3 Healthy Poolside Snacks

Few things are better than enjoying a good snack by the pool, especially after working up an appetite swimming or laying out in the sun. But be mindful that the snacks you pack should be nourishing for you and your family.

UNC Health registered dietitian Natalie Newell shares a few recipes and tips for enjoying healthy snacks at the pool.

Summer Nutrition Tips

Sure, ice cream hits the spot on a hot day, but for a healthier answer to your cravings, plan snacks that are:

  • Hydrating: As you sweat, it’s crucial to replenish your water. Fruits such as oranges, watermelon, grapes and strawberries can be a great source of hydration, Newell says. Cut them up before you head to the pool so they are easy to grab and enjoy. Pro tip: Make them even easier to eat by placing them on skewers!
  • Low in salt: It’s important to limit salty, processed foods, even when snacking. Dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, Newell says—that’s just 1 teaspoon of table salt. Recommended limits for children are even lower. Having too much salt can raise your blood pressure and cause your body to hang on to too much water.

So, as much as possible, stick to fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables. If you need a packaged option, low-sodium whole-wheat crackers, low-sodium popcorn, dried fruit and raw nuts are good bets.

  • High in protein and fiber: Eating snacks with protein and fiber can help you feel full longer. Options include raw nuts, frozen low-sugar yogurt tubes, and sliced fresh vegetables with yogurt dip (see below) or hummus.

Recipe: Healthy Trail Mix


  • ¾ cup unsalted peanuts
  • ¾ cup unsalted almonds
  • ½ cup banana chips
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼-½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Optional: Add unsalted popcorn for variety


Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Recipe: Vegetable Dip


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: Add cayenne pepper for extra spice


Combine all the ingredients. Keep refrigerated or in a cooler when you and your crew aren’t snacking.

Recipe: Frozen Grapes


  • 1-3 bunches of grapes, any variety


Pull grapes off the stem, throwing away any that are wrinkled. Wash and dry the grapes and place them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid—about 4 hours or overnight—for a fun and refreshing poolside treat.

Looking for a registered dietitian? Find one near you.