Hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing… wherever your summer adventures take you, one thing is for certain, your trusty cooler will be tagging along. Transform your cooler into a chilly trove of healthy treasure with plenty of clean protein, crunchy veggies, and juicy fruit to satisfy your active crew and keep the summer fun rolling. Skip processed, over-packaged foods and start with these essentials to pack the best adventure-ready cooler all summer long!
- Protein bars are a convenient, nutrient dense snack for hikes, early morning surf trips, weekend camping expeditions, and after swimming lessons. Just be sure your protein bars are low in sugar, high in clean protein, and are made with organic ingredients. Orgain Organic Protein Bars and Organic Kids O-Bars check all of these boxes without sacrificing yumminess, in flavors like blueberry almond, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate brownie.
- Ready to drink organic nutrition shakes taste just like a milkshake but instead of a crazy amount of sugar, they are full of creamy clean protein, vitamins, minerals, and the nutrient boost you need to fuel your summer fun. Stored in your cooler, they are a refreshing alternative to the fast-food variety and taste so good!
- Non-toxic ice packs are ideal for keeping your drinks, snacks, and sandwiches cold and fresh, instead of a soggy mess once the ice melts. By choosing a non-toxic, biodegradable ice pack, you ensure chemicals and dyes don’t leech into your food or the environment if punctured. Look for ice packs labeled as non-toxic, biodegradable, and sweat proof or reduce condensation by wrapping the ice pack in a kitchen towel.
- Fresh fruit is full of vitamins, natural sweetness, and hunger busting fiber. Sliced watermelon is a summer classic, along with cubes of pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, bananas, and bright green kiwis. Make a fruit salad and bring bamboo skewers to make sharing easy or stash portions of cut fruit in reusable silicone bags, glass containers or jars, or stainless-steel vessels to prevent toxins from plastics leeching into foods and unnecessary waste.
- Sunscreen, like good snacks and cold drinks, belongs in any cooler destined for fun in the sun. Prevent sunburns with a reef-safe mineral zinc formula that it as gentle on sensitive skin as it is on the environment. New mineral zinc formulas are smoother than ever, becoming clear instead of white after application and are water-proof, making them ideal protection for sweaty tennis matches, trail running, swimming, and beach bumming. Remember to reapply often and stick to a formula below 50 SPF, as some research shows higher SPF doesn’t always mean more protection.
- Coconut Water is naturally high in thirst-quenching electrolytes, making it a great healthy alternative to artificially flavored and dyed sports drinks. Its subtle tropical flavor is perfect for summer and glowing skin, try this superfoods coconut water on especially hot days.
- Veggie sticks and dip are the perfect portable savory snack. Slice cucumbers into “chips” and carrots, celery, and bell peppers into sticks to dip into our supergreens hummus, guacamole, or herbed Greek yogurt. Switch things up with a handful of pitted olives, cherry tomatoes, jicama sticks, seedy crackers, pretzels, and anything else that looks prime for dipping!
A cooler stocked with simple, healthy drinks, snacks, and supplies will keep you and your family smiling in the sun, making memories, and spending time together instead of fretting over melting ice and feeding your soggy sandwiches to the seagulls. Say that five times fast and stick to these cooler essentials for your best summer yet!