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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
You might also want to bring a beach shelter or portable gazebo if you’re planning a long day in the sun.
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: