Spice your summer up (figuratively and literally) by going on an impromptu picnic this week! Glendale’s parks and trails have some of the best views that southern California has to offer. We know how tempting it is to stay in the cool AC, but you definitely won’t regret stepping out of your routine to enjoy a delicious meal with nature. Below are our suggestions for tooth-friendly picnics in Glendale, CA!
What to Pack
What we love about picnics is they can be as simple or luxurious as you want! You can plan a day to the beach or simply dine on your front lawn. Even though there’s no “right” way to have a picnic, here’s what you’ll need for our particular version of a classic picnic:
- Picnic blanket
- Umbrella (in case it’s sunny)
- Picnic basket
Once you’ve got these supplies, you can start thinking about the food and drinks! You can buy or pack your own food. If you do choose to bring your own food, these are our suggestions for keeping your meal tooth-friendly.
Most sandwiches are made with some type of bread, cheese, meat, and vegetable. Instead of using white bread, which is a refined carb, we recommend getting some type of whole wheat or whole grain bread! It has a lot more fiber and it’s less likely to get stuck in your teeth. Any type of meat is fine for your teeth as long as the meat isn’t under or overcooked. Overcooked meat can be tough to chew and undercooked meat can be hazardous. For cheese and vegetables, pile it on! Both these foods are rich in minerals that are important for maintaining your dental health, so go add as much as you want.
As we said before, vegetables are great for teeth. Leafy greens like and kale are especially great because they have tons of calcium and folates, which can help prevent gum disease. A lot of veggies are also so fibrous that they act as a natural toothbrush to scrub away plaque as you eat them. As you enjoy your salad, do remember to check how much dressing you’re using. A lot of dressings like Thousand Island, ranch, and vinaigrettes have a lot of sugar. Too much dressing can counteract the benefits of eating a salad altogether!
Some of our favorite portable snacks are fruit, nuts, yogurt, and cheese. They may seem basic, but they’re really delicious and healthy! Cheese and yogurt can balance your mouth’s pH, making it too acidic for certain harmful bacteria to live. Peanuts and cashews have calcium and vitamin D and they stimulate saliva in the mouth to flush out unwanted plaque and debris. Fruit is always a yummy dessert. It’s also extremely hydrating and chock full of amazing antioxidants for your oral health. Everything is great in moderation though, so don’t overindulge in fruit. For all its health benefits, it can be very high in natural sugars. You may also want to be careful with citrus. Fruits like strawberries and oranges can damage the enamel because of their citric acids.
Nothing’s more refreshing than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day. We love iced coffee and sweet tea and Kool-aid and watermelon juice as much as the next person, but we do advise bringing water in addition to whatever beverages you have to complement your meal. Sugary drinks can easily get stuck to the enamel and cause dental decay, especially if you plan on sipping on your drink instead of consuming it all at once.
There are tons of other foods you can bring to a picnic, but these are the basics! If you have other items, like poke bowls, pizza, burritos, etc, simply apply the same principles to those foods. As dentists, we would love if our patients brought toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to the picnic to clean their teeth after, but we understand that’s not always possible. Instead, just rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after your meal. Floss picks are also a quick and easy way to get rid of any pesky bits that get stuck in your teeth after.
Where to Picnic
Some of our favorite places to picnic are right here Glendale, CA! Though the city is small, there are tons of beautiful places nearby to explore.
1601 West Mountain Street, Glendale, CA 91201
Located in the Verdugo Mountains, Brand Park is a popular park that has all the amenities a picnic lover could ask for – gorgeous views, hiking trails, gardens, playgrounds, restrooms, and special picnic areas.
600 Hahn Avenue, Glendale, CA 91203
Fremont Park is a great place to engage in fun activities before and after your picnic. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, horseshoe courts, and even a wading pool.
Glendale Central Park
216 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
If you don’t want to drive anywhere far, Glendale Central Park is the place for you! It’s located right outside Glendale Library, so it’s a prime place for city events. Stop by for a study group, Street Food Cinema, and even concerts.
2531 East Glenoaks Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91206
If you don’t stand the summer heat, a picnic at Glenoaks park might be perfect for you. There are tons of shady trees overhead to keep you nice, cool, and relaxed. There’s also a wading pool and basketball courts.
Deukmejian Wilderness Parks
3429 Markridge Road, Glendale, CA 91214
Anyone who wants to get in touch with Mother Nature will adore Deukmejian Wilderness Parks. It’s a beautiful park, trail, and wildlife preserve all in one. There’s also a lake, mountain biking area, wild flowers, animals, and picnic facilities.
3110 Beaudry Terrace, Glendale, CA 91208
Beaudry Loop is more of a hiking trail than a picnic area, but you can stop anywhere along the gorgeous, scenic route for a lunch break. It can get hot this time of year, so make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
Santa Monica Beach is also a short drive away if you prefer the beach. No matter where you are, it’s always nice to have some fresh air once in a while. Also remember to pick up your trash and recycle once you’re done. Keeping our earth clean is just as important as keeping your teeth clean!
Who to Invite
There’s no shame in spending time outdoors solo, but if you want to bring friends and family, go for it! Picnics are a wonderful way to spend time with the people we love without the distractions of technology. There are also lots of hiking, biking, bird watching, and outdoor enthusiast groups you can join.
At Glendale Holistic Dentistry, we advocate for a wholesome approach to our patients’ dental and overall health. While maintaining your oral hygiene is obviously vital to keeping your teeth strong and healthy, it’s also important to get exercise and proper nutrition. That’s why love hearing about our patients spending time outdoors, where they can focus on their physical and mental well-being! Let us know how or where you plan to work on your health this summer!