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Smart ways to fill your basket. / Mike Flippo/Getty Images


Summer is the perfect time for a picnic at the park or beach. People tend to reach for pre-made items, says Lisa Lillien, best-selling author of Hungry Girl, but convenience often has a calorie overload. Leave the potato salad at the deli, she says, and try these strategies:

Make sandwiches. Use lean, low-sodium deli meats and light or flatbreads made with whole wheat or extra fiber. Avoid calories in cheese and mayo. To add low-cal zip, use flavored mustards. Pack lettuce and tomato separately to escape soggy sandwiches.

Pack the right snacks. Granola bars and freeze-dried fruit wonít melt. Whole fruit with a protective skin, like oranges and apples, wonít crush in travel. Craving a salty snack? Opt for baked potato chips over regular fried ones.

Grill leaner food. Turkey dogs and veggie burgers are healthier options than beef ó and are kid-approved.

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