Help the family stay fueled at the beach with these easy to pack (and safe to store) beach snacks.
We head to the NJ shore almost every summer and try to spend as much time as we can at the beach. Which means….we need a lot of snacks! Here are some of our favorites, including ones that need to be kept cool and ones that don’t.
TIP: These ideas also work well for general summer snacking, whether at home, at a lake, or a day out of the house.
Shelf Stable Ideas
These easy snacks don’t need to be kept cool to be safe so they are easy to pack. You may still want to keep them in the shade (and/or a cooler) to prevent them from becoming hot (which simply might not taste that great).
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% off 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: Remember to pack a water bottle for everyone to help them stay hydrated too.
Snacks to Pack in a Cooler
We almost always bring at least a cooler bag. 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
- Fresh fruit (diced as needed)
- Milk carton
- Diced cooked chicken or lunchmeat
- Leftovers (like diced pancakes or pasta salad)
- Smoothie in reusable pouch
TIP: Plan to keep the cooler behind your chair or under the umbrella in the shade to help keep it cool.
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. You can also lower any risks of food borne illness by following basic food safety rules when prepping foods.
And limiting the amount of times the cooler is opened and closed (which lets hot air in) as much as you can.
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 Snack lunch, pasta salad, 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 can work, or a small cooler. (We have a Yeti cooler which is amazingly effective at holding in cold temperatures.)