Picnic party in the park! Potlucks are a great way to spread the work out and make sure everyone has fun but when you end up with countless bags of chips and bowls of soupy potato salad, your party goes from fun to flop.
Here’s how to host a kick-ass and healthy potluck picnic.
1. Theme Park. Pick a theme for the potluck like Lovin’ Legumes or Go For Green that lend themselves naturally to healthy fare. Or, just let everyone know that there’s a health focus for the event and encourage them to think fresh, local and organic. You might even include a link to a website with healthy recipes for inspiration, like, say, US!
2. Plan the Parts. One of the biggest risks with potlucks is that everyone will show up with the same part of the meal – like all appies or all dessert. With smaller groups especially, it helps to assign people a part of the meal. Divvy out the appies, drinks, salads and sweets so that you’ve got a nice variety. Your party participants will probably be grateful for the direction. Or, disappointed that it’s not all desserts!
3. The Big Reveal. We all have friends who have dietary restrictions. The reality for them at a potluck is having to skip any dish that holds even the slightest mystery. Make life easy for everyone by asking each person to bring the recipe to place beside their dish. That way, people can see what’s in it and find out how to make that delicious dish on their own. If you have a high percentage of guests with specific dietary needs, let people know when you invite them – the gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free vegans will love you!
4. Keep it Green. A healthy potluck is healthy for the planet too. Ask guests to BYOP – bring their own plate (and fork, spoon, cup, cloth napkins …). Do the Earth another good turn and challenge everyone to make it a zero waste picnic – suggest they avoid all plastics and other disposable containers. It’s a picnic for the planet.
5. Add Movement. Potluck picnics don’t have to be just about the eating. Make a day of it by getting the group moving. You could simply host a group yoga session or game of Frisbee. Or, you can extend the potluck theme to the activities. Ask everyone to bring a challenge (think old school picnic games like egg on spoon races, pass the orange, scavenger hunt and three legged races) and let the games begin.
Good food and good times – you’ll be the princess of healthy picnic parties before you know it.