The Best Picnic Foods for Your Beach Day


Picnic Foods… What’s better than a beach picnic?

Whether you’re hitting your favorite secluded spot, an urban beach, or traveling as far as Oahu, nothing beats the view.

Add in some great picnic foods and you’ll be dining in style.

Maybe in the past we associated beach picnics with chewing sand. Forget your old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and melted popsicles.

Today’s beach picnic foods range from simple to elegant. Most importantly, they are easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy.

Hungry already?

Here are some different approaches to beach picnic foods. All of them can help you enjoy your beach day.

Let’s find out how:

Simple Picnic Foods

With simple picnic foods, plastic storage bags are your best friend.

A mix of crackers, chips, sandwiches, and cut veggies is an incredibly simple way to have a great beach picnic. Don’t forget the drinks though.

Pro Tip: Freeze Water Bottles

At the beach especially, everyone needs access to plenty of water to drink over the course of the day.

Get prepared the night before. Put some water bottles into the freezer.

This hack serves double duty the next day.

They can keep other snacks and drinks cool. And they stay cold longer so everyone can enjoy a cold drink even towards the end of the day.

2. Kid Stuff

Keeping the kids happy on your beach day will keep everyone happy. All that swimming and digging and chasing seagulls works up a mean appetite.

Here are a few ideas:

Whole Fruit

Simple Picnic Foods
Kids love whole fruit at the beach.

Kids love whole fruit at the beach. Even when they avoid it at home.

They can grab a piece, let the juice drip down their chin, and be back making sandcastles in no time.

Crackers and Chips

Animal crackers, Goldfish, and all sorts of pretzels and chips are great at the beach.

They save space in your cooler too.

Wraps and Sandwiches

Many families opt for wraps and sandwiches at the beach. They are easy to prepare, easy to eat, and keeps a free hand available for eating treats.


Avoid anything with frosting when hitting the beach. It will most likely melt.

Brownies, cookies, and layer bars are fast and great to munch on when the fruit and chips are gone.

You may even find you like a few of these kid ideas too!

3. Prepare Ahead

The difference between good and great picnics is prep time.

Need some inspiration?

The New York Times has prepared a list of “101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics.”

They cover everything from raw veggies to seafood. Salads, cooked vegetables, and side dishes (which are a snap when you prepare them ahead).

How do these yummy dishes sound?


With 101 options, you’ll find ideas you and your family will absolutely love. Prep time is key, as you’ll have plenty of time to relax during your beach day.

Plus, even with 20 minutes of cooking the night before, you can transform your picnic.

The people on the towels next to you will probably envy your gourmet foods! So go ahead and share.

Bring the Necessities

If you have your menu down it’s time to assemble the rest of your necessities.

Wondering which beach to hit and what else you might need for the perfect picnic?

Make sure to read our guide Picnic ideas for a family Beach day.

And don’t forget to grab your beach chair!

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