Following a healthy diet has become a way of life for many people and that is why more and more people are looking for healthier and more filling options even now in the summer. It is ideal to find meal alternatives that offer us more vitamins and minerals, hydrate us, make us feel full for longer, and are flavorful at the same time.
So, what do you think? Shall we take a look at some easy and nutritious snack ideas we can eat now in the summer?
Cold sandwiches or wraps
Cold sandwiches and tortilla wraps are the easiest and most practical options we can take with us even at the beach, provided that we keep them in a cool place and that they do not stay out of the fridge for a long time, of course. Most of us are used to a simple sandwich with cheese and ham. But this time, how about a whole-wheat tortilla or a low-carb type of bread, along with some type of cheese like cottage or light cream cheese, and a little avocado, olive oil, or pesto (ideally low in salt), so that we will combine a complex carb with a good source of protein and fat? The next ingredient that we should add -and that is usually missing from our sandwich- is the salad and vegetables. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, or even zucchini, so you can eat good sources of fiber and vegetables that are in season and rich in water as well. Even if you want to snack, vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, or kale chips are very good alternatives, ideal for our little ones who usually tend to get hungrier at the beach!
Fruit ice lolly and popsicles
Not only are they refreshing and can hydrate us, but they are also usually low in calories. As you can see, I used the word “usually” as it depends on the ingredients we will use to make them. Of course, if we buy a ready-made granita, fruit ice lolly or popsicle it is much more likely that it may contain processed sugar or some other ingredient that can greatly increase its calories. For this reason, I would advise you to use the different varieties of fruit we have now in the summer and make your own unique recipes in many different flavors. Add honey, agave or maple syrup, and combine them with a few nuts to have a more filling snack!
Cold drinks / Smoothies
Smoothies are good hydrating options both in winter and summer, especially for people who exercise since they are usually based on milk which is a great drink to replenish muscle glycogen and rehydrate athletes. Ideally, we should make a complete smoothie that will make us feel full for longer and that will be rich in antioxidants. Combine seasonal fruits and vegetables like melon, watermelon, grape, cucumber, apricots, nectarines with a little yogurt or some nut butter, add flaxseed or chia seeds, some plant-based milk such as soy, almond, or coconut milk, and make complete smoothies that will amaze even picky eaters. Do not forget that by adding a variety of fruits with different colors, you will be able to get different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from just one meal.
A simple seasonal fruit with a few mixed seeds or a few nuts is definitely the easiest solution you can take with you wherever you are. It is also a complete meal that can combine protein, good fats, fiber, antioxidants, and carbs. But, how about you try some rice paper rolls with seasonal fruits this summer? This recipe is rich in vitamin C, while at the same time it contains vitamin K, A, B6, manganese, and potassium. You can definitely make your own combinations and, if you want, you can use honey, or a little agave or maple syrup instead of sugar.
Yes, ice creams can also be part of a balanced diet. Remember that when our diet is generally balanced and we do not choose to eat meals that are rich in saturated-trans fats, sugar, and salt in our daily life, then consuming one, two, or even three ice creams in a week will not automatically make us gain weight. Do not forget that the important thing is to enjoy all our meals and to consume foods that we like. Of course, I have healthier ice cream alternatives for the summer; you will see them below!
These are just a few ideas that you can follow to make your own light and tasty snacks in the summer. Surely, with such easy and tasty alternatives no one will be left complaining, as you should also remember that we do not need to follow a flawless diet plan without enjoying our favorite foods, too. The goal is to follow better eating habits on a daily basis and take care of our overall health!
This article was written in collaboration with the scientific advisor-sports nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr, INDI.
The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.