It’s beach season. Do you have plans to head to the beach within the next month to soak up a little sun and have a little fun? When I head to the beach I stay for most of the day. That means I pack plenty of food, drinks and a good book. Over the years, I’ve had food fails and successes when packing our lunch/snack bag.
I’ve learned to invest in a good insulated food bag to ensure the ice doesn’t melt and having it on wheels doesn’t hurt either. My cooler has 4 plates, which is great for the kids. I pack it with plenty of ice so everything stays cool. Baggies are my best friend on the beach. I double bag everything to ensure the food stays dry and to help keep the sand away. Sand somehow seems to land on everything, and we all know that it sticks. I actually have a cooler for the food that needs to stay cool and tote for the dry goods like chips, crackers, cookies/brownies, wipes, small cups, forks, plastic grocery bags etc.
I’ve also learned to pack foods that can be handled by both children and adults. Finger foods are great beach foods. I can have the children sit and relax in their beach chairs and they can handle the finger foods on their own or with a napkin. Finger foods are also easy to obtain from a container or baggies.
Our favorite foods to take to the beach are:
1. Lettuce Wraps – Lettuce wraps eliminates the need for bread and is a much healthier alternative. The wraps go over much better with adults. Anything green is still an enemy for the kids. Another reason we love wraps is because they are so versatile. You can wrap chicken or tuna salad, spicy shredded beef etc., and control the size of the wraps. If you pack anything with mayo make sure is housed on ice. I use plastic containers to house the wraps because they are water proof and I can cover the container well with the ice.
2. Pepperoni Slices – These are great for both the kids and adults. You can pack low fat or turkey pepperoni. Pack plenty, these are a favorite.
3. Fresh Fruits – I love freezing seedless grapes. They are so refreshing after being out in the sun. I also slice a seedless watermelon and cut each slice into 4-6 pieces. I place the slices into gallon zip lock baggies. The children can handle eating it, and the adults devour their share too. Chopped cantaloupe, honeydew or strawberries will work too. Just chop it and place in a gallon baggie. Use a plastic cup to hold the chopped fruit when you’re ready to eat it.
4. Mason Jar Salads – These are great for adults. I would recommend chopping your ingredients into bit size pieces before you place them in a pint size jar. You can add your favorite dressing before leaving the house. A plastic fork is the only utensil you will need.
5. Fried or Baked Chicken Wing Pieces – These are a huge hit with the kids. They are easy to handle and eat without a plate. I double bag these in gallon baggies and just let the kids grab a few. Place the bones in a plastic bag and just throw them in the trash.
6. Cheese Cubes/Slices and Crackers – The kids love cheese cubes. I buy a bag of the cubed cheese and transfer it to a zip lock baggie. It’s easier to access them from the baggie than the package from the store. I also pack sliced cheese to place between crackers for the kids. They love it.
7. Brownies – My family loves brownies. I cut them into small squares and place them into baggies. Nice sweet treat without the mess.
8. Rolled Deli Turkey or Ham – I take deli ham or turkey and roll it. I take a long toothpick and place it through a few olives before placing it through the rolled meat. Both the kids and adults like this. You can also add a slice of cheese to the top of the meat before you roll it.
9. Chips – Not healthy, but always great at the beach. You can purchase low fat or baked. My family doesn’t care. If the bag says chips, it’s on.
Be sure to pack plenty of water, Gatorade, or flavor infused water. It’s better than sugary fruit drinks. I also take a container of wipes that I purchase from the dollar store to whip hands before and after handling the food. What’s your favorite foods to take to the beach? Please add them to our list, we may want to pack them to.