Last week, my kids and I scooted off to the beach where we played in the sand, splashed around and had a wonderful time. Heading to the beach is one of the great joys of summer for my family -- not just my kids, husband and I, but the whole huge lot of us.
When we are there, it's essential to have a few tasty bites on hand so that we can enjoy our time (and not stress over how to feed everyone). Preparing ahead of time helps with this a lot.
Snacking foods are great for the beach. I'm a big fan of having melon wedges and berries on hand to grab and eat. Something crunchy like pretzel rods is also great. If you want to whip up a beach snack, try Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix or Original Chex Party Mix.
If we are eating lunch at the beach, I am a big fan of having fried chicken, although I typically don't eat true "fried" chicken anymore. Crunchy Chicken Drumsticks, served cold at the beach, are a great baked version. Crunchy Garlic Chicken also looks fab (go on! Just eat it with your fingers!).
Sandwiches are also great at the beach. Something like Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches are satisfying and easy to pick up, since they are self-contained in a pita. Some other great options? Ham and Cheese Tortilla Roll-Ups, Submarine Sandwiches and Make-Ahead Dagwood Sandwiches.
Now, when it comes to what to sip on the beach, water is always best. But if you are looking for something special to serve, try something delicious and homemade like Easy Mango Iced Tea or Old-Fashioned Lemonade.
And what about dessert? You can't go to the beach without a little sweet bite! Cookies like Lime White Chocolate Cookies or Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for beach outings. Peanut Butter Cookies are also delicious.
If you are looking for something just a little different for dessert, try Chex Muddy Buddies, which is a craveworthy mix of Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter and more. The chocolate and peanut butter get inside the bits of cereal and powdered sugar helps to keep it from being too messy. The taste? Amazing.
What do you like to pack when you head to the beach?
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.