Take Dinner Outside
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More than ever this summer, we have been cooped up in our homes and the preschoolers and kindergarteners have had way more screen time than is usual. Why not pack up an easy to go dinner when everyone has made their way home. There are so many easy meals you can put together and get your @children out the house while we have this glorious weather. Whether it's the backyard, the patio, or the local park, take advantage of this fun activity which will be great for your mental and physical health. Eating in nature can have so many benefits and we still have a few months left to enjoy the outdoors. Make it fun, pack a ball or bubble wand and grab the cooler. These are just a few benefits we can gain being outdoors:
- Family Bonding - Spending time with the whole family over a meal is a wonderful way to bond and catch up with the day's activities. Get your children to tell you about their day, how they felt about things that happened and they did, and at the same time you can share your experiences with them.
- Exercise - Trying to fit some daily exercise routine into our Covid times is important. Join your kids and run, play, kick a ball, tumble with them and they will feel much better when you get home. Games like bean bag toss or horseshoes, kickball and tug-of-war can easily be put together.
- Relieves Stress - Being in natural surroundings always helps one's mood and can help manage your stress levels. Somehow, sitting outdoors relaxes you and can make your meal more enjoyable and give you some relaxing time to be more mindful of your good food and beauty around you.
- Vitamin D - We all know that being outdoors helps with your daily dose of vitamin D which is a vital nutrient for your body to function properly. A little sunshine does wonders.
- Boosts your Immunity - We have been hearing more about boosting our and our children's immune systems to help us avoid these viruses or cope with them if we do get them.
Picnics outside are so easy to slap together. You don't need any fancy foods and it can be fairly inexpensive:
- If you have a garden, grilling is always easy. Put together some corn on the cob and a baked potato and add it to your protein on the grill.
- Hummus is always a great addition with some pita bread or corn tortillas.
- Sliced meat, cheese is a quick grab.
- Coleslaw, egg salad or potato salad always makes kids happy
- A handful of crackers or rice crackers or pretzels help
- Carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes or peppers sliced are so colorful
- Bananas, berries, apples, peaches or watermelon are delicious for dessert
Great Egg Salad
1/2 C mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with water (so eggs are fully covered). Bring eggs to boil. Place the lid on top and remove from heat. Let sit for 13 minutes.
- Place eggs in an ice bath or run under cold water to chill eggs.
- Peel and chop hard boiled eggs.
- Mix eggs, mayonnaise and seasoning. (choose an option from below to make it unique!)
- Chill for up to 3 hr.
Mix it up additions:
- Nicoise – mix in olives and tuna
- Cucumber Basil – add crunchy diced cucumbers and fresh basil
- Curried – Add curry powder and bits of diced apple
- Southern – Just add some yellow mustard
- Avocado – replace the mayo with mashed creamy avocado and a dash of paprika
- Tarragon – combine fresh tarragon, bell pepper and fennel
- Pesto – add fresh basil and minced garlic
- Jalapeno – if you like it spicy add in some diced jalapeno peppers, cilantro and cumin
Whatever you decide to do outdoors is a great improvement to being stuck indoors so enjoy your children, relax and stay safe!