With Lake Michigan so close to us now, my summer goal has been to spend as much time at the beach as possible.
The beach is my happy place. I’m one of those people that can just sit and watch the water for hours, and Lake Michigan is large enough to make you believe it just might be the ocean – except there’s no salt water or sharks.
Since we’ve upped our beach game, I’ve noticed how much it actually costs to eat at the beach. Our little slice of sand has food trucks, some beach shacks and other places to grab easy food when we’re on the move and headed to put our toes in the sand. But, it adds up quickly!
In the spirit of also trying to save money (Hello, home reno!), I needed to find some beach appropriate snacks that would fill our bellies while keeping our wallets full too.
Realistic beach snacks
Before we get started, I want to tell you that I did some research before taking these off to the beach and then before suggesting these snacks. I actually couldn’t believe how many people were suggesting things for you to eat in the sand that would also end up giving you a mouthful of grit.
Realistically – and especially with kids – anything sticky is out. Sauces, jams, salads, dressing and anything else like that gets a big no from me. The second we lay the towels down, my kids are already covered in sand. Anything that’s difficult to eat, needs a fork or a spoon (because those will end up on the sandy towel) or could potentially be a vehicle for a sand sandwich is out.
Based on that, these are ideas will work for you and your kids. They’ll keep you satisfied throughout your trip, be simple enough to pack and make sure the grains of sand stay on the ground and not in your mouth.
This is an easy go-to snack that you can pop into a container or baggie and take with you. As long as it’s not coated in oil or butter, this is a beach must.
Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches
My kids aren’t huge vegetable eaters so the Blueberry Apple Carrot, Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato and the Strawberry Beet Berry are all awesome options for us. They get some dairy, they get some fruit and they get some veggies.
And, since these are self-contained and don’t require a spoon that will undoubtablely be put down in the sand, I get a mess-free way to feed them at the beach.
Oh! And you can freeze these ahead of time too! If you bring them along in a cooler, it’s pretty much just like feeding the kids ice cream at the beach.
These are sweet and your kids will love them. I think they taste better than straight banana chips (Those are an option too, of course.) and they’re easy to make at home if you can’t find them at the store. Check out the recipe here.
My son is a fan of pretzels so these are another snack I love to take with us places. However, they work especially well at the beach since they aren’t oily and won’t stick to anything.
Sometimes it can be difficult to take fresh fruit to the beach. Due to the juicy nature or the texture of it, it can be a nightmare. But, grapes work really well since the fruit portion is encased. You can also try them frozen too for a fun snack!
You won’t see my suggesting a lot of sandwiches on here (unlike the other lists I’ve seen). Honestly, if you’re sitting in the sand, feeding your kids a sandwich is impractical. That said, a good wrap is pretty self-contained and if you wrap in in foil, plastic wrap or even paper, one, little hand can hold it without touching the food on the inside.
Carrot sticks make a great take-along snack and they’re a good veggie for the beach. They easy and most kids love them.
I like bring crackers with us because they come in so many flavors. They won’t stick to things and my kids will generally eat them and feel content for a while. The bonus is that you can bring several kinds depending on each of your children’s tastes
You can make these at home or buy them pre-packaged, but the best part of the granola bar is that it’s self-contained. Along with the Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches, granola bars are also one of the snacks my kids are most likely to eat when they want a quick fix. To make your own, click here.
Cheese Squares or Cubes
Please note I say cheese squares or cubes and NOT string cheese/cheese sticks. If you’re looking to get your kids all their servings of dairy, and they’ve eaten all your yogurt, cheese squares are a great way to do it. Cheese will help to keep them full and buying the pre-packaged squares makes for a simple way to snack.
In my opinion, string cheese is not a good option for the beach because the likelihood that one hand ends up with sand on it between each string pull is extremely high.
If your kids will eat these, go for it! They’re simple to make at home and summer is the best time to make them because the zucchini is in full bloom. They’re great for the beach because unlike regular potato chips they aren’t covered in grease. If you can make them crunchy enough, you just might fool your kids too.
Apples are always a great snack choice. However, when it comes to the beach, non-sliced apples are also one of the simplest things to throw in a bag.
If your kids demand slices, slice them ahead of time and then use a rubber band to hold the slices on the core. It makes it easier to travel with and keeps the slices from browning. You can read more about it in this post.
All dried fruits are not created equal. In fact, some dried fruits are very sticky. I find the best options to be dried apples, apricots, bananas, pineapple rings and pears. These will often be better for the beach. Things like gooey raisins, mango or some of the other will have sand sticking to them.
As long as your kids aren’t allergic, nuts can be a great choice for the beach. Nuts can be a good way to get in a helping of protein (which my kids never seem to eat enough of). They’re really filling too. Just don’t bring anything you have to shell at the beach.
This is a fun way to combine some of the ideas above so you get different nutrients while you’re soaking up the sun. You can make trail mix at home or buy it at the store, and have a healthy-ish snack that is flavorful too.
What other options would you add to the list?
For more parenting tips, click here.