Eat Healthy at the Beach: Tips and Ideas
When summer comes along, people often get the urge to spend their days at the beach – especially families with small children. But this can easily lead to unhealthy eating habits. To help you avoid falling into that trap, we want to offer some tips and ideas to help you eat healthy at the beach. It"s easier than you think!
Benefits of eating healthy for children
Being overweight or obese is a problem that hasn"t stopped growing since the 1990s, especially among children. Therefore, it"s important to get children used to eating healthy so they can enjoy good physical and mental health for as long as possible. What"s more, it will help them fend off illness and avoid problems related to blood sugar and cholesterol. And they"ll have an easier time concentrating.
So, how can you encourage your children to eat healthy when you"re at the beach. First of all, you need to set a good example, and second, put healthy options within their reach.
Basic tips for eating healthy at the beach
- Bring along a portable cooler to keep your foods fresh.
- Use glass food containers, since they"re safer than plastic containers.
- Avoid dishes that contain eggs. In general, the risk of salmonella is greatest in recipes involving raw or undercooked eggs, but it"s always best to play it safe.
How to eat healthy at the beach
- Try to always include a wide variety of fruits and leafy greens, raw or cooked. If you"re going to eat them raw, be sure to wash them thoroughly. We"ll provide some examples later on. Any of these options will offer high-quality protein.
- Sandwiches are another good option, as well as cold creamed vegetables.
- Grab some fruit that"s in season. Be sure to wash and peel it and cut it into pieces before you leave home. Apricots and cherries are also great beach snacks.
- Bring along a bottle of cold drinking water. You can also add a few slices of lemon, peppermint, or spearmint.
Healthy options to eat at the beach
Assorted bite-size foods
- Mixed nuts, unsalted (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or cashews). You can buy pre-made nut mix, or prepare your own combination with your favorites.
- Fresh fruits, like nectarines, apricots, cherries, or watermelon, cantaloupe, or pineapple.
- Homemade hummus or guacamole with celery or carrot sticks for dipping.
- Spiced oven-toasted chickpeas.
- Olives, pickles, or pickled onions.
- String cheese.
- Spiced oven-baked potato wedges.
- Falafels with yogurt and mint.
Ideas for filling your food containers
Aren"t you tired of the same old salads with cold pasta and breaded chicken? Avoid monotony with the examples below:
- Spanish gazpacho or cold cucumber and yogurt soup. Place them in a stainless steel or glass bottle.
- Fresh salad with your choice of lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, carbohydrates (potato, pasta or rice), and protein (grilled chicken, tuna, shrimp, chickpeas, lentils, white beans, or tofu). Add a bit of cheese, nuts, and pumpkin or sunflower seeks to add a special touch. You can also add olives. Remember to bring along a vinaigrette and add it just before you"re ready to eat. Otherwise, your salad will get soggy.
- Grilled chicken fillets or hamburgers with a simple salad of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Or you can add olives and cheese to your salad.
- Stuffed eggplant or peppers. You can stuff your vegetables with bolognese sauce, or make a vegan alternative with texturized soy or lentils.
- Grilled vegetable salad with tuna or potatoes.
- Codfish or salmon with quinoa or rice.
- Pasta with vegetable ratatouille and tuna or ground beef.
Sandwiches and wraps are the perfect healthy meal to enjoy at the beach, especially if you use wholegrain bread. Here are some combinations to inspire you:
- Tuna fish with roasted peppers.
- Cheese and tomato slices.
- Chicken breast with guacamole.
- Pork loin with green peppers.
- Cheese spread, smoked salmon, and cucumber.
- Avocado with Serrano ham.
- Sardines and tomato slices.
- Hamburger with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
- Beef strips with sautéed peppers and onions.
If you prefer vegetarian options:
- Hummus with spinach and mushrooms.
- Blue cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and arugula.
- Smoked tofu, apple, and arugula.
- Pita bread with falafel, spring mix, and olives, and corn.
And finally, remember, eating healthy while you"re at the beach doesn"t have to be difficult. You just need to think ahead and be prepared. So, pack your cooler, and off you go!It might interest you...