Being prepared with food for the beach can make your day there so much more enjoyable, healthy, and less stressful (especially if you have kids!) Food you buy at the beach or pool tends to be expensive. Also, the food options are often limited to fried foods and sweets with a lack of nutrition and lean protein. Here are some delicious meal and snack ideas to get your cooler packed and ready. These healthy snack ideas include a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fat, so you’re keeping your energy high for a fun day in the sun.
Fruit Infused Ice Water
You probably know this, but hydration is extra important when playing and lounging in the heat. If plain water or plain seltzer gets boring for you, liven things up by adding frozen fruit cubes to your water. We love freezing grapes and watermelon to add flavor. Or, you can add slices of citrus fruit like lemon, lime, and oranges with plenty of ice cubes to a large water bottle or a water cooler dispenser.
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
Pasta salad holds up well and actually gets better with time, so you don’t have to worry about soggy sandwiches or salads. Include whole wheat pasta for some extra fiber, plus your favorite veggies, and protein-rich beans or a lean protein like tuna, and you have yourself a complete beach meal. We love this Rotini and Black Bean Salad from Epicurious or this Colorful Tuna Pasta Salad.
Tuna to Go
Lean protein options can be the more challenging piece of packing a portable beach-friendly lunch. We love that these Bumble Bee Seasoned Tuna Pouches come with a spoon and are already deliciously seasoned. Our favorite flavor is Chipotle, but they come in 6 other delicious flavors as well. Pack them up as your go-to protein source and enjoy straight from the pouch, paired with whole grain crackers (we love woven wheat crackers like Triscuits), or atop a green salad. You can even start with the simple flavors of albacore tuna or chunk light and incorporate your own flavors for any type of recipe.
Hummus & Veggies
Veggies are often missing from meals on the beach, so packing a variety of easy to eat crudité like carrot sticks, celery, grape tomatoes, snap peas, and cucumbers to dip in hummus or yogurt dip is a great way to get a cool crunch on the sand (and a fab alternative to chips!) Plus, most veggies are rich in water too, so you get extra hydration.
Spear fresh mini mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, and basil leaves onto small bamboo skewers. This is a quick and easy way to turn a salad into finger food. Plus, you’re fitting in a serving of veggies and packing in protein from the cheese.
Chill cubes of watermelon and thread onto skewers for easy and fun eating at the beach! You can also freeze watermelon and add to freezer bags to use as edible ice cubes in your cooler.