Food + Drink, Travel

Beach Picnic Food Ideas – Healthy and Easy

Beach Picnic Food Ideas – Spending a day at the beach or pool means there will be hungry bellies. Here’s a list of light and healthy options for your picnic basket! 

Hey there! Kelly from Trial and Eater here, sharing beach picnic food ideas that I think you love!

Summer beach days – is there anything better? As long as I pack enough food and drink to keep me full and hydrated during the day, there is nothing like soaking up the sun all day long by the ocean.

Getting together at the beach with friends over good food and great conversation is a favorite past time for many but not when it’s weighed down by heavy foods. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, I have a few tips and tricks I’ve learned about what foods to pack.

Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian like me, most of us can agree that adding more fruits and veggies to our diet is a good thing. Here’s the perfect healthy beach packing list to help you incorporate them into your next day-at-the-beach meal.

Beach Picnic Food Ideas

What Foods to Pack for the Beach

It can be a hot topic on whether to bring only finger foods or if foods requiring silverware are worth the hassle at the beach. I say it’s best to bring a good spread with both options!

Fruits – fruits can serve a double purpose to satisfy both hydration and hunger. My top picks are grapes, cut up watermelon or other melon, and berries. Wash them first!
Cheese – Individual cheese snacks (like string cheese, cheese sticks, or BabyBel cheese wheels) are a great thing to bring. Pair it with your fruit or eat it them on their own!
Veggies – Baby carrots and other low carb veggies slice well, pack easily and are great for dipping. Think celery, sliced bell peppers and sliced cucumbers.
Hummus – Hummus is a super easy veggie dip to throw together beforehand, or get the tubs from the store. Bring dippers like baby carrots and pretzels!

Make it yourself: Lemon Garlic Hummus

Other Dips Ideas

(Guacamole or pico de gallo, anyone?)

Salads & Pasta Salads – use your better judgment here if you’re going to feel like packing the appropriate containers and silverware, but a cold pasta salad or a chopped Caprese salad can really hit the spot.

Wraps – Whether it’s a pita wrap, a lettuce wrap or a collard wrap, the options are endless here! Stuff it with your favorite veggies, dip it in the aforementioned hummus and you have a filling meal. Make it yourself: Sunflower Collard Wrap

Drink Ideas for the Beach

Bottled Water – An obvious one, but plenty of water is important when sitting in the sun all day!

Lemonade – Homemade lemonade is one of the most refreshing things to drink on the beach. Pro tip – freeze some in advance so it stays cold much longer.
Make it yourself: Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Or Cocktails: Summer cocktails are also a good choice!

Miscellaneous Items to Pack

Plastic Forks – One time I packed a salad for a beach day and completely forgot a fork. Spectators got a kick out of watching me try to eat it with my hands (dressing and all!) but it’s best to pack extra silverware.
Paper Towels – Pro tip: pack them in a plastic bag so they don’t get all sandy.
Ice and/or Ice packs – To keep everything cold in your cooler!
Extra plastic baggies – You never realize how handy extras are until you need to put leftovers away!
Sunscreen & Headphones – My two most important non-food related items!

What else do you think are beach-food-essentials? What else would you add to your healthy beach packing list?

Have fun on your day at the beach! (And maybe take me with you?)

Kelly Shea is the author of the vegetarian site Trial and Eater where she shares easy recipes and tips for eating veg while traveling. She believes in balance – in work, life, and especially food. Check out her some of her favorite recipes like her Grandma’s Baked Ziti, Apple Nachos, and Italian Blue Salad along with the rest of her adventures at Trial and Eater.

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