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Easy Beach Picnic Food Ideas – Healthy Choices For Kids And Adults

Wondering what foods to prepare for a beach outing that are packable and will keep everyone well-fed? Keep it cold, simple, and flavorful. These easy beach picnic food ideas are perfect for feasting in paradise!

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!



Chicken-Mango Wraps

Think out of the box and prepare your favorite convenient food recipes in a beachy way! Combine shredded or cubed cold chicken with fresh summer vegetables such as cucumber, green salad, onions, and chunks of fresh mangos. A thin wrap offers the perfect way to keep the mixture neatly contained without worries that you’ll make a mess on your beach blanket.

chicken mango wraps

What’s more, these chicken-mango wraps are also easy to stack in a cooler or lunch sack. You can even feed a crowd this way using leftover chicken from last night’s dinner.

Cold Chickpea Salad

In addition to being an easy beach picnic food idea, chickpea salad is a healthy, high-protein side dish for the beach that’s full of clean body fuel. An easy way to make chickpea salad is to combine canned chickpeas with your favorite veggies!

chickpea salad in bowl

You can add cuts of bell pepper, thin-skinned English cucumber, tomato, or anything you have in your fridge. Mix in your favorite dressing. Dill and parsley can be used to season the salad.

Fruity Tortillas

Who said that tortillas can be loaded with savory filling only? Simply smear an ordinary tortilla wrap with cream cheese to start these kid-friendly snacks that are so easy to pack in your cooler. Next, add in your sliced summer veggies like kiwi, strawberry, and blueberry before rolling the wrap up into a handheld shape. Add a few pomegranate seeds for extra source of many vitamins!

strawberry kiwi blueberry pomegranate

For a sweeter snack, pour a little honey or maple syrup over the fruit before rolling the wrap. This is a great “beach blanket” snack because kids can neatly munch on it without any forks required!

Deviled Eggs

As a food that’s easy to eat in two bites, deviled eggs are perfect for picnics because they don’t require forks. The trick for making deviled eggs for an outdoor picnic is to boil the eggs one to two days in advance to allow them to get firm in the fridge. Add the filling just before you’re ready to pack up for the beach.

pans of deviled eggs

Watermelon Feta Cubes

This is one of the best picnic on the beach food ideas when looking for something elegant and easy. Just join a watermelon cube, small feta square, and basil leaf on a toothpick. A sprinkling of coarse salt can help to bring the flavors out. This also makes a yummy beach party appetizer!

Boozy, Beachy Charcuterie Board

This elegant and simple spread is perfect for a romantic picnic at the beach! While bringing an arrangement like this to the beach can be tricky for couples, the hack is to use a large tray, board, or box that can easily fit within a cooler or insulated picnic basket.

assorted food on charcuterie board

If you don’t have the gear, simply pack all of the items in separate containers with the intention of arranging the board once you get to the beach. Here’s a list of the best items to put on a beach charcuterie board:

  • Cheese
  • Dried sausage
  • Dried figs
  • Dried apricots
  • Crackers
  • Bagel chips
  • Grapes
  • Mixed nuts

You’ll also need a cheese board, cheese knives, and some napkins to keep things classy. Of course, wine is a great addition to an adults-only beach charcuterie board. Make sure you have a blanket or portable table for keeping sand out of this beautiful spread!

Shrimp on Crackers

Don’t assume that an appetizer will be too messy for a beach picnic. Shrimp on crackers will provide all the elegance of a catered event in a beach-friendly package.

group of people having picnic at the beach

Each cracker consists of a small precooked cocktail shrimp placed over a bed of cream cheese that’s been mixed with shredded mozzarella cheese. You can even add a dollop of cocktail sauce over the cream cheese for extra flavor when making this easy beach food.

Homemade Trail Mix

Buying trail mix by the pound can cost a fortune! You’ll also be stuck with pieces of things you don’t even like. Once you realize how easy it is to make a “beach medley” trail mix, you’ll never go back to store-bought trail mix again. Just start with your favorite nuts.

While lots of people like to add little pieces of chocolate or marshmallow to trail mix, these things can easily melt in the hot sun. Make this a heat-friendly trail mix by sprinkling in shredded coconut, banana chips, dried cranberries, dried pineapple slices, or dried apple slices for sweetness.

nuts mix with cranberries

If you prefer salty over sweet, try crunchy sesame sticks and pumpkin seeds. If your goal is to make trail mix a grab-and-go breakfast for kids at the beach, sprinkle in handfuls of cereal.

Corn Salad

Here’s another easy food to pack for the beach that travels nicely in a cooler! Just combine fresh-cut corn kernels, roasted sweet potato, red beans, finely chopped red onion, avocado cubes, feta crumbles, a bit of cooked rice, and your favorite dressing in a bowl with a lid to make this side dish. Shaking the salad up while traveling only makes it better!

corn salad in bowl

Pudding Jars

This single-serving picnic dessert is a hit with kids and adults! You’ll just need to have a mason jar for each person. The easiest pudding in a jar to make is a “dirt pudding” that uses layers of crushed Oreo cookies between scoops of chocolate pudding. A nice gummy worm on the top makes this a fun treat for kids!

lemon granola pudding jar

My favorites are pudding jars with granola and lemon pudding; a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day!

Pie Bars

While slicing up a pie at the beach is tricky, grabbing a pie bar is simple! A pie bar is a dessert that falls somewhere between cookies and pies. While you aren’t using a pie crust, you are using flour and sugar to give the bar a pastry-like consistency all around.

Baked on a large baking sheet, this dessert has a solid, slightly crumbly consistency that makes it easy to eat with your hands. Popular pie bars include blueberry, cherry, and pecan.

FAQs

Foods that are meant to be served cold work best at picnics. Some easy beach picnic food ideas include cold salad, chicken salad wraps, mason-jar pudding, fruit wraps, and trail mix. Single-serving options that eliminate the need for utensils, large cutting knives, or serving spoons are also great.

Start with the right equipment! Containers with lids are ideal for transporting food to the beach because they keep sand out. Additionally, having the right cooler or insulated picnic basket is essential. Bring a thick blanket to keep sand away from the food. Use an umbrella or tent as a shade source to prevent spoilage from sun exposure.

Wraps and tortillas, cold salads made with rice and vegetables that can be stacked in a cooler and no-melt snacks that kids and adults can simply grab with their hands are all great options!

When packing cold food for a picnic, a cooler or large insulated picnic basket will be essential. Utilize ice packs to keep the interior cold. Stackable lidded glass containers work best for keeping food safe and insulated. While disposable foil pans can be convenient, they are prone to bending and leaking so consider choosing reusable, plastic ones.

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