Food Ideas to Take to the Beach

Summertime means beach time in our family. We live in a state with lots of beautiful lakes so we spend lots of time cooling off at the beach on those hot summer days.

Of course this entails packing enough good healthy, easily to tote foods, that will keep your family satisfied for the whole day. I try (emphasis on try) to take wholesome foods that don’t have a lot of packaging to keep down on the garbage waste. I also try to take foods that aren’t in big bags, that little, sandy hands won’t be reaching into them and ruin the whole bag. There’s nothing worse than biting down on a grain or two of sand.

Here are some ideas for feeding your family at the beach that are easy, healthy, satisfying and cooler friendly.


They’re easy to peel and you can throw the peel in the grass for the deer or other animals to eat!  


Great choice for the beach. Again you can throw the core on the ground for the animals, but make sure you throw it out of the path where people walk.  

Pickles and Cheese:

One of my kids’ favorite beach snacks. I put a few pickles in a sandwich bag and some slices of cheese in a separate baggie. This one you’ll want to make sure little hands are clean before they reach in and grab.  

Prepared Sandwiches: 

I used to take a loaf of bread, the lunch meat, cheese and all the fixings, but it’s much easier to make the sandwiches at home, pack them in a zippered baggie and tote them in the cooler. You will want to place them on top of the ice, for obvious reasons.

Individually wrapped snack cakes or cookies:

Probably not on the top of the list as far as healthiness goes, but for some reason those little chocolate snack cakes taste so good at the beach. Take them out of the box before toting. If they won’t melt in the heat, carry them in a cloth bag as opposed to a plastic bag. (Side note: the cloth grocery bags they have now are GREAT for toting food to the beach!!!)

If they will melt, say they have chocolate in or on them, then place them in zippered baggies before placing in the cooler. The plastic that is already on them won’t prevent melted ice from seeping through.

If you do decide to take chips, make up individual baggies for each person. This will help save little, sandy hands from ruining the whole bag!  

Watermelon Slices :

These are cool, refreshing and delicious. But, how do you make them cooler ready for the beach? You can cut up 1/2 inch squares and place them in individual baggies. Or you can cut into regular triangles and place one slice in a baggie or plastic wrap.

Prepared Hamburger Patties to Grill:

If you decide to grill hamburgers on the beach, prepare your patties ahead of time. I’ve taken a chunk of hamburger meat to the beach; forgetting beaches usually don’t have hot water and soap to wash the raw, greasy meat off your hands. Know what I mean?

So, make your patties ahead of time, have your veggies sliced and ready in little baggies, as well as your cheese.

As far as condiments go, I buy separate bottles specifically for the beach. That way if they get sandy, it’s not a big deal to toss out or try to salvage some before you toss the whole bottle.

Beach time is fun time and can be a great family bonding experience. Toting food doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking if you prepare in advance using the tips and suggestions above.
Here are more picnic recipes and ideas