The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png
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Texting and Driving: The Scary Truth

During the Youth-Adult Partnership Conference that was held in January 2014, we found that many youth were concerned with the number of youth that were distracted drivers. There are many different types of distractions that can take a driver’s focus off the road and put themselves, passengers and even bystanders in danger.

These types of distractions include:

Many drivers might think that some of these activities would not constitute as distractions but they have all been known to cause drivers to take their focus off the road. Texting is by far one of the most dangerous distractions because it  requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver.

Delaware state laws ban any and all use of cell phones for novice drivers. They also ban use of handheld phones and a ban on texting for all drivers. Note: Delaware defines novice drivers as those with a learner’s permit or intermediate license holders.

Delaware law enforcement officers issued 19,500 citations last year to drivers caught texting or talking on cell phones without a hands-free device, up more than 48 percent from a year earlier. In 2013, Delaware also saw 149 cell-phone related crashes, according to the Office of Highway Safety.

First time offenders are currently fined $75 for using cell phones while driving. Second offenses can be fined anywhere from $100-$200.

Did you know?

At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver and there were 3,328 people killed due to distracted driver accidents.

 

Distracted driving can cost far more then just a fine; it is time for youth in Delaware to put their phones away when they get behind the wheel.