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Grab & Go Bars & More (Photo: Amanda Shapin)

5 easy and healthy beachside snacks

You spent the last few months eating right and working out, ready to feel confident at the beach. But what happens when hunger strikes in the sand? No need to ditch your healthy habits, even when in the midst of an oceanside getaway. With plenty of beach options just a couple of hours from D.C., Rehoboth to Virginia Beach and everything in between, now’s the time to get out and enjoy while keeping to your healthy routine.

Here are five simple snacks to keep you on track and satisfied at the beach this summer.

1. Tropical Watermelon, Chia & Coconut Salad: Chop up a watermelon and sprinkle with chia seeds. Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours allowing the watermelon to chill and the chia seeds to expand. Before you head to the beach, top with shredded coconut. The watermelon is super hydrating and will provide you with electrolytes to prevent dehydration, no matter how long you’re in the hot sun. The chia seeds pack a punch of energy boosting nutrition. These tiny seeds expand when in liquid and keep you feeling full longer and reduce sugar cravings. Not that we expect it, but if you have leftovers, when you head home you can toss the contents into a blender and make a tasty juice or use it as the base of a tropical cocktail!

2. Frozen Grapes: Couldn’t be simpler, but also couldn’t be more delicious. Wash the grapes first, then leave in the freezer overnight. By the time you’re ready to hit the beach, you’ll have a cool and refreshing snack.

3. Grab & Go Bars & More: Not all packaged snacks are created equal. Look for items with a limited number of ingredients, ingredients that you know and can pronounce and have no added refined sugar. A few favorites: Dang Coconut Chips, Rebel Kale Chips, Fruit Fusion Supersnacks, Larabars, That’s it Bars, Clif Organic Energy Food Pouch and Kind Cherry Apple Chia Pressed Bars.

4. Tomato & Avocado Bites: Get a dose of veggies while sitting beachside. Slice tomatoes in half, top with chunks of avocado and sprinkle a touch of sea salt on top. If you’re looking for a heartier snack, this can be enhanced with prosciutto and/or cheese.

5. Extra Icy, Iced Coffee: Ever feel that midday beach slump and need a boost of caffeine? If you bring a normal iced coffee to the beach, by the time you’re ready to drink it, it’s going to be a watered-down disappointment. Amp up your coffee by making iced coffee cubes. The night prior, make a batch of coffee and pour into an ice cube tray. In the morning, make your iced coffee with these special cubes to ensure your coffee stays strong and tasty. Often times hunger strikes and leads to bad snacking when you’re tired and antsy. A few sips of coffee can usually do the trick. If this doesn’t work, a beachside nap is never a bad idea.

And remember, pack plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially on those extra hot and humid days. To keep your snacks chilled, instead of filling your cooler with ice cubes, fill it with frozen bottles of water that will do double-duty. They’ll keep your food cool and when you’re ready for h20, you’ll have an ice-cold bottle waiting for you.

Prep these snacks and enjoy your beach vacation feeling your best!

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