Healthy Beachside Snacks You Actually Want to Eat
It may only be spring, but with the temps reaching the mid-80s lately, it’s a no surprise that most Wilmingtonians are already hitting up the beach. Whether you’re on a boat headed to Masonboro with a group of friends, or spending a leisurely afternoon with your kids in Carolina Beach, make sure your cooler is packed with some healthy (but delicious) snacks.
For years I have mindlessly tossed bags of chips and other prepackaged treats into my beach bag before flying out the door for a day at the beach. Although salty, crunchy, somewhat cheesy bags of chips do hit the spot when lounging in the heat for hours, I know I can do better–even with very little prep work.
Crunchy Raw Vegetables
One of the easiest things to pack for beach snacking is an assortment of raw vegetables like carrots, bell pepper and broccoli. Simply cut up the vegetables ahead of time and toss in the cooler. As an added bonus, vegetables like carrots, peppers and tomatoes are high in beta-carotene, which our bodies convert into Vitamin A supporting skin health. These carotene-packed raw vegetables help protect against sun damage, premature wrinkles and are also a great source of water which will help keep you hydrated.
Ice, Ice Baby
If you’re planning on packing a cooler, super cold treats like frozen grapes or cucumbers on ice are fantastic on a sweltering hot day. Pack these in an insulated container and toss in the cooler along with protein-packed low-fat cheese options. String cheese, Laughing Cow wedges or Baby-Bel minis are perfect for pairing with a piece of fruit. Also consider individual cottage cheese cups, which are high in protein and calcium and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Sweet and Salty
If your go-to snack is a combo of both sweet and salty, pack trail mix, energy balls or even a peanut butter and banana sandwich to stay fuller longer. Bananas are packed with potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Adding peanut butter to the mix provides more protein for tasty a combination on whole-grain bread.