Pack a Lunch for the Beach

Visiting the beach during summer is about spending a lot of time there, including lunch time. If you do plan to stay for lunch, as well as ensuring you're properly covered up against the midday sun, have some excellent food to whet everyone's' appetites and add value to their enjoyment of a day at the beach.


  1. Prepare a Beach Picnic. Having the right gear with you at the beach will make it a more comfortable and sun-safe experience.
    • A lot of people aren't so keen to sit and relax on the bare sand, especially not when it's hot or when it risks getting mixed up with the food. Bring a Have an Indoor Picnic, a Choose the Right Beach Towel for You, and maybe even fold-up chairs for relaxing on so that you and your fellow diners can stay off the sand.
    • Buy a Beach Umbrella are an excellent method to block off the sun around your area. Secure the bottom of the handle or spokes, otherwise it may blow away; if it doesn't have something to help you secure it, you can use wet sand for this, or pile bags from your other gear onto the end of it.
    • Pack all the food and drinks in Make a Cooler. Rather than a regular beach bag, backpack, or plastic bags, insulated coolers provide enduring protection from heat and will keep non-perishable items cool until you're ready to enjoy them.
  2. Choose refreshing re-hydration drinks over sugary treats. Leave all alcohol, sodas, and sugar-loaded juices at home. It might be nice to have a Enjoy a Coke with your lunch, but it won't feel so good when you've been under the sun for a few hours.
    • Make lemonade or another citrus-based drink to quench your thirst in the heat.
    • Freeze Water the night before. Always leave a small amount of room from the top for it to expand before adding it to the freezer.
    • Encourage everyone to bring water. Small children may enjoy having their own disposable cups to drink from throughout the day. Add stickers or draw on the cups before leaving to distinguish which cup belongs to whom.
  3. Think of healthy, but filling food for your beach trip.
    • Choose pita bread or wraps instead of bread slices that may get soggy.
    • Keep all Jams Preserves and Condiments separated from other food. Use small Tupperware containers for sauces, mayonnaise, or dressing.
    • Pack light and non-salty snacks for kids in individual sealable snack or sandwich bags. Prepare the night before by chopping fresh vegetables, like carrot slices. Non-buttered popcorn, unsalted pretzels, crackers, and raisins can be enjoyed as a small snack mix.
    • Decide to use Tupperware containers instead of plastic bags to store sandwiches and fragile food in. The last thing you need is a soggy and smashed lunch by the time you want to eat it.
    • Go with light meats, such as turkey slices or grilled chicken. They are excellent choices to place in a sandwich wrap.
    • Try to create a meal based upon finger foods. Utensils that are needed for food, such as salads, will be just another thing to take care of while cleaning up, so the less, the better.
  4. Assemble an Make a Cooler.
    • Make sure that the food and drinks that are going to be used last or not that much goes on the bottom. You don't want to be digging through the ice or other items just to get one thing.
    • Add the heaviest and biggest items on the bottom, while the lightest and smallest items should be placed on the top.
    • Always add any ice cubes to the cooler after the items have been added. Ice cubes take a lot of room and you don't want to be digging ice cube holes to place things in.
  5. Pack cleaning supplies. Inevitably, sand will get onto things, and there will be food and drink drips and spills. As well, leftover wrappings and containers need to be taken off the beach to leave it in the pristine condition you'd like it to be.
    • Baby wipes are recommended to take with you to the beach. Unlike napkins, baby wipes help to moisturize the skin and they remove sand more efficiently than dry cloth or paper.
    • Take extra plastic bags with you. To minimize trash blowing away and litter in general, you can easily dispose your trash in the plastic bag. Toss the entire bag away in a nearby trash barrel on your way out, or have one member of the party dispose of it after lunch if it's very windy and you're concerned it'll blow away.
  6. Relax after lunch. Although you don't need to wait to get back into the water (getting cramp after eating is an old myth[1]), it's a good idea to let the food settle a little, although the kids are free to use up their energy as they'd like! Just be sun safe and remember to add more sunscreen, hats, tops, etc., to avoid sunburn.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulated cooler
  • Carrying basket or similar for food, plus Tupperware or similar containers
  • Food as outlined above
  • Water
  • Picnic sheet/blanket, tarp, towels, beach umbrella or even a beach tent, etc. for sun and sand protection
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Hats and shirts for covering up
  • Baby wipes and plastic bags for clean up
  • Flip flops, swimsuit, spare change of clothes

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