Around this time of year, many of us are heading outside for time in the sun. A day out can be exciting, but don’t forget to pack a few simple snacks to keep you hydrated and fueled!
It is always important to stay hydrated, but having water on hand is especially important in warm climates. Whether you are at the beach, the park, or your backyard, be sure to bring a water bottle. If you want something special, try flavored water. You can purchase unsweetened varieties or make your own by steeping fresh mint, cucumber, berries, or other fresh foods in cold water. Mix and match to find your favorite!
Did you know you can also get water from foods? Pack fruits or vegetables as a tasty hydrating snack full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Try vegetables such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, or slices of bell pepper. Watermelon cubes, berries, and peaches are a few summer fruits that can add a touch of sweetness to your day out!
Remember to Fuel
If you will be out for several hours or a full day, pack a snack or meal to keep you fueled. As long as it stays cold, a sandwich is a delicious way to include nearly all MyPlate groups in a handy meal. Try bread for whole grains, cheese for dairy, hummus or lunch meat for protein, and lettuce or tomato for vegetables. Add fruit as a side, and you have all five groups! Other meal options include plain low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and whole wheat crackers, or salad in a jar.
Satisfying snacks include protein and fiber. Pair low-fat cheese with carrot sticks, or pack peanut butter and apple slices.
If you are exercising outdoors, be sure to bring plenty of water, hydrating snacks, and protein-packed foods to refuel your body after all it’s hard work.
Keep it Cool
If possible, add ice cubes to your drink before leaving the house. You will thank yourself later, especially after you have been out in the sun for a few hours. Also, pack any perishable foods in a cooler or lunchbox with a freeze pack or bag of ice. Not only will it prevent food from growing harmful bacteria, but it will also help you cool off at snack time!
The next time you head outdoors, test out one of these snack or meal ideas to keep you hydrated, fueled, and cool in the warm summer sun. Along with these items, don’t forget to bring along a bottle of sunscreen. With bags packed, you and your family are ready to soak up the sun!
By Elizabeth Uliana