Tips for Safe and Healthy Pool Snacking
Posted 5 years ago by Lori Scholle
Summer is here! Can you believe that the school year is over and now families get to spend endless days in the summer sun? One of the best ways to play outdoors and keep cool in the summer is to go to the pool. The summer pool season is where countless hours will be spent swimming and playing in the sun. All that swimming burns a lot of energy and your kids will need to replenish their tanks with plenty of healthy snacks! How you store the snacks are just as important as what you bring. Here are some tips for safe and healthy pool snacking.
- Make sure cold food stays cold. Pack perishable items in a cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Cold foods should be held at 40°F or below to prevent the bacterial growth that causes food poisoning.
- Keep coolers closed. Opening a cooler over and over again lets in warm air which lowers the internal temperature of the cooler putting the safety of your perishable foods at risk. The less times you open it the longer the foods will stay cold.
- Separate beverages from foods if you can. People will open the cooler with beverages more often than one with perishable foods. Putting drinks in a separate cooler will keep the cooler with perishable foods at a safer temperature since people will not be opening it all day.
- Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped as it prevents their juices from contaminating prepared/cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables. This will lower your risk for food-poisoning.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables. Place your fruits and vegetables under running tap water and if they are firm-skinned, rub with a vegetable brush before packing them in the cooler. If you are using pre-packaged fruits and vegetables make sure that they are labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed” before you eat them.
Now that you have some guidelines around how to store your food safely it is up to you to decide what kinds of yummy snacks to bring. If you are in need of some inspiration, check out my previous blog on healthy road trip snacking for ideas. Keeping everyone fed and happy at the pool is easy to do as long as you remember to store them safely! Happy Swimming!