Orchestrating meals at the beach is hard to do. No one wants a sandy sandwich, but no one wants to leave the sand for lunch, either. Many people try to cart their food to the beach in wagons, coolers, and bins, but what they often find is that that effort is more trouble than it’s worth — a lot of the time, they only end up with sticky fingers, hungry seagulls, and melted desserts.
Luckily, you can still have your meals in the sand, and eat them, too: it just requires some planning. Take a look at this list of five do’s and don’ts we think every beach eater should know. The seagulls will always be hungry and the sand will never be sanitary, but at least you’re doing your best to have the most satisfying seaside dining experience.
1. Do portion and pack snacks or meal items in resealable bags
One of the best ways to avoid a sandy communal chip bag and a seagull convention is by portioning out your snacks and sandwiches before you go to the beach, instead of simply packing whole bags of chips or crackers that cannot be closed or resealed. The problem with the sand is that these big, communal bags cannot be set down — unless you want sandy chips. Large food bags are also rarely finished in one sitting, so beach-goers end up having open, half-eaten bags of snacks they don’t know what to do with. Enter hungry seagulls. Avoid that invitation and only bring the food that you know will get eaten by you and your family members, rather than the birds.
If you portion your baggies, you avoid sandy containers that result from a number of visits from covered hands. Your kids might not care if their salt and vinegar chips are just a tad more crunchy, but you probably do, so give everybody their own bag and let them decide how salty they like their chips.