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Healthy Family Picnic + Places to Picnic near Sioux Falls

I have always enjoyed reading books about the American pioneers and homesteaders.  One thing I have noticed is that whenever there was a picnic in the story, there seemed to be one standard meal that was always packed for a picnic- fried chicken.  This has always struck me as odd: of all the foods to pack for a picnic- why fried chicken?  In the days before Chick-fil-A and KFC, it would have been homemade...  I imagine the busy farmwife wiping her brow as she stood over a pot of splattering grease breading and frying chicken on a hot summer day.  After all that work, the fried chicken wouldn't even be hot and crispy by the time it was eaten!  If anyone can tell me why fried chicken was the standard picnic fare of days gone by, it will settle a life long question of mine!

In the spirit of an easy meal to pack for a modern family's picnic, I bring you this blog post! 

But first, here are some great nature areas in and around Sioux Falls, SD that are beautiful picnic destinations.

Picnic Destinations Near Sioux Falls

Outdoor Campus
Located in central Sioux Falls.

Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park
Located in central Sioux Falls.

Good Earth State Park
Located about 10 minutes south east of Sioux Falls.

Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and Perry Nature Reserve
Located 10 minutes east of Sioux Falls.

Healthy Food Ideas for Family Picnics

Chicken Salad in Pita Pockets
I make a big batch of sourdough pita pockets and keep them on hand in the freezer.  I also keep cooked chicken pieces in the freezer from a whole pastured chicken that I cook in the crock pot.

Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps
Veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and microgreens can be included in the wraps!  I keep whole wheat tortillas on hand in the freezer as well as cooked chicken pieces from a whole pastured chicken that I cook in the crock pot.

Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches
We use organic sliced turkey breast from Costco and sliced organic cheese from Azure Standard on homemade sourdough bread.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Use farm fresh pastured raised eggs.  This cooking method for hardboiled eggs makes them so easy to peel a 2 year old can do it!

Siete Tortilla Chips or Churro Strips
I love these chips because they are are grain free, cooked in avocado oil, and don't contain any natural or artificial flavors or questionable ingredients.  I buy them at Costco, HyVee on sale or Vitacost with a coupon.

Yogurt Topped with Fruit
I use organic whole milk yogurt with a few drops of vanilla and stevia extract stirred in.  I like thawing frozen organic blueberries, dragon fruit, raspberries, or mangos for topping.

Homemade Better Than Subway Double Chocolate Cookies

Our family recently enjoyed a spur-of-the-moment picnic at the Mary Jo Wagner Arboretum and Perry Nature Reserve.  Because I keep tortillas, bread, cooked chicken, sliced deli turkey, and fruit on hand in my freezer it was quick to pack a picnic lunch and head to the park!  What we ate: 
  • Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps (with microgreens) for the adults
  • Turkey and cheese sandwiches for the kids
  • Hard Boiled Eggs (peeled by the 2 year old)
  • Sweet potato chips and Siete nacho chips
  • Yogurt topped with frozen dragon fruit


Thanks for some great ideas, Anna! My grandma was a young widow with 7 kids. She not only made delicious fried chicken, she also raised her chickens as did many women of her day. My aunt told me that preparation for the local 4th of July celebration started with the slaughtering of 4 of her chickens the morning of the picnic and then frying them. And it really was still delicious even when cold.

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