April 25, 2018

Beach Picnic Guide

Having a picnic on the beach is one of the true pleasures of summer!  There’s nothing like enjoying food and drink with friends and family on a sunny day, with the waves crashing in the background and a healthy appetite from time spent swimming and playing in the sand!  Most beach concession stands are stocked with fried, greasy, or sugary snacks — good for a treat, but not something you want your family to dine on regularly over the summer.  With the right gear and a little planning, you can skip the junk food, reduce waste, and enjoy a delicious meal on your favorite beach!

Beach Picnic Tips

So relaxing!

The first must-have item is a fantastic picnic basket.  Look for something roomy and easy to carry.  You might want to go with a set that includes utensils and other accessories.  An insulated bag or portable cooler is perfect for keeping food fresh on a hot day in the sun.  You’ll want something that is easy to move from place to place, can hold food for a crowd, and is sturdy enough to stand up to use at the beach.

Beach Picnic Tips 2

An insulated basket with everything you need, from Crate and Barrel.

Because the beach is full of sand, keeping the sand out of your food can be a bit of a challenge.  Keep a large beach blanket rolled up and stored in your bag until it’s time to eat.  If you have a blanket with corners that can be weighted or pegged down, you’ll help prevent accidents from stiff ocean breezes.    Make sure kids keep their sandy feet off the blanket while you’re setting up the picnic.  If your preferred beach has a picnic area with tables, take advantage of it!  Bring along a light tablecloth with weighted corners that won’t be blown around by the wind.

Beach Picnic Tips 4

A shady spot is perfect!

Consider cutting down on waste by using washable utensils and plates and packing food in reusable containers.  There are plenty of lightweight, easy to pack options that will fit well into your picnic basket or cooler.  Don’t forget the napkins or a pack of hand wipes!

If you love the idea of dining right on the beach, make sure to have a big beach umbrella along to give you plenty of shade.  Your picnic will be more comfortable and relaxing.  An angled umbrella that anchors into the sand won’t be budged by the wind and will allow everyone to enjoy the picnic while taking a break from the sun.

As for the food, try to think outside the sandwich baggie!  Sandwiches are easy and convenient, but not the only option for picnic dining.  Consider cut up fresh fruit, cheese cubes, crackers, dips, and fresh veggies.  Or, prepare a real feast of gourmet cheeses, crusty bread, cold cuts, and roasted peppers.  Create a menu that’s easy to eat on the go, such as fried chicken bites, fruit, cheese, and herb skewers.  If you make sandwiches, try something beyond the typical PB&J or ham and cheese — curried chicken salad, perhaps.

An elevated picnic menu!

An elevated picnic menu!

Don’t forget to bring along beverages!  Lemonade, a bottle of sparkling water, or fruit infused water are good family options.  For an adult picnic, a bottle of wine is often the perfect choice.  Don’t forget reusable cups and a bottle opener!

Many beaches have a “carry in, carry out” policy, meaning visitors are expected to remove their own trash from the area.  It’s always a good idea to pack an empty bag for cleaning up any waste after the picnic just in case you don’t find a conveniently located garbage can.

What are your favorite beach picnic tips?  Share them with us!

 

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