Nutrition tips for an on-the-go summer!

Sarah Berkowitz, MS, RDN, LD

Summer break is almost here! For many families, summer brings an increase in activities away from home including family vacations, picnics, and day trips to the beach or amusement parks, etc. These fun activities sometimes make it more difficult to eat healthy. Healthy foods can help provide your body with sustained energy and keep your blood glucose in check. With a little planning, it can be easy to find foods that are both healthy and taste good. Here are some easy ideas for healthy summer meals and snacks on the go!

Healthy Drinks to cool off:

  • When the weather is warm, fluid needs increase. Stay hydrated with sugar free options such as fruit-infused water, sugar free lemonade, flavored water, or unsweetened iced tea.
  • Keep bottled water or other beverages with you to avoid dehydration.

Healthy On the go snacks:

  • Fresh fruit – on their own, fruit kabobs, fruit salad…the options are endless and delicious.
  • Baby carrots, cut celery, peapods, jicama, cucumbers and other veggies are great on their own or served with dip or salad dressing. They help cool you down, add some crunch and are super healthy. Try with different dips to change up the flavor.
  • Nuts or trail mix – mix up your own with your favorite cereal, nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Granola bars – find one with low sugar and whole grains or make your own.
  • Pretzel chips or whole grain crackers: top with hummus, flavored cream cheese, peanut butter or sliced cheese.
  • Yogurt – Freeze yogurt tubes ahead of time to keep them cold longer.
  • Hard boiled eggs — carb free and protein packed.
  • Popcorn – Skip the butter and add different spices to add a unique flavor or a little kick.
  • Mix up tuna salad or egg salad and serve on whole grain crackers.
  • Whole grain fruit muffins.

Healthy Meals away from home:

  • Review food options before you go. Know what is available where you are going to be. Use smartphone apps (MyFitnessPal, GoMeals) or websites (Calorie King, USDA Nutrient Database, or the restaurant’s nutrition facts) to find carbohydrate information on the go.
  • Watch your portion sizes! Restaurant meals tend to be large, so plan to share a meal or save some for later if you can.
  • Choose grilled, lean meats instead of fried.
  • Fill your plate with veggies – corn on the cob, summer salads, etc.
  • Choose whole grain buns for burgers and brats.
  • Bring your own. Make sandwiches, pasta or grain salads, veggies and fruit and place in a cooler for an easy picnic lunch.