The beach is a fun time, but the sun and the play can be draining. When you’re an hour into your sunbathing, hunger tends to creep in. You don’t want to eat a full meal, and you certainly don’t want to eat something unhealthy. So, what snacks are smart to bring to the beach?
Snacking has a bad rap. Some experts believe that snacking between mealtime causes weight gain, while others argue that snacking helps avoid extreme hunger, which leads to overeating and weight gain. Although professional dieticians are in direct disagreement on the subject of snacking, all agree that some snacks are healthier than others. Here’s a list of 32 healthy (and tasty!) snack options that won’t set you too far off your weight loss journey.
25 Beach Snacks for Your Next Excursion
Source: One Little Project
Although these energy balls include chocolate chips and M&Ms, those ingredients are offset by the peanut butter and oats to produce a more compact version of trail mix that will pep you up in no time. Ten mins of prep are all that’s necessary for these little rascals, and there’s no baking required.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. This recipe takes five minutes of prep time, and then you can chill out and get your beach gear together as the chickpeas roast for 40 minutes.
Avocado, while fatty, is actually pretty healthy: it contains nearly 20 vitamins, including potassium and lutein, so feel free to roll out your bamboo sushi mat for these cucumber-and-avo sushi bites. Cooking the rice takes 25 minutes, and assembly takes 35 minutes, but that time will fly by if you make it into a group activity. Make sure to wrap the roll in a damp paper towel to keep it fresh for later.
Source: Vegan Heaven
This isn’t even a recipe, really; it’s just a really good idea. When grapes freeze, they become even sweeter, and the frozen texture is like biting into a candy. Depending on your commute to the beach, your frozen grapes might defrost by the time you arrive, and even in that nightmare scenario, you’ll still have uber-fresh grapes on your hands. You can also try this with other fruits — blackberries are amazing.
Banana chips are an awesome snack, especially for tots. They pair well with almost any dipping sauce and are a great way to get rid of bananas that are a little too brown to be appealing. This recipe takes five mins of prep time and two hours of baking time, so you might want to throw the chips in the oven the night before beach day.
Source: Bon Appétit
This complex-yet-alluring recipe makes a delicious salad that takes advantage of summer peaches, which are to die for when they are in season. Cook time for the sunflower seeds is 5-7 minutes, and then all that’s left to do is chop up the other ingredients and toss the salad. The best part is that in transit to the beach, the salad will just be soaking up flavor from the juices of the peach.
Source: Emilie Eats
Keeping with the cucumber theme, these delectable bites take mere minutes to be ready. Be careful when packing them; they’ll get messy if they’re all stacked up!
Source: MIND Diet Meals
This recipe for chicken curry takes 30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of baking time. Chicken curry is a surprisingly good beach food — you can wrap it in lettuce, you can scoop it from the bowl and you can find the recipe here.
Source: Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Coconut contains healthy fat that is easily converted into energy. This recipe for coconut flakes is sure to satisfy your sweet craving, while only taking 15 minutes of your time to prep and cook. A dash of salt will make these a great alternative to potato chips.
Dried apricots are a smart beach snack because unlike their fresh counterparts, they will not bruise or get squished in transit. They still contain the same good nutrients as fresh apricots, like calcium and magnesium, and provide just as much energy.
Source: Food Faith Fitness
These healthy stuffed peppers have a flexible serving size, based on how many peppers you want to chop up, and are perfect for sharing. The recipe takes just a few minutes to prep and 30 minutes to cook.
Source: Minimalist Baker
These chips take two hours to cook but only 10 minutes of prep time; pop in a movie the night before you hit the beach, and by the time it’s done, the smell of sweet potato cooked well will be wafting through your house.
Source: Skinny Taste
This five-ingredient-guac takes only minutes to prepare. Make sure to add extra lime juice and keep the guac in an airtight container to prevent browning; there’s nothing less appetizing than brown guacamole, even though it’s entirely safe to eat.
14. Lentil Chips
These tomato and basil lentil chips would pair wonderfully with that guacamole. They’re inexpensive and crispy, and their overall cooking time is one hour and 20 minutes (though for best results, it would be smart to soak the lentils overnight).
15. Rice Cakes
Source: NYT Cooking
This is an exciting update to the classic recipe that made the rice cakes you were fed during snack time at school. And the best part is that it only takes 20 minutes! This recipe uses a fair amount of butter, so if you really want to stick to your health guns, consider trading out the white rice for brown.
16. Fruit Leather
Source: Simply Recipes
Fruit leather is such a classic beach food, but you’ve likely only experienced the store-bought variety. Try this recipe out for a fun challenge, resulting in a great energy-lifting snack. Prep time is 20 minutes, and then the leather goes into the oven at a low temperature for nine hours.
Source: Pinch of Yum
This dish has all the best summer flavors — lemon, pesto and feta. It takes 20 minutes total. Throw it in a plastic container, and it’ll taste great for hours.
Source: A Couple Cooks
This original recipe is perfect for the beach — make it at home (with only four ingredients!) and then pick up some apples or peaches on the way to the beach and slice them up when you get there. This sweet concoction takes only a minute to assemble, which is a good thing, because everyone eating it will be clamoring for more.
Source: Dizzy Busy & Hungry
After just 10 minutes of preparation, you could be dipping chips or celery into this cool, refreshing cilantro and lime masterpiece. It's so good, it might not even make it to the beach!
Source: Cooking with My Kid
Pumpkin seeds are so transportable and so easy to make that you’ll be cursing yourself for not having thought of this sooner. This sweet and salty snack spends five minutes in prep and 10 minutes in the pan.
Source: A Couple Cooks
You might need to bring along a cooler for this cold treat, but it will be worth it. Although they sound decadent, these froyo dots are made without an ounce of refined sugar. They require an hour in the freezer to be hard enough to snack on.
Source: Inspired Edibles
To avoid the perils of store-bought protein bars, which can be highly caloric, try making your own. These Blueberry Bliss Breakfast Bars need an hour to freeze and will likely still be crumbly but make up for it in taste.
Source: Running with Spoons
Another alternative to the store-bought protein bar is this No-Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bar. It only takes 10 minutes to put together, and doesn’t it just look delicious?
24. Zucchini Bread
Source: The Stay at Home Chef
This healthy zucchini bread recipe is perfect for on-the-go snacking. Many zucchini breads are filled with sugar and butter, but this one is designed with your health in mind. Your stomach will thank you!
Source: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, these carrot fries are ready within half an hour and will stay fresh long enough to make it to the beach.
Tips for snacking at the beach
• Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is caused by not drinking enough water or by significant loss of liquid, which occurs when you’re sweating from sitting in the sun all day. Becoming dehydrated can have negative effects on both your body and your mental health. Bring a water bottle with you, and make sure to have a drink every so often, even when the water gets unpleasantly warm.
• Pack with reusable containers.
Trash and litter are one of the top causes of beach pollution. Don’t become part of the problem by ruining the beach for everyone else. If you pack your food in reusable containers, you’ll create less waste.
• Swim whenever you want.
An oft-quoted old wives’ tale preaches that you shouldn’t swim after eating, because your body is sending all its blood to your digestive system, and you won’t be able to swim effectively as a result. This is a myth; the body is much stronger and better at multitasking than that. The worst thing you’ll experience if you swim right after eating is a cramp.
• Bring napkins.
Everyone always forgets napkins!
Hopefully, with these exciting recipes in your personal arsenal, you’ll be able to take on beach day with the confidence that your snacking will not negatively impact your health. (Or at least the guarantee of a tasty time.) Happy snacking!