Summer is a time for change. As the season shifts to warmer temperatures, so does the need for light, yet filling dishes that require minimal preparation. When the temperature soars over 100 degrees, the last thing anyone wants to do is cook. Luckily, summer is also a time where fresh fruit and vegetables are plentiful, which means the options for easy-to-prepare, healthy meals are for the taking.

 

Stock Up

Even in areas where it doesn’t get too hot, summer is a time to kick back and relax. Spending hours in the kitchen just isn’t appealing, especially when there are so many more hours of sunshine to enjoy. On shopping days, stock up on pantry staples. Think rice, pasta, chickpeas, and frozen veggies. Pasta can be tossed with garden-fresh vegetables for a cold salad, whereas frozen vegetables, broth, and milk can make a creamy cold soup in under 30 minutes.

 

Eat Light

For those who are following a strict diet, now is the time to fall off the wagon. No, that doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind and consume everything in sight. What it does mean is instead of trying to stick to a regimented diet that might involve heavy prep, think light. Choose low-fat, healthy summer favorites that are high in fiber, low in fat, and can be prepared quickly.

 

Prep Vacation Snack Packs

Calories count, regardless of season. So, when it comes time to go on vacation, a little advanced planning can go a long way. Prep snack packs that curb the temptation to overindulge.

Stash healthy packs of nuts, string cheese, and other low-fat snacks, like pretzels for long flights. Swap out sugary soda for fruit-infused eater for the trip. If possible, head to the local grocery store and stock up on fresh fruit and veggies that can be prepared before heading to the beach. Cucumber and tomato salad with a splash of balsamic is light, filling and hydrating.

 

The Bottom Line

Even with tasty temptation all around, it’s easy to stay on the right track. Plan ahead, think about food choices before eating, and most importantly, allow for the occasional indulgence. After all, summer just wouldn’t be summer without the occasional ice cream.