Help the family stay fueled at the beach or pool with these easy-to-pack (and safe-to-store) beach snacks. We’ll include options that help keep you hydrated, hold up well in transit, and help everyone enjoy a fun day!
When we head out to hit the beach, we always go armed with snacks to help us enjoy a full day there—without the need to leave to find food. And the kids are always running, swimming, and playing, which means they build up a big appetite…and I do, too.
So, we need a lot of kids snacks! This post includes a range of beach snacks, from ones that hold up well in a bag and in the heat to ones that will help everyone stay cool and hydrated. Ones that are easy to eat even if the kids happen to be covered in sand. These ideas also work well for general summer snacking, whether at home, at a lake, at the pool, or a day out of the house.
Use this collection of healthy beach snacks to plan what to pack for your next day trip or vacation.
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Shelf-Stable Beach Snacks
These easy snacks don’t need to be kept cool to be safe, so they are easy to pack even without a cooler and are easy to serve. You may still want to keep them in the shade (and/or a cooler) simply because they will taste better if they’re not hot.
Pair these with a drink like a big bottle of cold water. All of these are safe for toddlers and can be shared with older kids and adults.
- Crackers (such as Triscuits thin crisps, Ritz, Breton)
- Z Bars
- Dino Bars (save 10% with my code YUMMY10)
- Mini Larabars
- Kind Kids Oat Granola Bars
- Fig Bars
- Made Good Bars
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Dry cereal (such as Cheerios, Kix, Chex)
- Snap Pea Crisps
- Bienna Chickpea Puffs
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Dried fruit
TIP: You can pack any of these that aren’t in individual packages in snack containers to keep them protected in your beach bag.
Beach Snacks to Pack in a Cooler
We almost always bring at least an insulated cooler bag to help us keep our food and drinks cold on beach days. Here are some easy snack ideas to pack inside—with an ice pack or two to keep them cool.
You can also freeze applesauce pouches and yogurt tubes to be both an ice pack and a cool snack!
- Applesauce pouches
- Baby food pouches
- Yogurt tubes
- Cheese sticks
- Drinkable yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh fruit (diced or thinly sliced as needed, such as apple slices) or fruit salad
- Fresh veggies (such as thinly sliced cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers)
- Hummus or guacamole and and crackers
- Milk carton
- Diced cooked chicken or lunch meat
- Leftovers (like diced pancakes or pasta salad)
- Smoothie in reusable pouch
TIP: For more complete meal ideas, check out my Top Ten Lunchbox Ideas.
Favorite Beach Snacks for Babies
For babies and 1-year-olds, I’d keep things simple with foods that are easy to eat including:
- Smoothies or yogurt in a reusable pouch
- Pouches (with a fruit or veggie puree, or a protein-rich food like yogurt or cottage cheese)
- O cereal
- Banana Cookies
- Halved blueberries or quartered grapes or tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Diced pancake
- ABC Muffins (which has oats, whole-wheat goodness and produce)
- Breast milk or formula
TIP: Find my go-to favorite early finger foods for kids.
Favorite Beach Snacks for Adults
These are some of our favorites to pack for the parents and care providers at the beach.
- Hydrating fruit like watermelon, peaches, grapes, or apples
- Peanut butter pretzels
- Almonds or peanuts or other preferred nut
- Cheese sticks
- Drinkable yogurt
- Trail mix or snack mixes
- Potato chips or popcorn (particularly with an icy cold drink)
How to Keep Beach Snacks Safe
The easiest way to keep food safe when out in the heat is to store it in a cooler with ice packs and to keep the cooler in the shade if possible. Limit the amount of times the cooler is opened and closed (which lets hot air in) as much as you can. You can also lower any risks of food borne illness by following basic food safety rules when prepping foods.
TIP: Read more on outdoor food safety from the CDC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pack foods that are easy to eat, that everyone usually likes, and that are easy to keep safe. Packing a mix of shelf stable snacks and ones for a cooler is a good way to have variety.
Easy beach lunches could include a snacky lunch like cheese and crackers and fruit, pasta salad with a side of fruit, or a sandwich and fruit.
We love packing fresh melon (which is hydrating too), cold pouches, drinkable yogurt, cheese sticks, and applesauce stored in a cooler to help them stay cold and safe.
Best Gear to Keep Food Cool
Any insulated bag or small cooler can work to help keep foods cold. We have a Yeti cooler, which is amazingly effective at holding in cold temperatures. Some of our favorite products include:
I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please comment below!
This post was first published July 2020.