Healthy Snacking At The Beach

Monday, July 1, 2013


By Stephanie Perruzza, MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

Beach season is upon us, and in order to avoid the notoriously unhealthy “snack shack”, it’s important to pack healthy.  You have enough things to worry about when planning a long day at the beach, so here’s a guide to help you out with your beach snacks.

Snack Tips for Your Beach Trips
It’s usually pretty difficult to find healthy snack options at the beach.  The typical high-calorie culprits featured at many snack bars include hot dogs, fried chicken fingers, French fries and nachos (just to name a few).  Don’t let these temptations bust your waistline or drain your wallet.  Packing healthy is easy when you plan and prepare ahead. Keep these simple tips in mind the next time you head out for the perfect beach day!

  1. Keep it Simple. Avoid bringing snacks with ingredients that are messy and may melt or spoil like mayonnaise and sour cream.  The fewer utensils the better!  Finger foods are best when at the beach.
  2. Proper Portions. It’s best to pack single-portion snacks for better calorie control.  Choosing high fiber snacks like nuts and seeds will help control hunger and curb cravings throughout the day.
  3. Focus on fluids. Many beverages contain calories too; be mindful and pack low-calorie, unsweetened drinks such as flavored seltzer or water.  It’s important to stay hydrated in the summer heat, so pack plenty in your cooler!

 

5 Nutritious At-The-Beach Treats
This summer focus on beach treats – not sweets! Here are 5 of my beach favorites:

#1 Peaches with Nut Butter
Fruit paired with all-natural nut butter such as almond, peanut, or pistachio is a perfect snack, and an excellent combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats.  Don’t like nuts? Try sunflower, sesame or pumpkin seed butter instead.

#2 Edamame
Enjoy baby soybeans (AKA edamame) shelled or unshelled.  They’re a great grab-and-go snack that’s easy to fit in your cooler. They also pack a nutritional punch with fiber and protein.

#3 Veggies and Hummus
Choose colorful veggies like carrots, celery sticks, bell pepper, cucumber and snap peas. Hummus flavors vary from avocado to sweet potato so try a few to find your favorite!

#4 Fresh Fruit
Strawberries, watermelon, peaches, and mangoes are juicy, refreshing fruit options in season.  Remember once they’re sliced, they should be kept in a cooler.

#5 Chips and Dip
Baked chips like tortilla, kale or falafel are lower in fat and sodium but portions still matter (stick to about 15 chips).  Pair with low fat dips or spreads like fava or black bean, roasted red pepper, and olive or low-sodium salsas.

Safe Beach Packing Cooler Tips
Foods are more susceptible to bacterial growth in moist, warmer temperatures.  This includes foods like meats, cheeses, cut-up fruit, mayonnaise-based dishes such as potato, and chicken or tuna salads.  It’s important to wrap foods well and place in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice packs.  Raw meats should also be kept in a separate cooler from ready-to-eat foods like fruit and prepared salads. Unrefrigerated food items shouldn’t sit outside for longer than 2 hours; if the temperature is above 90°F than food should be discarded after 1 hour to avoid anyone from getting sick.

SO TELL ME: What are your healthy favorites to snack on at the beach?

 

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