Sun-sational Summer Snacks
You’re off school and outside, running around and being active. The last thing you need is to eat a whole bunch of unhealthy, heavy foods that will drag you down instead of giving you the energy you need to complete all the things on your summer to-do list. So here are some of our summer snack faves, specially designed to make all your summer adventures wholesome ones!
The next time you’re heading down to the beach, don’t let the greasy, fattening burgers, hot dogs and fries from the snack bar be your only eating option. Instead, pack your own cooler full of snacks that’ll keep you hydrated and energized for swimming, volleyball and sandcastle building!
- Sandwiches and wraps: Choose whole-wheat or whole-grain breads and wraps. Read the ingredient label – just because it’s brown doesn’t mean it's whole grain. Fill your seaside sandwich or wrap with lean protein like leftover grilled chicken. Don't forget to add veggies like lettuce and tomato. Tuna (light on the mayo) and peanut (or almond) butter and jelly also make great sandwiches.
- Fruit and veggies: Summer fruits are great to take to the beach – peaches, nectarines and melon slices are all great snacks. Don't forget to take some baby carrots, pepper and cucumber slices as well. Hummus makes a hard-to-spill and healthy dip for your veggies.
- Snacks: Pretzels, home-made trail mix and dry cereal all are easy and healthy snacks to pack.
- H2O: Don't forget your water! It will keep you hydrated in the heat. And remember: sometimes we feel hunger when we are really thirsty ... so drink up!
There’s almost nothing nicer than a perfect picnic on a sunny summer day. While most people pack their baskets full of fatty fried chicken and potato salad loaded with oily mayo, you should make sure the snacks you’re bringing are healthy and nutritious so you can spend the day kicking around the soccer ball or flying kites with your friends instead of snoozing on the picnic blanket and missing out on all the fun.
- Summer’s bounty: Take advantage of the produce that’s in season and fill your picnic basket with peaches, berries, cherries, watermelon, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, peas and fresh herbs.
- Light and crunchy appetizers: Pack a variety of crisp, raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes and radishes. Take along a nutritious dip like hummus, salsa, fat-free bean dip or low-fat yogurt flavored with herbs and spices. Stuffed celery with peanut butter and baked tortilla chips and salsa are classically yummy!
- Different main dishes: Instead of picking up a basket of fried chicken or grilling burgers, why not buy a roast chicken or try making wrap sandwiches. Wraps are easy to eat and carry and can be super-nutritious if you make them with lean meat and stuff them with veggies and salsa or light dressing. Making lean beef burgers or turkey burgers will make it a healthier treat, as will skipping the cheese. Hot dog lovers can choose the lower-fat brands or try a chicken or turkey dog.
- Sensational salads: Don’t load your picnic basket with oily salads. Salads with lots of mayo aren’t just high in fat – they’re also a place where bacteria likes to grow and that can cause you to get sick. Instead, use dressings made with less oil and more vinegar or other added liquids like fruit juices.
- Go whole-grain: Use whole-grain buns, pita bread or wraps for your grilled meat, chicken, fish or veggies.
- Better beverages: Beat the heat with plenty of ice water, sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea and low-calorie drinks. Try freezing water bottles the night before your picnic and using them as cold packs to keep your food cool. Once the water inside the bottles melts, you’ll have an ice-cold drink that’s healthy and refreshing!
If you’re planning on joining a soccer or baseball team this summer, or you’re going to be doing a lot of outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, etc., make sure you’re eating the right kind of snacks to give you the maximum amount of strength and energy. This way, you’ll excel at every summer sport!
- Proteins: Found in meat, eggs and dairy foods.
- Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the best sources. Try bagels, English muffins, cold or hot cereal, pretzels, low-fat crackers, leftover pasta, noodle soups or microwaved potatoes.
- Vitamins: Found in fruits and vegetables, juice and salads.
- Minerals: Like calcium, found in dairy products like cheese.
Road Trip Snacks
If you’re going on a family road trip this summer and you’re going to be spending some (or a lot of) time in the car, tell your parents you’d rather bring your own food for the trip rather than stopping at greasy roadside fast-food joints or diners. The more unhealthy snacks you eat in the car, the less pleasant the trip will be.
- Cleaned and sliced raw vegetables; grape or cherry tomatoes
- Apples, oranges, bananas, grapes
- Snack-size dried fruit (such as raisins)
- String cheese
- Yogurt in a tube
- Roasted soy nuts
- Baked, flavored rice or popcorn cakes
- Sugar-free Jell-o cups (plus plastic spoons!)
- Fat-free pudding cups (plus plastic spoons!)
- Reduced-fat cookies/crackers
- Fruit juice boxes; mini cans of low-sodium V8 juice
- Whole-wheat bagels with light cream cheese (bring a plastic knife and slice the bagels before leaving)
- Sandwiches made with lean luncheon meats and low-fat cheese or hummus and fresh spinach