No one wants to spend hours cooking during the summer. It’s way more fun to be out and about in the sun, whether it be on a hike or in the ocean! However, this doesn’t mean that healthy eating should take a backseat. It is just as easy to prepare nutritious and refreshing snacks that you can bring to all your summer plans--especially ones that won’t melt along the way!
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Packing certain snacks when it’s hot out may require using a cooler with ice, but that only takes a couple of extra minutes to prepare and is well worth it! Here are 5 balanced and healthy summer snack ideas:
1. Hydrating fruits:
Fruits like pineapple, watermelon, or blueberries are great during the summer due to their high water content that will help keep you hydrated. It’s also important to pair these fruits with some fiber or protein to maintain even blood sugar levels and will keep you full for longer. This could look like adding some nuts with your fruit or sprinkling chia or flax seeds on top. If you’re wanting to bring fruit to the beach, it’d be best to cut and place your fruit into Tupperware and store it in a cooler to stay cold.
2. Banana or apple with nut butter:
Bananas and apples are convenient because they don’t need to be packed in a cooler. While both contain many nutrients on their own, they are still fruits, meaning they are packed with intrinsic sugar. So, it’s still suggested to pair them with protein or fiber. Peanut butter or almond butter would be great on either. You could transfer 1 or 2 tablespoons of your desired nut butter into a to-go sauce container. Or, buying clean, travel-size nut butter packs can skip this step for you. Brands like Justin’s and RX have great squeezable, to-go nut butter packs.
Just make sure you choose a flavor without added sugar or oils.
3. Hard-boiled eggs:
Hard-boiled eggs make great to-go snacks because they are mess-free, can be eaten at any temperature, and can be eaten on their own. They offer a great source of protein to keep you full between meals and are a perfect way to get in your Omega-3s. One or two hard-boiled eggs are like an unprocessed version of a protein bar!
4. Mixed nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are another great and easy snack that requires zero prep time. All you have to do is transfer them into a plastic bag or Tupperware. The best method for creating and packing your own trail mix is combining your favorite raw and unsalted nuts. A lot of pre-packaged trail mixes don’t come raw and unsalted and often include other sugary ingredients, so making your own ensures you know exactly what you’ll be putting into your body. Nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts are great sources of fat, and good seeds include pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Though tangy and sometimes fizzy, Kombucha is definitely an acquired taste. But for those who like it, kombucha can make a super hydrating and refreshing drink during the summer. Kombucha helps with detoxification of the liver, speeding up ingestion of food and removal of toxins. It also contains powerful antioxidants that boost immunity, which is super important for being on the go all summer long! Good brands for bringing anywhere you go include Health-Ade, GT’s Synergy, and Juice Shine and are best stored cold.
Ultimately, preparing on-the-go snacks should be quick and easy. You can get creative with it and doing so also allows you to save money and work with what you have at home! Don’t let the extra 3 minutes of prep stray you away from choosing the healthy snack route!
By Jenna Cutler
Jessica Mantell M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N.
CEO & Founder of NextGeneration Nutrition
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle.
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