cantaloupe, red pepper strips, wheat crackers, and peanut butter on colorful beach towel

21 Healthy Beach Snack Ideas

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Looking for the best beach snacks? If you are headed to the beach this summer, here are some easy and healthy ideas. These are all plant-based ideas to enjoy: perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and the Mediterranean Diet. Fuel your body for a day of fun with healthy beach snacks.

Fruits and Veggies

Watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, or honeydew slices are refreshing and a great source of vitamins and fluid. Slice them thinly and leave them on the rinds so you can hold them easily. I so love having these at one of my favorite beaches, Half Moon Cay (accessible on some cruise lines – also see my tips for How to Enjoy Healthy Eating on Cruises.)

Apple slices are easy to pack, cool, and crispy! Add a little container of nut butter for dipping for a heartier snack.

Freeze grapes ahead of time to be extra cool and crunchy. Blueberries, blackberries, and cherries are good too.

I would skip raspberries and bananas because they are too delicate for the heat.

Sliced carrot, bell pepper, or celery sticks could be good with hummus or black bean dip.

Crunchy Snacks to Bring to the Beach

Whole-grain crackers, pretzels, or tortilla chips are great to pack.

Looking for something different? Try kale chips: here is a great recipe with seasoning and they are really terrific made fresh instead of in the bag: Chaat masala kale chips from Shahzade Devje, RD CDE.

Sandwiches

If you are staying on the beach for the day, then you may want something more filling. Here are some ideas:

Whole wheat pita sandwich: stuff with grilled veggies and vegan pesto.

veggie wrap with hummus: -2 halves
veggie wrap with hummus

Grilled veggie hummus wrap: just make it cold instead of hot.

Mini whole grain bagels with nut or sunflower butter and fruit preserves.

Vegan chickpea salad sandwich by Maria Adams MS, MPH, RDN of Halsanutrition.com.

Sweet Snacks

carrot raisin muffins in basket
Amazing Spiced Carrot Raisin Muffins

If you’re looking for a sweet beach snack besides fresh fruit, try a fresh-baked muffin with whole grains and less sugar like these Amazing Spiced Carrot Raisin Muffins or Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins.

Another idea is a granola bar. Watch the labels, though: many are quite high in sugar.

So you may want to make your own, like these peanut butter cereal bars from Elizabeth Ward MS, RD. They have 10 grams of protein each and are rich in energy: great for kids who are running around and playing all day!

peanut butter cereal bars
peanut butter cereal bars

Freeze yogurt and bring a spoon and ice pack for a satisfying beach snack. My current favorite is key lime flavor coconut yogurt.

Beverages

“Toes in sand, water in hand?”…I don’t think that is quite how it goes. On a recent beach trip, I noticed a lot of people drinking beer and hard seltzer on the beach and in the water….even to the point of keeping a cooler of beer on a raft in the ocean!

But alcohol is not the best choice for a hot day, because it is dehydrating. Here are some more tips for avoiding heat stress with adequate water and non-alcoholic fluids from the CDC.

So, bring plain water, water with orange, strawberry, or cucumber, or iced mint tea.

Or blend up this strawberry watermelon agua fresca from Laura Yautz, RDN, LDN, NBC-HWC

2 cups of Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca
strawberry watermelon agua fresca

Food Safety

First, you will want to keep your cold food cold: 40 degrees F for cold foods and fruits. Here are some ideas: ice packs in a thermal lunch bag or those insulated pockets of a beach chair. If you have a lot to carry, how about an insulated backpack to keep your hands free?

Wheeled coolers are another option if you are feeding a crowd, but you may want one with big wheels for the sand. Use plenty of ice and try to keep your cooler under an umbrella or canopy. Here are some more tips to keep cold food cold from the AARP.

I like thermal metal cups for water and beverages. I fill with ice and they keep my water cold all day. A larger insulated cooler is a good idea too. Another plus: no plastic to blow away and hurt marine life.

Then, find a way to wash your hands. I suggest bringing a bottle of tap water to rinse, and then use disinfecting wipes.

bmpty Beach with 3 blue umbrellas and lounge chairs
Destin, Florida beach at sunrise

More Healthy Travel Posts You May Enjoy

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Which healthy snacks have you tried for the beach? Please let me know in the comments below:

Originally published 7/11/2020. Updated 7/23/2021

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