There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach with the family. It’s all about getting some well earned R & R, under a sunshade on a beautiful Aussie summer day, with the kids burning off excess energy back and forth to the ocean, the sunscreen reapply, the beach toys, the cold drinks, and the inevitable “I’m hungry!”
Packing the right foods for a beach day can be a little tricky. Especially when you are looking for some healthier options to keep you on track with healthy eating. There are several things to consider: how much space you have in your esky, which plates and utensils to take, the general potential for messiness, and we have to consider the sand, because let’s face it, it gets everywhere!
And then what food to pack? You don’t have to always resort to the predictable soggy sandwiches or filled rolls! You want something super filling (beach days are hungry days), taste great cold but be able to stand up to some heat once it’s out of the esky. And most importantly, the food needs to be energising and hydrating so it’s easy to handle a full day in the sun.
With the right mix of snacks and meals, it’s possible to make the perfect healthy beach picnic. Not only will the whole family love it, you can enjoy the day without falling off your weight loss wagon!
Here’s our list of some great healthy snacks and recipes for your next trip to the beach without a soggy sandwich in sight!
Best Healthy Foods to pack for a Beach Picnic
Hard Boiled Eggs
You can’t go past this nutritious little snack at the beach. They’re super easy to prepare, don’t take up much room, are yummy cold or room temperature, and easy to rinse if there is a sand crisis. Just make sure you peel them first – no one’s got time for that at the beach!
Easy Zucchini Muffins
These savoury muffins from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge make a great picnic food because they’re easy to pack and you can eat them with your fingers. No plate required.
Veggies with homemade dips
Cucumber, carrots, capsicum or celery all make great veggie dippers for some homemade dips that make perfect snack for the beach. Make sure the dips and veggies are all stored in sturdy containers so they don’t get squished.
Any fresh fruit with a protective outer layer like oranges or plums work well but grapes can be frozen so can serve two purposes, keeping the esky cold as well as a refreshing cooling snack. Just pre-freeze and take them out 15 minutes before you want to eat them to let me thaw a bit.
Sweet Potato or Zucchini Chips
It’s tempting to throw in packets of shop bought processed chips, but really, either of these are such a better option. They are both healthier and TASTIER and a much lower calorie alternative.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Bagel Bites
These taste just as delicious as they sound and well worth the prep to get these ready for your beach picnic. Be warned, they are incredibly morish, and the kids will LOVE them! Maybe make a double batch – one for the beach, one of the freezer.
Tuna and Veggie Sushi Rolls
What better way to enjoy seafood by the sea! This make ahead tuna sushi recipe is super versatile, and while the tuna works so incredibly well, especially at the beach with the salty air, you can use anything you have on hand: leftover chicken, tofu or extra veggies.
Chopped Greek Pita Salad
This is a deliciously fresh salad that’s super easy to assemble. Store the dressing seperately and mix it with the salad just before eating. You can either stuff the salad into the pita breads or just cut them into small peices and enjoy them on the side.
A Healthy Mummy Smoothie
If you have an insulated thermos or water bottle, whip up your favourite Healthy Mummy Smoothie recipe with ice and pour it in. This way it’ll be beautifully cool and refreshing treat you can enjoy at the beach.
Fresh and Tasty South West Chicken Salad
This is a light yet satisfying salad, perfect served cold on a warm day. It’s an easy one to prepare in the morning before your big day out. Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving.
2 Ingredient Strawberry Rolls
These are an absolute winner and not just as a sweet snack at the beach. They’re great for lunch boxes, easy to make, and just 16 calories per roll up! Believe me, you and the kids will love them.
No Bake Mango and Coconut Super Slice
This is a freezer friendly, no bake slice you can have stored in the freezer when you need to grab a healthy sweet snack. It’s packed with nutrients and tastes amazing!
If you bring a healthy selection of lunch foods and snack options, you’ll find it so much easier to avoid the local fish n’ chip shop and ice cream truck!
Want more weight loss recipes and picnic ideas? Check out our healthy food ideas you can take to a summer BBQ.
What to bring on your Beach Picnic
If you go on picnics or to the beach pretty regularly, chances are, you already have a set pack list (or a pre-packed bag ready to go). But if you’re a bit rusty and haven’t picnicked in a while, particularly at the beach, follow our pack-list to make sure you’ve got everything covered:
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- Blanket/ rug
- Sunshade or Sun Umbrella
- Bottles of water (preferably frozen)
- Kitchen Roll
- Chopping board
- Cups, plates, and cutlery
- Bin bag
- Esky and ice bricks
- Healthy meals and snacks to last your whole day
- Baby wipes
- Beach towels (because even if it’s not in the plans, your kids WILL end up in the ocean)
- Swimmers and changes of clothes for the kids (plus nappies if they’re little)
You might also want to bring a beach shelter or portable gazebo if you’re planning a long day in the sun.
How to pack your food for the beach
This is important because you want your food to arrive safely (cold enough to keep the bacteria at bay on a hot day) and looking delicious (not all jumbled up and messy). So here are a few tips to help you pack your food for the beach:
- Pack your food in airtight containers that are just the right size
- Use greaseproof paper between layers if you need to stack foods
- Always pack salad dressings separately, and toss with salad just before eating
- Invest in a good cooler bag or Esky and a few ice bricks to keep everything together and cold until you’re ready to eat
- Eat any perishable/cold items earlier in the day; for example, you might eat stuff with dairy or meat in them within the first 3-4 hours after leaving home
- Take your time with foods that are relatively stable at room temperature (like an uncut piece of fruit or a cookie)
Get beach food ready with The Healthy Mummy
Love the weight loss recipes you saw here? They’re a sneak preview of what’s to come when you join the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Challenge. There you’ll get access to amazing community support and thousands of delicious, nutritious weight loss recipes you’ll love to cook again and again.
As a Healthy Mummy, you’ll have the confidence and support you need to stick to healthy eating plans, even when you’re surrounded by lots of temptations (like at the beach). Ready to finally get the results you’ve wanted? Join our next round today!