Packing food for the beach is a little tricky. You could wing it and pack whatever is in your fridge, but…you’re kind of rolling the dice if you go that route. After all, you’ve got a bunch of different factors to consider with beach foods like the heat, cooler space, whether you feel like packing utensils, messiness, and sand, which has the amazing ability to end up practically everywhere.
There are certain rules that seasoned beach picnic-packers know, like the fact that anything lettuce-based isn’t going to stand up well after an hour or so (even in a cooler), and that sticky stuff is a sand magnet. But all that aside, there are some great options when it comes to beach foods. Keep these options in mind, whether you’re going for tasty snacks or a full-on meal.
1 - Hard Boiled Eggs
This might be one of the best bang for your buck foods to tote. Hard-boiled eggs are simple to make, filling, and easy to rinse off if they happen to encounter an impromptu sand storm. They’re also delicious warm or cold if cooler space is an issue. Just peel them in advance (it’s way too much work to do it on the beach).
2 - Wraps
Sandwiches are great and all, but sand has a funny way of getting trapped in the nooks and crannies of the bread. Wraps, on the other hand, have a protective outer layer to help keep sand out. If you’re extra paranoid about a sand-in-food situation, you can also wrap them in foil that you peel off as you eat.
3 - Rotisserie Chicken
The last thing you want to do when you’re packing for the beach is spent a ton of time cooking. You can grab a rotisserie chicken in advance, store it in the fridge, and shred it right before you leave. Like eggs, this also tastes great cold or warm.
4 - Grain Salad
You’ve got a bunch of options with this tabbouleh, farro salad, quinoa salad... Pretty much any grain, mixed with fresh veggies and cheese, is a winner at the beach. Just store it in a plastic container, and don’t forget the plasticware (you can pitch it all when you’re done).
5 - Bars
Whether you want something sweet or savory, a bar is a quick and easy way to pack light. Aim for options with more filling ingredients like nuts or oats and skip ones with sticky stuff, like caramel or melty chocolate. It’ll just end up coated in sand.
6 - Kebabs
Eating at the beach should be easy and fun, and that’s where kebabs come into play. You can put almost anything on a skewer... Steak, chicken, fruits, veggies… The potential combos are endless. Just bite off your meal and toss the skewers when you’re finished. Bonus: You can eat this one with sandy fingers.
7 - Pita Pockets
Another sandwich alternative, pita bread forms a nice protective shell for the goodies you’ve got stored inside. It also works as a temporary mini insulator for any stuffings you want to keep cool.
8 - Smoothie
Have an insulated thermos or water bottle? You’re golden. Mix up your favorite smoothie and pour it on in for a cool treat you can sip surfside.
9 - Lunchmeat Rollups
Perfect for when you’re limited on cooler space, rollups of your lunchmeat of choice and cheese are easy to fit in between drinks. You can add olives or mustard to the center to kick things up a notch.
10 - Grapes
Pretty much any fruit with a protective outer layer (plums, oranges, nectarines...) are great, but grapes can serve double duty as ice if you have a small cooler. Just toss a baggie or two in the freezer in advance and pull them out when you’re ready to hit the beach. When you have a hankering for grapes, take out the fruit 15 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat them, let them thaw a bit, and enjoy.
11 - Yogurt
For those moments when you’re pressed for packing time, yogurt can help provide a hearty snack with zero prep. Stock up on squeezable varieties ahead of time if you’d rather eat one-handed. Or, if you prefer to use the conventional cup, don’t forget to pack a plastic spoon.
12 - Veggies and Hummus
Carrots and cucumber spears make a crisp, refreshing snack, especially when you pair them with a dip that can withstand the heat, like hummus. Just store them in a sturdy plastic container so they don’t get squished.
13 - Pasta
Whether you grab leftover spaghetti out of your fridge or take the time to make something new before you leave home, pasta tastes great cold or warm at the beach.
14 - Pretzel Rods
Chips are always tasty, but they can easily get soggy if you’ve been swimming. Pretzel rods are a little more hearty. They don’t get stale easily in the salt air and can take a few punches without getting crushed while rolling around in your beach bag.
15 - Trail Mix
Nuts and dried fruit make for a yummy and filling beach snack combo, and they’re easy enough to stash and go. Just consider taking a pass on the chocolate, it’ll turn into a gooey mess before the end of the day.
16 - Brownies
If you have a sweet tooth, brownies are one of the best ways to satisfy it at the beach. Since they're baked through, they won't melt like other chocolatey treats, and they don't need to stay in the cooler if you're short on space.
Credit to Delisg website.
Picture Creator: Kristina Kohanova / EyeEm | Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm