Heading to the beach this summer? Make sure you pack all of the typical essentials like sunscreen, an umbrella, a beach ball, sunglasses, a good book, and a towel. However, my childhood consisted of picnics at Mother’s Beach down in Long Beach with my babysitter of many years. We, as in me, my babysitter, and the other children, would get our bags packed for the afternoon. She’d lather us up with BullFrog suntan lotion and make us each individual hot dogs in tin foil. She’d occasionally bring watermelon, or other snacks for us to munch on when we got tired from playing in the water or building sandcastles. This was a part of my childhood that I don’t want to lose, and that I thought I’d share with you so you can start your own tradition.
1) Hot Dog on a Bun
These should be customized for each person, and their name should be written on the aluminum foil to avoid confusion. Portable and re-closable. You can make it with all of your favorite toppings. Be sure to use enough foil if you use a lot of condiments so that it doesn’t spill all over the rest of your picnic!
Let’s take it back to the 90s. I may be a little biased since this is what my babysitter always brought along. She’d bring it in the cooler ice cold which was heaven on earth to a child on a summer day. These are hard to find nowadays, however, they are still available at Walmart and Dollar Tree. You can stick it in the sand by your bag until you need another sip. Don’t let anyone kick any sand into it!
Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit because of its hydrating capabilities. Not only is it super healthy and can help prevent a variety of diseases, it is delicious. Buy a whole watermelon, slice it in half and save the rest for the next day or when you return. The half that you will use, chop it into as small of pieces as you would like. You can take off the skin, or leave it on as in the picture above so you can eat it with your hands with less mess. Remember, your hands will most likely be sandy or salty while eating.
Water is very self explanatory. Sitting in the hot sun all day causes us to dehydrate. While you are out playing in the sun, exercising, going in the water, or simply sunbathing, you need to continue to hydrate. Don’t only drink when you are thirsty. Your body needs water even before it tells your brain you are thirsty. There was a commercial on a few years ago where a girl said, “Mom? If we’re losing water, why don’t we just drink water?”. “Nothing hydrates quite like water.” Listen to the advertisers on this one. They’re right. Not meaning to put a plug in here, but here’s the commercial for your reference:
Grapes are just a personal favorite of mine. I love the burst of flavor you get with every individual grape. When they’re crispy or frozen, it can be perfect as well. Get a whole bunch at the store because they go fast. They’re not messy at all, they’re bite sized and are the perfect healthy snack!
What would you bring to the beach if you had to pack yourself a picnic for yourself or a group?