation. In this way, get together your cookout container or fire up the barbecue and prepare to partake in nature while enjoying some flavorful food!
When eating outside, it’s important to keep food safety in mind. Avoid exposing perishable foods to the sun for an excessive amount of time, and ensure that hot foods are kept hot and cold foods are kept cold. Always adhere to food safety guidelines and cook and handle food with care.