Menu for a Breakfast Picnic

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Picnics offer families and friends alike a chance to gather and enjoy a meal together in the fresh air and natural scenery. Holding a breakfast picnic poses a special opportunity for out-of-the-picnic-basket thinking because most picnics are held at midday or in the afternoon. Tailor your breakfast picnic menu to the setting and the nutrition needs of the picnic guests for the rest of the day.

Sweet Breakfast Picnic

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Serve a breakfast picnic menu centering around sweet yet nutritious morning treats. Pile a cotton-towel-lined picnic basket -- or a more sturdy and practical plastic container -- with low-sugar, high-fiber muffins, such as bran, apple-raisin, and pumpkin spice. Pack an insulated container with ice, milk, orange juice, fresh fruit, yogurt and light whipped topping. Round out the morning menu with granola, breakfast cereal, and instant coffee and tea. These basic ingredients will let your guests create their own sweetly healthy breakfast.

Oatmeal Breakfast Picnic

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Make oatmeal the base of your breakfast picnic menu to provide a substantial morning meal that can be customized by each picnic participant. Start with a slow cooker full of precooked oatmeal or a carafe of hot water and packets of instant oatmeal. Provide bowls and a spread of oatmeal toppings and stir-ins, including crushed nuts, granola, fruit, flax seed, vanilla, peanut butter, skim milk, real maple syrup -- used sparingly -- and raisins. Alternately, for less mess, make baked oatmeal or oatmeal bars in advance and serve with fruit on the side.

Hearty Breakfast Picnic

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Fuel up and enjoy the morning air with a hearty breakfast picnic. This breakfast picnic menu is particularly appropriate for a picnic that precedes an active day, like a day at the park with a school group or a group hike or service project. Serve stick-to-your-ribs healthy fare like spinach quiche with turkey sausage, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, and buckwheat pancakes with low-sugar blueberry jam and sliced bananas.

Mexican Breakfast Picnic

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Plan a fresh Mexican-inspired breakfast picnic menu for a south-of-the-border twist on typical breakfast food. Components to make ahead and serve include seasoned black beans or pinto beans, pico de gallo salsa, scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onions, roasted chipotle-spiced potatoes, and sliced avocados. Give everyone a plate and a couple of whole-wheat tortillas and allow them to make their own breakfast burrito.