Here are some awesome beach food ideas that you can pick up, pack, put in your ice chest, and enjoy on your long days at the beach.
I grew up with cotton fields on 3 sides of my house and one of the world’s most beautiful beaches 35 miles to the south.
That’s the joy of the South, people.
You’re right on a farm living the dirt road back country life and in 35 minutes you can be on a white beach with blue water living the beach life.
Salt and sun and food.
That’s what life’s made of.
Beach Food Ideas (3 Categories)
- Snacks and foods that need to be in the ice chest
- Snacks you can buy/make that can be kept at room temperature
- Foods or snacks you pre-make at home
I grew up going to the beach on Saturdays and Sundays for nearly 6 months out of the year.
Now I’m a grown up with 5 kids of my own and we live less than an hour away from the world’s most beautiful beaches on the Emerald Coast and so, well, I know a thing or two about the types of foods that work well at the beach.
Food And Snacks To Keep In Your Ice Chest (Cooler)
This is the heart of beach food. Cold, fresh, and refreshing.
You’ll want to get some big bags of ice for the cooler and make sure anything that could melt (chocolate, candy, etc.) gets put in there.
Personally we load our cooler full of FRUIT and this list will reflect that.
- Fruit that is sliced or that needs to be refrigerated
- Watermelon slices
- Apple slices
- Pineapple slices
- Kiwi slices
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced peppers
- Individually packed ice creams
- Cheese sticks, slices, or blocks
- Dips and salsas for chips
- Pepperoni, salami, cured meats to pair with cheese and grapes
Easy Beach Food
This is the type of stuff you can buy on Amazon Prime or Instacart or at the nearest grocery store and just shove in your bag.
The key here is you want snackable things that will fill everyone up (particularly if you have kids) and you want them to be low stress. Easy.
- Chips (salsa and dips can go in ice chest)
- Crackers (Ritz, saltines, wafers, Cheez-Its, Wheat thins)
- Fruits that aren’t sliced (watermelons, apples, oranges, pineapple)
- Veggie straws
- Animal crackers
- Gogo squeez (these are sealed up room temperature applesauce like snacks)
- Cookies (probably without chocolate if you’re in the lower half of the US because it’ll melt and be a mess, if you do want chocolate cookies put them in the cooler)
- Chex mix
- Nuts and protein mixes
- Bars (Nutri-grain, Kind bars, muesli, nut and fruit, etc.)
- Beef jerky
If you’re actually in a beach in the south you’ll want to avoid most types of candy and definitely all types of chocolate unless you put it into your cooler.
Snacks And Food You Can Make And Bring To The Beach
So now let’s move into the interesting things. If you are a mama (like me!) or g-mama then you’ll likely want to make sure your little ones have a lot of food to eat.
I suspend all normal snacking rules at the beach because when the kids are running around like crazy swimming they get super hungry. And I want to extend our beach days for as long as possible so we have Tons O’ Snacks and we’re fine with it.
If you plan on being at the beach throughout a mealtime and your VRBO, AirBnB, or condo/townhouse isn’t right on the water, then you’ll want to whip something up and bring it down with you.
- Tortilla wraps (like any of these)
- Pasta salad (cold pasta and veggies with a simple dressing like Italian)
- Ham wraps (put some pepper slices, cucumber slices, or anything else you like with a simple condiment wrapped up inside ham)
- Salads (whether you make it and put it in a Tupperware or buy a packaged salad mix)
- Leftovers from dinner
- Hard boiled eggs
- Rotisserie chicken (you can buy one at the store and shred it with a fork then pair with BBQ sauce, in a sandwich, etc.)
- Sandwiches (pb &j, ham and cheese, BLT, whatever suits your fancy)
So next time you are planning a trip to the beach (or a whole week of trips!) make sure to plan ahead for some of these yummy snacks!