Healthy and Quick With Minimal Mess: Tips for Packing the Perfect Beach Lunch

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We all love the beach, but it can present some real challenges when it comes to picnics. Between the sun beating down on your cooler, the wind blowing any loose items away and, perhaps the biggest troublemaker, the sand — which seems to get everywhere — the typical picnic foods can take a beating at the beach, killing some of the fun of eating outdoors. But with some strategic lunch-packing and some well-thought-out food choices, you can enjoy a healthy meal by the ocean while keeping the mess and hassle (not to mention the sand ingestion) in check.

Consider these tips when preparing for your next lunch on the Grand Strand coastline:

Opt for handheld foods. Especially on the beach, picnics are just easier if you can avoid foods for which spoons, knives and forks are needed. Think sandwiches, wraps, muffins, kabobs (fruit, veggie or meat), fried chicken, whole fruit and the like.

Pack your food in resealable plastic bags. These bags are lighter than covered containers, making the trek to the beach with them a breeze, and when each option is opened, a zippered storage bag tends to do a better job of protecting your food from sand than their container counterparts. Bonus: When the meal is done, they can be tossed and don’t have to be kept up with or hauled home.

Use a cooler or insulated bag. With an ice pack inside (or even frozen juice boxes or water bottles, if you’ve got time for such advance preparation), a cooler or insulated bag will keep your food chilled and fresh for a considerable amount of time, even when the hot sun is beating down.

Choose dry foods. Foods with dry surfaces, such as pretzels, crackers and the like, are far less susceptible to having sand stick to them than are their sticky, oily or wet-surfaced counterparts like nachos, cinnamon rolls and honey buns — all of which might as well be considered sand-sprinkled if they make contact with the beach.

Pack paper towels. While napkins can easily blow away in the sea breeze, a roll of paper towels will serve the same purpose, all in a conveniently packaged and connected roll that won’t blow away.

Keep it healthy. Some great beach- and nutritionist-approved options to consider include sandwiches/wraps, grapes, cheese and crackers, trail mix, granola bars, string cheese or cheese cubes, banana chips (and other dehydrated fruits), yogurt tubes, and veggie sticks.

While making your vacation plans is often no picnic, the choice can be easy when it comes to arranging accommodations on the Grand Strand. When you’re ready to book your next Myrtle Beach getaway, look no further than the wide-ranging accommodations and luxurious amenities found at The Strand Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront — book your Myrtle Beach vacation today!

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