I’m no stranger to the beach. I spend just about every weekend during the summertime sitting in a beach chair, soaking up the sun and sipping on a cocktail, so I know a thing or two about packing a beach bag. From snacks to beverages, below are my tips to ensure you will have fun in the sun!
Pack beach-friendly snacks
Spending your day on the beach means that you need to pack the appropriate food. You will want gluten-free finger-food and snacks that are easy to throw in a bag or cooler. My favorite beach-friendly snack is pistachios. They won’t get crushed in your bag, and you won’t feel that guilty eating them. I love eating pistachios on the beach because I’m able to throw my shells in the sand! No mess, no stress!
Some of the other gluten-free snacks I like to pack for the beach include rice chips (RiceWorks Sweet Chili rice chips are my absolute favorite), gluten-free pretzels, and popcorn (like Skinny Pop). Other easy snacks to pack are Crunchmaster Gluten-Free Crackers and Wellaby’s products. They’re all sure to be a hit among the other beach bums in your company!
Go the Sandwich Route
If you think you’ll want something more substantial to eat while on the beach, you can easily pack a gluten-free sandwich, contrary to what you may believe. Although a lot of gluten-free breads require a toaster to taste good, there are certain brands that would work for the beach setting. Try Canyon Bakehouse bread – pack a loaf in your bag, or even keep one cold in the cooler. The slices taste “real” and will go perfect with your favorite gluten-free deli meat. Another good brand of beach-worthy bread is Udi’s bread (Millet-Chia is my personal favorite). If you are looking to go the sub sandwich route, you can easily pack a few packages of Schar’s Sub Sandwich Rolls. Each roll comes in an individually sealed package making it ideal for the beach bag. There’s also no toasting or heating up required for these sub rolls to taste edible, so enjoy!
Have a Large Bowl of Fruit in the Cooler
Just because you’re on the beach all day doesn’t mean your diet has to completely be derailed. My family often has a large bowl filled with mixed fruit that we can enjoy while on the beach. Whether it’s watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, or a variety of fruit, you can easily make this healthy snack beach friendly. Pack a few plastic forks and some smaller bowls for individual servings, along with a plastic baggie to put the garbage or dirty dishes in after (we don’t want to litter our beaches).
Come with a Full Cooler
You’re going to want to make sure you have all of the beverages you’ll need. You’ll want to pack bottles of water, Gatorade (for the REALLY hot days that you’ll be playing beach volleyball or Frisbee), and other hydrating liquids. Don’t make the mistake of only filling the cooler with soda because when you’re baking in the sun all day, you’re going to want healthy and hydrating options to drink as well.
If you’re going to be drinking adult beverages while on the beach, there are quite a few gluten-free options you can choose from. If you’re a gluten-free beer drinker (which I am admittedly not), you can enjoy brands like New Planet Beer or Bard’s Gluten-Free. I opt for a six-pack of Woodchuck Hard Cider (either the Summer or Crisp flavor) in my beach cooler.
I also like to enjoy a mixed drink on the beach as well, so I’m always sure to bring a Tervis Tumbler cup to pour my creation into. I usually pack gluten-free rum, like Malibu, or gluten-free vodka. Stoli is my personal favorite, so I tend to mix that with light cranberry juice, lemonade, or diet soda. It’s not that hard to pack everything you need for a classy adult beverage. I prefer to pack small bottles of mixers so I’m not hauling a 50 pound bag through the sand.
This is not food related, but it’s always imperative to protect your skin when out in the sun. Wear sunblock and make sure you reapply so you don’t end the day as a lobster. I always pack a hat to wear as well because no one wants the face of G-Free Laura to get all wrinkly!
If you’re planning a day at the beach, the most important thing is to pack accordingly so you don’t end up as a hungry, thirsty, and grumpy lobster. The extra 10-20 minutes spent packing is worth it when you’re enjoying a relaxing day in your beach chair!
What do you pack for a day at the beach? Do you have a preferred adult beverage to sip on throughout the day?