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How to Plan a Beach Picnic

How to Plan a Beach Picnic
Spending an entire day at the beach is fun for the whole fam that is, until tummies start grumbling.

What's better than a picnic? A picnic at the beach!

Spending an entire day at the beach is fun for the whole fam – that is, until tummies start grumbling and kiddos start complaining. Packing an awesome beachy meal will help keep everyone happy so they can hit the waves, play in the sand or give it their all in a game of volleyball.

On the menu

Are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot dogs not exciting the family anymore? You can do better! At your beach picnic, pack a meal that will be just as fun as the beach adventure itself.

Sandwiches are an obvious choice here because they don't require utensils. These Turkey Cucumber Dill Sandwiches are simple but different enough to be a surprise twist on an old-school fave. Or, you could get a little fancier with some of these killer Savory Focaccia Sandwiches.

Cut up some fresh veggies and fruit for everyone to snack on instead of chips and candy. Watermelon slices are thirst quenching and cool, while baby carrots offer a welcome crunch. Just pack them in plastic sandwich bags in the cooler with ice, and they’ll be as crisp and delish after a few hours at the beach as when you packed them.

This is a great time to try something new and refreshing on the kids, too – like cool, crisp sugar snap peas with humus dip. When they’re hungry, kids are more willing to try something they otherwise might turn up their nose at.

No picnic is complete without sweet treats as the grand finale. These Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies will blow your mind, combining everyone's top two faves into one terrific treat!

Cool It

If your picnic includes anything with meat, mayonnaise, cheese, other dairy products or perishables, be sure to pack them in a cooler with plenty of ice. Take them out of the cooler right at meal time, not before.

Picnic baskets are great for the stuff that doesn't need to be kept cool -- paper towels, tablecloth, paper plates and napkins, silverware and serving utensils.

Keep it Clean

To help keep sand out of your food, bring along a blanket, beach chairs, paper towels and hand wipes. You could also wrap sandwiches in wax or parchment paper, so everyone can just peel it back as they eat, keeping those sandy beach hands off the food.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Shade)

Munching on tasty foods isn't much fun if you're blinded by the light or too hot to be comfortable. Take a big beach umbrella with you, and remember hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Get to the site early if you have anyone who is sun sensitive so you have the best chance of getting those coveted shady spots under trees or pavillions.