Packing healthy beach snacks can easily feel overwhelming. You usually want things that keep you cool but also snacks for the beach that will not melt with the heat. So, what are the best beach snacks?
Learn how to stay healthy and hydrated, including expert recommendations for the top 12 snacks to pack.
Why Healthy Beach Snacks Are Important
For a hot day at the beach, some proactive planning is often required. Beach eats are often expensive, so packing your own drinks and snacks can save money.
Additionally, those with dietary restrictions, food allergies, or other sensitivities may find it difficult to locate appropriate meals when the eating plan is left up to chance or local restaurants.
Regardless of the setting, snacks can be a key piece of a healthy diet. Snacks provide hydration and fuel, and can even improve performance in the body for events like water sports.
A day at the beach, even a cloudy one, inevitably means sun exposure. Excellent beach snacks, especially a fresh fruit salad or veggies, will provide not only fuel for the day but also hydration for the body.
If your food is not water-rich, be sure to pack plenty of water (not just alcoholic drinks).
In addition to hydration, healthy beach foods also fuel the body for whatever the day has in store. Keep in mind that protein, healthy fats, and fiber are nutrients that help the body feel full.
Options like homemade parfaits with granola and Greek yogurt or sliced apples with nut and seed butter can keep you cool while satisfying your stomach, too.
Another element of beach activity to keep in mind is performance. Is it just a lazy day at the beach, or will surfing, boating, or water sports be involved? The more movement you have, the more nutrient-rich calories you will need to fuel and replenish.
Healthy snacks can help keep you hydrated, fueled, and ready to take on whatever your beach day brings.
Easy & Healthy Beach Snacks
Feel confident knowing you can find the following healthy snack combinations at almost any beachfront location.
Do not forget that keeping your food at the proper temperature is needed to promote food safety. Along with packed goods, be sure to bring enough ice, coolers, or other equipment to keep your food cold.
Great healthy beach snack options to pack include fresh fruits, nut butter packs, string cheese, and more!
For early morning beach-goers, there is nothing easier than making or swiping a smoothie. Blend or look for varieties that contain lower amounts of added sugar (or no sugar at all). Also, include a protein source to provide some wholesome nutrition for your morning adventures.
2. Fresh Fruits or Vegetables
Many times, farmer's markets will park themselves close to a beach. Find a local market or store that serves fresh fruit and enjoy delicious produce. Some excellent ideas include berries, cherries, or tomatoes. Don’t forget to have a bag on hand for discarding pits or packaging!
3. Nut Butter Packs
Either on their own or paired with a carbohydrate, nut butter packs are simple snacking made delicious. Pair with pretzels, crackers, or fresh fruit for your eating pleasure. This is a great option that does not normally require a cooler or has to be eaten right away.
When it comes to cheese, enjoy pre-made slices, sticks, or string cheese. The form matters less than the fact that cheese can be a quick snack that provides plenty of protein. Plus, it's a kid-friendly favorite!
Plain or lightly salted popcorn is actually considered a whole grain and can be both delicious and filling. Popcorn is a finger food that tastes good regardless of the weather.
6. Protein Bars
You probably already know that not all protein bars are not created equal. That's why we suggest delicious yet balanced options that also provide enough protein to keep you feeling full. Be sure to check the amount of added sugar and go for options with wholesome ingredients.
7. Homemade Trail Mix
Store-bought trail mix is often packed with salt and sugar. Instead, combine pantry staples together to create a fun beach day trail mix ahead of time.
For an exotic snack mix, try combining tropical dried fruits of the unsweetened variety with nuts, seeds, and shredded coconut to fuel your fun. Perhaps avoid adding chocolate chips, too, as they can melt in the warm sun!
8. Pre-Made Produce Combos
Combine carrots and hummus or celery and peanut butter for a quick, delicious snack that packs the protein. Yogurt paired with fruit, especially watermelon, is also a great hydrating combo to enjoy in the sun.
9. Roasted Legumes, Nuts, or Seeds
This is a great snack that provides proteins and healthy fats but does not require a ton of square footage in terms of storage.
For tons of toasty flavor without contributing too many calories, make dry-roasted nuts or roasted chickpeas ahead of time. Play with flavor combinations until you find one that captures your beach day vibe perfectly.
10. Homemade Lunchables
Remember Lunchables? Whether you are a kid-food-loving adult or charcuterie connoisseur, cracker and cheese combos are for you!
Make your own cracker and cheese combos with pairs you love. Also, be mindful of portion sizes as you add a small number of treats on the side.
11. Energy Balls or Bites
The epitome of energy, pre-made granola bar bites pack protein-filled and fiber-fueled ingredients into a small but mighty package. They can even include protein powder, which can help provide energy for beach sports or promote improved performance.
No-bake, summer snack recipes are all the rage for a reason and can be quickly whipped up before your next trip oceanside.
12. Tuna or Chicken Salad
This often discounted snack is perfect for a day away at the beach. Tuna provides a great amount of healthy fats, called omega-3s, along with many other vitamins and minerals.
If you are running late, tuna salad is easy to make on the go! Simply combine tuna with avocado, diced celery, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Enjoy it as a dip, on toast, or as a whole-wheat sandwich.
Bringing It Home With Healthy Beach Snacks
Do not fret when it comes to healthy beach snacks - we've got you covered! Keep it simple with filling, nutrient-fueled combinations, and remember to pack your cooler with plenty of water.
Ellis E. Sand, Surf, and Great Eats. Eat Right. Published August 1, 2021. https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/seasonal/sand-surf-and-great-eats.
Winslow A. The Best Store-Bought Snacks For the Beach. Eating Made Easy. Published 2018. https://eating-made-easy.com/best-healthy-store-bought-snacks-beach/.