Convenient and Nourishing Summer Snacks
Submitted by Brooke Bulloch, dietitian and mom.
Summer in Saskatchewan always feels like a short season, and families are often on-the-go, packing in their favourte summer activities.
During the hot season, it's important to ensure the whole family is offered a variety of both fun and nourishing foods that help everyone stay hydrated, energized, and well. But families are busy and looking for quick, easy, and convenient snacking options. I have some tips to keep planning and packing fairly quick and convenient, yet balanced and nourishing.
First, I like to take a flexible approach to planning. This helps me to make decisions on the fly. Consider balancing snacks by matching power foods with protein foods!
Power Foods are carbohydrate-rich foods that fuel our brain and muscles. Higher fibre carbohydrates from fruit or vegetables, and whole grains are more slowly digested, offering a lasting source of energy. Protein Foods help to satisfy the appetite and repair busy muscles.
Here are my 5 favourite snacks this season that balance power foods and protein foods:
- Grapes (power) + cheese strings (protein)
- Fresh strawberries (power) + yogurt tubes (protein). Note, yogurt tubes can be stored in the freezer for a quick frozen yogurt pop to-go!
- Dried mango (power) + lightly salted pistachios (protein - 11g protein per ½ cup serving). I love that these foods don't require a cooler or refrigeration AND they apeal to the sweet and salty palate.
- Crackers + baby carrots (power foods) + hummus (protein). Each of these items can be purchased ready-made at the store.
- Potato chips (power) + dried fruit and nut trail mix (protein... and fibre). Who doesn't love potato chips? They're convenient and the salt will help to replenish lost sodium in sweat on hot days (helping retain water while you stay hydrated). While potato chips provide energ, they lack protein (and fibre), so adding some fresh fruit and trail mix or even beef jerky will help to enhance that snack and offer more lasting energy.
Keep things simple, and remember that many convenient food options offer a variety of nutrients too. Think power foods + protein foods for flexible, satisfying, and nutrient-dense options!