The Perfect Beach Day
A day at the beach (at least for me) involves sunbathing, reading a great book, jumping the waves, and taking in the beautiful scenery with friends. I know I’m not the only avid beachgoer out there; many individuals and families know how to make the most of a great beach day. Of course, when you spend hours on the beach, you are bound to get hungry. One of my favorite local beaches (Devereaux Beach in Marblehead, MA) has a cafe for convenience, but the food there is almost as expensive as it is unhealthy. From what I’ve seen in my beach travels, this is not at all uncommon for beach cafes.
What can you do then, to eat healthily while enjoying a day at the beach? Well, if you can, pack your own meal or snacks. Put some ice packs in a cooler with foods that tend to “keep” fairly well in the heat or hot sun. Also, think of finger foods, sandwiches, or snacks that are easy to eat while surrounded by the sand, wind, and other elements. There is nothing worse than going for a bite of delicious food and getting a mouthful of sand instead! Taking the time to pack your own treats will save money, precious beach time (eliminates waiting in long lines), and likely calories as well. Consider packing some of these healthy, beach-friendly foods on your next outing.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Turkey breast sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber
- Hummus and veggie wrap
- Grilled vegetable sandwich
- Sliced carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber, squash, or other veggies
- Fresh fruit- juicy, seasonal fruits are great snacks for the beach.
- Whole apples, peaches, plums
- Diced melon or pineapple
- Berries (of any kind)
If you can’t pack your own food, look for the healthier menu options at the beach café or restaurant. Choose salads (dressing on the side), vegetable wraps, or a grilled chicken sandwich. Avoid fried foods, burgers, chips, ice cream, and sugary drinks. In regards to ice cream, if you’re anything like me, you crave something cold after a day in the sun. If you make a healthful choice (smaller portion size, frozen yogurt or sorbet, and fruit or nut toppings), then there is no harm…go for it!
Finally, don’t forget the water!! Even if you don’t feel thirsty, make sure to hydrate and drink plenty of water during and after a day in the hot sun. Try out some of these tips the next time you head to the beach. I promise they will make the experience even more enjoyable.
By Samantha Fast, MS, RD
Entry filed under: Tasteful Tips. Tags: .