How to pack the ultimate beach picnic for your family

Baby on beach eating banana

Today we welcome mum and business owner, Melanie Aslanidis from Beachside Collective – an online space for lovers of coastal design and island style.  She’s giving us her tips on how to pack the ultimate beach picnic for your family!  Over to you Mel…

It’s that time of year when it’s the perfect weather to get out and about in the Australian Summer and enjoy a beach picnic with little ones.  There is nothing like a cool dip in the ocean and the feeling of sand between your toes to bring you back to nature and let relaxation wash over you.

However, getting to the beach is often not stress free with kids.  When you need to cart along towels, buckets, spades, beach tents and a toddler under one arm, it can be super tempting to buy fish and chips or unhealthy snacks from the shops just to eliminate one more layer of packing.  But, before you crack out the salt laced snacks, check out these tips for what to pack and how to pack it! Hopefully this will make your beach day a little easier!

How to pack the ultimate beach picnic for your family

Family enjoying a beach picnic

Invest in a great cooler bag

All cooler bags are not equal, so this is an item you want to be good quality and lightweight to keep those healthy snacks nice and chilled for as long as possible.  One with a moulded base will support whatever you pack, and is a good in between when you don’t want to bring a big esky.  Whatever you choose make sure it is decent quality to ensure maximum chill in the hot sun.

Striped Jack and Julies Essential Cooler Back

Food preparation is key      

If you’re like me, I struggle to get 2 kids out of the house in the morning!  The more I can pack the night before, the better.  Frozen fruit is the perfect snack at the beach for both convenience and taste.  Freeze the night before, then just pop in a bag in the morning and it is lovely but still chilled by lunchtime.  Our favourites are grapes, watermelon and blueberries. You can try other berries but they can end up a little more mushy.

Kids on beach eating watermelon

Another great food to prepare the night before is a tonne of veggie sticks.  Carrot, cucumber and capsicum all last well, and you can also throw in a punnet of tomatoes for taste and colour.

Other snacks we love for a day out – popcorn, brown rice crackers, hommus, salad wraps (as they seem to handle the heat better than sandwiches) and homemade fruit muffins which can also be from the freezer.

Hedge your bets

Coming from personal experience, I highly recommend you bring a series of smaller containers with sandwiches or wraps, rather than one giant container.  Why, you ask?  There is nothing worse than a whole lunch container ending upside down in the sand.  You will cry, I promise.  Especially if  you’ve found a quiet and somewhat remote beach location and back up food options are no where nearby.  So hedge your bets so you don’t lose an entire meal!

These Tyrrell Katz Snack Boxes are very handy as they are nesting so take up less space to pack up and take home, and come in super cute designs.

Tyrrell Katz Snack Boxes in dinosaur design

Another favourite is Re-Play Divider Plates!  They are extremely light weight but really durable, very handy to throw in for for the kids.  If you are eco-conscious like me you’ll love the fact they are made from recycled milk cartons.

re-play divider plates

Don’t forget the drinks

Water is essential for a day out in the sun, but it doesn’t have to be plain or boring.  Frozen fruit is a great addition to your kids drink bottles, as it infuses throughout the day as it melts. Often kids aren’t huge fans of citrus, so berries can be the perfect option to sweeten water naturally and infuse a few vitamins.

Make sure you freeze some water to take along, while ice bricks are great, why carry them as extras when you can take frozen drink bottles, and drink the chilled contents – one less thing to carry home at the end of a long day.

We love Ecococoon bottles as they are vacuum insulated, which means your liquids stay cold 24 hrs!

Ecococoon 350ml drinkbottle in ocean friends print

So tell us, what are your must have food tips for a fantastic beach picnic with kids?

Melanie from Beachside Collective with her two sons

Melanie Aslanidis runs Beachside Collective – an online space for lovers of coastal design and island style.  She’s also mum to two boys, who love nothing more than a fun beach picnic on a warm summer’s day!




Are you looking for some healthy pre-packaged snack ideas to throw in your picnic basket (or school lunchbox!)?  There are some great ideas here. We also love these Beach Day Basics for Families by ‘Traveling Outside-the-Box’.


    1. Totally! Between the hot sand and scorching sun, if you don’t have a good quality cooler bag, you soon regret it!

  1. I always always take wet wipes or pre-moistened face washers to the beach. Helps to remove sand from the fingers before you end up eating it along with your sanga!

  2. Some fantastic suggestions in here (especially love the frozen fruit idea) and now some more items on my Wishlist to buy, ha ha!

    1. Yes I’m guilty of a few purchases myself 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful time at the beach this past summer x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *