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Food for the beach

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

A delicious day at the beach

Packing food for the beach be difficult: You need items that are portable, easy to eat and refreshing. Plus, it must stay fresh in the hot sun. Before your next beach trip, plan ahead and prepare some tasty beach day snacks.

Couple eating on beach

One of the biggest problems with eating food on the beach is the likelihood of sand getting in your food. Sand blows around, and sandwiches and whole fruit run the risk of being dropped in the sand -- so concentrate on goodies that that won't be ruined if dropped and can be eaten with hands that are wet and a bit sandy.

Salads

Any kind of salad (other than mayonnaise-based dressings), cut-up fruit and vegetables, yogurt, cheese and lunchmeat cubes with crackers, and bite-size tea sandwiches are great beach choices. Popcorn, chips, nuts, frozen grapes, and rice cakes work well for snacks, but remember: Salty treats cause thirst, so pack lots of drinks.

Get simple summer salad recipes >>

Sandwiches & wraps

If a sandwich is what you crave at the beach, then make something that won't get soggy or fall apart as you're eating it. If you want tomatoes, pack them in a separate bag and add them to the sandwich just before eating it. Thick crusty bread works best for staying dry; don't put any dressing or spreads on it until you are ready to eat. Pita bread and wraps are good bread options for a sandwich, too -- plus, the sandwich fixings are less likely to fall out. Cut sandwiches into a few pieces so that, if you drop a piece, the entire thing isn't ruined.

Get cool and crisp lettuce wrap recipes >>

Chilled soups

Gazpacho or fruit soup in a Thermos makes a terrific beach meal because it's easy and refreshing to eat. Cold spreads and dips such as hummus, olive tapenade, tzatziki dip, and sour cream and onion dip with pita wedges, crackers, and chips are great options, too.

Finally, remember not to bring anything that may melt, such as chocolate, unless you can keep it chilled and away from the sun. Pack whatever you bring in plenty of ice, and bring along lots of water to ensure a fun day at the beach.

Get chilled summer soup recipes >>

Up next: Beach-friendly recipes >>

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