Dietitian Shares: Top Grab-and-Go Snack Tips for Family Outings

This summer is shaping up to look very different than the typical summers from previous years. Staycations and day trips will likely be replacing road trips and international excursions. But no matter what your summer looks like, there’s no question your kids will still be looking for something delicious to snack on. Whether you’re planning a big family outing or just an afternoon trip to your local park, here are some healthy, on-the-go snack ideas for your next summer adventure.

Double Up the Nutrition

Did you know the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans called out four nutrients of concern for Americans? Cow’s milk contains three of these nutrients (calcium, vitamin D and potassium) while fruits, veggies and whole grains contain the fourth (fiber) – so pairing dairy with these plants is a win-win combination for snack time. Plus, the protein in dairy will fill kids up and the antioxidants from colorful plants can boost their immune systems. These Breakfast Cheese and Fruit Kabobs can be enjoyed any time of day and are fun for kids to assemble on their own. Other portable options could include a combination of string cheese, grapes, whole-grain crackers and/or carrot sticks.

Keep It Cool

If you’re going on a longer trip (more than two hours) pack a cooler or ice chest to keep your snacks fresh and safe. Perishable items – like yogurt, cheese or milk – need to be kept cool, especially as the weather heats up. A small, portable cooler will give you more options to snack on, while providing peace of mind about preventing food borne illness. String cheese, yogurt snack packs, and fruits and veggies can easily be thrown in and kept cold until you’re ready to enjoy them.

Remember to Hydrate

During summer months, hydration is key. Milk serves not only as a refreshing hydrator, but also packs nutritional power with protein, calcium and vitamin D. Single-size servings of your child’s favorite milk is great for taking on the go. If you are concerned about temperature or cooler storage, look for shelf-stable cow milks that can easily be thrown in a backpack or beach bag. They have the same nutritional value as the milk you find in the refrigerated dairy section.

For more delicious dairy-inspired snacks, check out our #DairyAmazing recipes and blog.

By Amanda Ford, MS, RDN, LD

Amanda is a registered dietitian nutritionist who loves teaching others about the relationship between nutrition and health. Amanda has developed and lead numerous classes and seminars on nutrition and disease prevention. When she is not working, Amanda loves to spend time with her young daughter, her husband and her bulldog. Learn more about Amanda. 

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