When the sun is shining and your days are focused on the fun by the pool, there’s little time to think about prepping food for the day. You want easy and healthy snacks to keep you outside as much as possible. Summer snack foods are perfect because they require little to no preparation, and much of the prep work can be done the night before. Keeping food healthy and quick is key to a perfect summer day. Here are six healthy snacks to help you make the most of summer days by the pool.
Cheese and Crackers
One of the fastest snacks to prepare, cheese, and crackers are as easy as opening a box, cutting the cheese in slices or cubes, and setting it all out to eat. Make a cheese platter the night before. When you’re ready for a refuel, simply remove the cheese and break out the crackers. Great cheeses for snacking outside are semisoft to hard cheeses. Cheeses such as mozzarella, Swiss, Gouda, cheddar or Muenster come in blocks that are easy to cut and serve.
When you’re poolside, sandwiches are an easy-to-make and portable snack. Get as gourmet as you want with a deli platter featuring turkey, ham, or whatever protein you like. Add cheese, lettuce, tomato, condiments, pickles — whatever you want — so everyone can tailor them to their liking. For vegetarians, fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwiches are a perfect pair.
Trail mix is a fun snack with infinite mixing possibilities. With any nut-fruit-sweet combo, trail mix provides necessary fats and natural sugars to keep you going outside without weighing you down. Try it with any dried fruit such as mango, papaya, cherries, or cranberries; add sunflower seeds, nuts, pretzels, or yogurt-covered raisins.
Making smoothies is almost foolproof. A basic smoothie recipe calls for a serving of fruit such as peaches, bananas, or strawberries. Use water, low-fat milk, or yogurt all work well. To save time, freeze pre-measured servings of fruit so you can just throw them into the blender. You can also add protein powder or wheat germ to bump up the nutrition for kids who might be finicky eaters.
Pasta salad is a great way to use leftover meats and veggies, and it can be made the night before a lazy day at the pool. Pasta is a healthy, simple food that provides complex carbs to curb your hunger through the afternoon. Small shapes such as elbow macaroni, bowties, penne, and rotini hold ingredients well and are easier to eat than long strands of noodles.
Veggies and Dips
Veggies are also quick and easy food to prepare, store, and snack on by the pool. They give a satisfying crunch and add fiber and vitamins we can lose very quickly on summer afternoons. Many veggies, such as carrots, celery, broccoli, and peppers, come pre-cut, so there’s no need to even break out a knife. Dips such as hummus, guacamole, and yogurt-based dips are healthy additions to your summer menu.
The pools are open, the beaches are waiting for day-trippers with a day off, and the sunglasses are out. When you’re out in the sunshine all day, you can get really hungry! Instead of heading inside for a snack, make one of these delicious treats out to the beach or poolside with you so you don’t have to miss even a few moments of sunshine.