Here in Virginia we had a long and cold winter. Now that it is warmer my daughter and I have been spending as much time as we can outside. Luckily, we only live about 10 minutes from the Chesapeake Bay and love spending time at our local Virginia State Park beach access. I don’t know about you, but swimming and water play has always made me hungry(ier than normal). I decided to compose a list of our favorite healthy snacks that I pack for the beach (or lake, pool, park, road trip…..)
- Skinny Pop Popcorn
I’m pretty sure this stuff is laced with crack. Seriously. My co-workers, husband, daughter and everyone I know go crazy over it. At 39 calories a cup, you can eat the entire bag and only feel a little terrible about yourself. We usually buy the ridiculously large bags at Sam’s Club but they also sell small snack sized bags for those of you who have more self-control than me. 7-11 makes a knock off brand and Boom Chick a Pop is also a great alternative.
- That’s It. Bars
How do these things work? I have no idea.. and I don’t care, because they are awesome! That’s It. bars really are what they say. 2 ingredients: apple + one fruit mushed together in a bar; they are raw, vegan, gluten, dairy and nut free and non-GMO. How awesome is that?! Perfect food to eat while hanging out on the beach! So far the only places I have been able to buy them locally have been Starbucks. They are about $2 a piece, so a little pricey, but worth a treat. You can also purchase them less expensively online either through Amazon or through their website. www.thatsitfruit.com The only downside to these bars is that when they get really warm they do fall apart easier. So when your 2 ½ year old daughter snatches it from your hand there is a possibility that half of it will fall in the sand and cannot be saved…. Not that I would know anything about that.
- Fruit Pouches
We don’t have a specific preference on the fruit pouches. I know Go Go Squeeze has gotten a lot of flack recently over some pouches with mold in them. We have been buying them since Grace was very young and never had an issue. I generally buy whichever pouch that is the best deal at grocery that week. When I look at pouches I always look for those that are 100% fruit with no high fructose corn syrup or any other additives. Grace loves her applesauce pouches and we almost exclusively use them when we are on the go for a mess free and healthy snack.
- Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Specifically I like to take sugar snap peas, carrots, grapes and sliced apples. Personally, I find these fruits and veggies are very refreshing on a hot day. Also, they aren’t as juicy when you bite into them getting juice everywhere; they are portable and inexpensive. You can also freeze your grapes to help keep everything else cold in your cooler. When you slice your apples, dip them in a lemon-lime soda to keep them from turning brown. I prefer this method over lemon juice because it does not affect the flavor of the apples. My daughter also loves frozen peas. She will eat them when they are still frozen but also enjoys them after they have defrosted but since they haven’t been heated they have a bite to them.
- Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
I got turned on to these after seeing a million moms post them on Instagram so of course, I had to check them out. As usual, IG mommas have never steered me wrong. Instead of cookies or brownies or whatever other super unhealthy sweet treat people take to the beach, check out Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars. They have several different varieties such as raspberry, blueberry, and apple cinnamon. They are made with stone ground whole wheat and also have gluten free options. They are also non-GMO, nut, dairy and soy free. These aren’t your grandmother’s Fig Newtons. They don’t crumble too much when you eat them making them a mess free beach solution. I have purchased them at Kroger and Target.
- Roasted Chickpeas
Another food that I would swear was laced with crack if I didn’t make them myself! My co-worker recently got me addicted to these bad boys. I like my chickpeas roasted to the point where they are pretty crunchy but you can roast them as little or as much as you would like. Do remember that once they cool from the oven they will get a little crunchier.
1 can of chickpeas
2 TBSP Olive oil
1/2 TSP Salt*
1/2 TSP Pepper*
1 TSP Granulated garlic*
*Adjust to your taste
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
Drain chickpeas. Do not rinse. Put them in a zipper bag. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and mix. Place the chickpeas on a prepared cookie sheet (I spray mine with coconut oil). Cook the chickpeas for 25 minutes and then check on them and stir. After the first 25 minutes keep checking every 5 minutes and stir each time until you get the desired crunch. I cook mine for about 35 minutes when I cook one can and about 45 minutes for 2 cans. Don’t be alarmed if they “pop”, that is normal. Let them cool COMPLETELY before storing. I recommend storing them in a zipper bag and making sure you get all the air out. I have stored mine in a plastic container before and they didn’t keep the crunch as well.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can change the seasonings to meet your taste. My co-worker puts cayenne pepper on hers. You could try curry, Italian seasonings or ranch mix just to name a few.
My days of lazily laying on the beach reading a book are a thing of the past and I find that these snacks help keep me energized to chase my toddler around. I hope you find them helpful and toddler approved as well! For more about me and more toddler food ideas, come check me out on Instagram @hollyamethyst!