With so many great outdoor activities available during the summer months, it would be a shame to have to cut the fun short just because you got a little hungry. And even if you aren’t planning to be outside during a mealtime, snacking is a great way to give your body the boost of fuel it needs to keep enjoying your activity.
Whether you’re packing up for a day at the beach, hitting the trails for a long hike or just taking a picnic to the park, here are seven healthy outdoor snacks you can pack to keep the hunger monster at bay.
Protein, granola or energy bars are easily one of your most portable options for outdoor snacking. However, make sure to read the nutrition label first and find a bar that has a simple ingredient list and low sugar count. If you can’t find one in the store that suits your tastes, you can always make your own version.
For a healthy boost of protein and good fats, a single serving of nuts can be the perfect on-the-go snack. Just be mindful of your sodium intake and opt for lightly salted (or salt-free) options of almonds, peanuts or cashews when possible.
3. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is a particularly good snack choice on a hot summer’s day because the high water content in fruits like watermelon and strawberries can actually help keep you hydrated. There’s also the added advantage of grab-and-go fruits like bananas and oranges that come with their own peel “container.”
4. Dried Fruit
While you won’t get the hydrating benefit of fresh fruit, dried fruit is more portable, especially if you have plans to be outside for a long day. Pack a container of dried apricots or raisins, or try adding dried fruit to your favorite trail mix.
While jerky may not seem like a healthy food at first glance, the high protein content can make it the perfect snack between meals or before heavy activity. In addition to the popular beef variety, you can also find jerky turkey, chicken or salmon.
6. Raw Vegetables
Easily portable veggies like carrots and celery can provide a refreshing boost on a hot day. You can also pack high-protein dips like hummus or peanut butter to take your snack to the next level.
While you may not want to pack cheese if you’ll be spending an extended amount of time outside without access to a cooler, cheese sticks and cubes can be a good option for a quick and satiating snack on the go. Pair with some whole-wheat crackers if you need something more substantial.
Planning for healthy snacks throughout your day is the best way to prevent being overly hungry at meal times. In fact, experts suggest well-timed healthy snacking can actually help aid in weight loss efforts. So, next time you’re headed out for the day, take a few moments before you leave and pack a snack. Your stomach will thank you later.