There are so many things to love about the beach: breathing in the saltwater air, nodding off under the warm sun, taking a refreshing dip in the cool ocean… the list is endless. But if there is one thing that could ruin an otherwise delightful day at the beach, it's sitting there when you're starving. Nothing is worse than having to trek across the scorching sand to pay for an unhealthy, unappealing truck snack when you're hungry.
So if you're on snack packing duty the next time you head to the beach, don't forget to pack plenty of healthy beach snacks. By snacking on healthy treats at the beach, you'll not only feel satiated, but you'll have the energy you need to have some real fun in the sun with your crew. It's easy to crave junk food when you're on vacation, but packing healthy snacks is the way to go if you don't want to feel sluggish or bloated in your beachwear.
While most beaches have food trucks or stands that sell the usual suspects: hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, bags of chips, ice cream, soda, and so on, it's best to take a hard pass. Aside from being highly processed, the vast majority of the foods served at these stands are loaded with calories, sugar, salt, and fat. After indulging at one of these stands, you'll likely find you're energy sapped from the unfortunate side-effects of the excess fats and refined carbohydrates. Do yourself and your kids a favor by packing healthy beach snacks and plenty of water to keep everyone energized and satisfied.
Make sure the beach snacks that you pack will withstand a few hours in the heat, so you can replenish your energy and avoid a fried food/sugar crash that will eat your energy away. With the blowing sand and hot sun there to jeopardize your spread, planning ahead is key. So, take a look at our list of healthy beach snacks and get packing for a beach day blast.
Alright, you probably knew about this one already, but don't pass it up. Fruit is a perfect healthy beach snack because it comes with its very own built-in packaging. Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, oranges, and bananas are all great, easy-to-pack options. Additionally, watermelon, citrus fruits, blueberries, mangoes, and apricots have an extra, hidden benefit. These delicious fruits have phytochemicals that help protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. This doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen, but it may give you some extra protection to stay safe in the sun. On top of their health benefits, many fruits are in-season throughout the summer, making them the perfect healthy beach snack.
Take a little time to cut up some carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and broccoli to bring to the beach with you. Raw veggies are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and keep you going at the beach. Like the fruits listed above, carrots, red bell peppers, and broccoli can also help protect your skin from the sun. Plus, vegetables are an excellent source of water, which will keep you from becoming dehydrated. If you're not a big fan of veggies on their own, pack a tasty bean dip or low-fat dressing for delicious dipping.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
Dried fruit and nuts could very well be the perfect healthy beach snack combo. Make your own trail mix by tossing your favorite unsalted nuts, dried fruits, and seeds together for an instant healthy snack. This nutrient-packed pairing of protein and carbohydrates will leave you feeling satisfied and give you the energy you need throughout the day. Dried fruits and nuts are also loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
As far as nuts go, cashews are usually a big hit with little beachgoers. The cashew isn't actually a nut, but the seed of a particular type of apple. Whether you call it a seed or a nut, cashews are a great source of copper, which helps your body produce energy. A handful of these healthy nuts is just the thing to put in kids' swimwear pockets to keep the tummy grumbles at bay when he's off hunting for beach treasures.
Nut or Seed Butters
It isn't just the healthy fats, high protein, and fiber that make nuts good for you. Nuts are also chock full of other nutrients like magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, niacin, folic acid, and vitamins E and B6. Be sure to check the nutritional information and ingredient list on any nut butter or seed butter you plan to buy. Some brands have added sugar, salt, and preservatives that could do more harm than good. Healthy nut butters made from almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and more, can easily be picked up in your local grocery store or farmer's market on your way to the beach.
If allergies make nut butters a no-no, seed and soy nut butters make excellent alternatives. Sunflower seed butter is a delicious heart-healthy option due to polyunsaturated fats, and soy nut butter is lower in fat and higher in protein than the average nut butter. You can also try tahini, a sesame seed paste, which is also very nutritious, has the consistency of nut butter. For a special beach-friendly treat, pair your nut or seed butter with a potassium-rich banana.
Nutritionists often call out popcorn as an ideal snack for people craving something crunchy. With good reason: You can eat lots of it because it's low in calories and fat but high in fiber. Make your own gourmet popcorn by starting with air-popped popcorn and mixing in some chopped nuts for added protein.
If you're not in the mood to pop your own corn, there are plenty of healthy, ready-to-buy options to choose from. We love Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn because it's made with just three ingredients: air-popped organic popcorn, extra-virgin coconut oil, and Himalayan pink salt. All of their products are made by minimally processing only the highest quality, sustainable ingredients in their organic, Non-GMO verified, SQF Level 2 certified factory.
Additionally, they've partnered with NEO for their innovative, biodegradable packaging. NEO provides an entirely new sustainable solution for discarded plastics. When NEO packaging is discarded into a landfill, it accelerates the natural microbial process and creates biogas that can be collected and turned into clean, renewable, and sustainable energy.
It's pretty easy to throw some chips in your beach bag, so why not throw in a healthy alternative like crunchy seaweed sheets instead? These chips offer the same satisfying crunch you'd expect from a potato chip but also provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B12 & iodine.
Ocean's Halo organic nori sheets come in a variety of flavors and contain no preservatives, no GMO ingredients, and no msg. Even better, they use bio-based, eco-friendly packaging called NatureFlex, which is derived from wood pulp and is certified compostable.
Most importantly, don't forget to prevent fatigue and dehydration by continuously replenishing your body with water throughout the day. You can add cucumber, citrus, or herbs like mint for a little more pizzazz. While you're taking a swig, be sure to keep an eye out for those seagulls looking to snatch your treats.