Home Healthy Eating 16 Healthy Beach Snacks – Food Ideas to Pack for Beach Days – Prevention.com

16 Healthy Beach Snacks – Food Ideas to Pack for Beach Days – Prevention.com

13 min read


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Ready for your next beach trip? There are a few essentials you you’ll need: a swimsuit, sunscreen, beach towel—and the biggest must—the snacks. Not only will healthy snacks tide you over until dinner, but with all that swimming, you’re sure to get hungry (and thirsty).

Before you start throwing just about everything from your refrigerator into the cooler, keep in mind that eating at the beach is a completely different territory than munching in the dining room. During those outings along the coast, your food will be susceptible to more heat and plenty of sand. Sandwich sandwich.

Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging explains that when you’re packing healthy beach snacks, it’s important to think about how they will react in the sun. If you think your snack has a good chance of spoiling or wilting, chances are it will. “Opt for foods that are lower in fat and protein, which tend to spoil especially quickly,” she says. “Always pack any perishable snacks in a cooler.” (May we suggest this one from Yeti?)

Instead of carrying messy chicken wings or food that needs heating, aim for frozen fruit and spoil-proof veggies that’ll quench your thirst, fill you up, and also act as a refreshing treat. Want some extra flavor? Ansel suggests adding a dash of your favorite spices or sea salt to your snack.

You can also get creative with your combos, says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.N., author of Finally Full, Finally Slim. Snacks that are high in fiber with lean protein or healthy fats are ideal. “I love creating the ‘perfect pair,’ like apple with nut butter or whole grain crackers with guacamole,” she says.

Not sure where to get started? Below, healthy beach snacks that are filling, portable, and delicious—from sweet to savory.

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Fruit skewers

Skewers lined with refreshing fruits like berries, grapes, and melon cubes are so simple to put together for beach days. Not only do they taste amazing, but you’ll also be getting tons of vitamins, minerals, and filling fiber with every bite. It’s easy to see why Ansel calls this snack one of her favorites.


Kale chips

Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, this slightly bitter green turns into an irresistible “chip” when tossed with olive oil and baked in the oven. And if you like a little kick, this recipe suggests adding a dash of paprika. Best of all? They’ll never get soggy.


Hummus and veggies wrap

Want something a little more filling? Whip up a hummus wrap that has layers of nutritious veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers. We love how easy it is to customize and if you skip the meat, they keep well in the cooler for longer.


Homemade granola bars

Yes, you can make your own bars in the slow cooker or oven—and they arguably taste even better when warmed by the sun. To DIY, try our cherry chocolate granola bars recipe, which calls for old-fashioned oats, dried fruits, and nuts for a yummy dose of sweetness in under 30 minutes.


Crackers with guacamole and tomatoes

Opt for whole grain crackers for some extra fiber. Prep your guacamole and slice some tomatoes to pack away in a container. Then, simply stack your fixings or dip and enjoy for the easiest snack that actually tames your hunger midday.


Ants on a log

Ants on a log never go out of style, pleasing kiddos and adults alike. They’re a wonderful mix of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy. Cut celery stalks in half and spread your favorite protein-filled nut butter in the middle. Add a few “ants” on top (we won’t judge if you ditch the raisins and choose chocolate chips instead).


Quinoa tabouli salad

Wilted leaves got nothing on this salad, thanks to its quinoa base. Mix everything in with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It keeps well, fills you up, and is easy to prep and pack in advance.


Frozen berries

Frozen berries and grapes are another favorite from the experts we talked to. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, it is easy to throw in the cooler and fun to eat. Young says she likes to keep summer fruits in the freezer for a few hours prior to an outing to help keep it cooler for longer.


Hummus and veggies

You can always munch on carrot sticks and tortilla chips, but add a little hummus, and you’ve got an upgraded crunch. The chickpea-based dip is a healthier alternative to ranch, holds up well in the cooler, and is packed with protein and fiber. Just prep some sliced veggies in advance and you are good to go.


Pasta salad

We love a cold pasta salad for outdoor events and this veggie-filled recipe is one you just have to add to your beach picnic spread. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, making it ideal to assemble before heading out the door. Plus, it consists of just four ingredients: whole wheat pasta, cucumber, plum tomatoes, and homemade light Italian dressing.


Apples and nut butter

Tried and true, apples and but butter are one of our all-time favorite duos. The sweetness of the fruit compliments the creamy nut butter. And while this snack is definitely tasty, the combination also delivers vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats.


Hard boiled eggs

Just one egg contains about 6 grams of protein for about 80 calories! After boiling, sprinkle some salt and pepper. If you’re adventurous, you can even add some everything bagel seasoning.


Apple energy balls

These apple energy balls will send a jolt of natural sweetness to your tastebuds with the help of fiber-rich apples and gooey Medjool dates. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and walnuts for crunch and healthy fat, and you’ve got the perfect to-go snack.



These protein-packed legumes are as simple as it gets. Sprinkle some salt on top, which will come in handy during summer outings. “When you’re out in the hot sun and sweating a lot, a little bit of salt can actually be a good thing because it helps the body hold onto water,” Ansel says. Yummy and hydrating? Heck yes.


Air-popped popcorn

Who says popcorn isn’t healthy? Instead of reaching for the butter-drenched stuff, opt for a bag of air-popped popcorn (or pop it yourself). When made this way, popcorn is a low-calorie snack that’s packed with tons of fiber.


Trail mix

All it takes is a few minutes to assemble a bag of trail mix filled with nutrient-rich ingredients to keep the whole family happy in between swims. You can truly make this your own, but may we suggest a blend of cranberries, dried pineapple, almonds, cashews, and coconut flakes? This ingredient list alone just screams “vacation.”

Associate Editor
Sanah is the associate editor at Prevention.com focusing on all things commerce within the health and lifestyle space.

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