| |

The Best Food For Boating

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

I grew up in a rural town on a beautiful river system, so since I was little one of my favorite things to do in the summer was hop in the boat with my family and spend the day cruising around.

Whether you have a sailboat, a rowboat, or a powerboat, there’s nothing like a day on the water.

So, what are the best foods for boating? You want to make sure you don’t bring anything too messy or melty, you want to choose foods you can eat with your hands if possible, you want to bring a variety of salty and sweet choices, and you want to make sure it’s filling enough to last the day!

Read on to discover my family’s favorite boating snacks and a few little tips and tricks we’ve discovered over the years to keep our boat and fingers clean!

What To Pack Your Food In

To keep your food fresh and prevent it from spilling all over your boat, you will want to make sure you have it packed up in convenient containers.

My mom swears by these covered plastic serving trays that have little dividers in them for different foods.

She uses them to pack everything from fresh fruits and veggies to charcuterie boards and delicious dips.

The compartments keep everything separate and the cover keeps your food from flying all over the place if you hit some rough waters.

You can use regular platters with plastic wrap on top, but they aren’t as resilient and you may end up with pepperoni and cheese slices scattered to the winds. While the birds and fishes may thank you, your stomach certainly won’t.

If you like to bring some drinks with you on the boat (even though that’s not the topic of this article), my mom is obsessed with these covered wine glasses. You don’t have to use them for wine, obviously.

The Best Healthy Snacks To Bring Boating

If you want to keep your day on the water fresh and fun, then packing a variety of healthy snacks is a great way to stay energized all day long.

Personally, I always like to bring a mix of healthy and indulgent snacks, so you can pick and choose from the lists below to build your perfect boating picnic.

1. Veggies & Hummus

This snack is a class that my family likes to bring boating because it’s easy to pack and easy to eat on the water.

We chop up veggies like carrot sticks, celery sticks, cauliflower & broccoli florets, cucumber rounds, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper sticks.

You can pop all your veggies into separate baggies or throw them into one large bag.

Then just pick up a container of hummus (or make your own and bring it in a plastic storage container), throw it all in a cooler and you’re ready to rock and roll.

The hummus is a great source of protein, which will keep you nice and full as you boat around and explore, while the veggies give a nice crunch. Some variations on this theme include:

  • Your favorite dip such as:
    • guacamole
    • baba ganouj
    • red pepper dip
    • white bean dip
    • 7-layer dip
    • spinach dip
  • Crackers
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Pita Chips

2. Fruit & Fruit Dip

I love fresh fruit on a hot summer day, and dipping it in a delicious cream cheese or yogurt dip is a great way to cool down and indulge in a healthy way. There’s no real limit to the fruit that you can bring, but I love packing up:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Watermelon Slices
  • Apple Slices
  • Pear Slices
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges slices (don’t peel on board since they can make a big mess)

I find that blueberries are a little trickier to eat on the boat since they’re so small and bounce and roll around. I also think honeydew and cantaloupe melon can be a little messy unless you leave the rind on and cut it into slices.

Peaches and other stone fruit are a messy choice too. Even though they’re delicious, I always find I end up sticky and covered in juice when I eat them while boating.

If you know you’re going to jump right into the water after, then it’s no problem, but you may end up with sticky fingerprints all over the boat.

3. Wraps Or Sandwiches

Personally, I prefer to bring a wrap with me when we go boating since they are a little easier to eat, and as long as you don’t overfill them, the middle is less likely to fall out and make a mess all over the floor of your boat.

With that said, you can also make sandwiches, just keep them relatively simple. I like to do a super basic ham and cheese or turkey and bacon.

The more fillings you have, the more likely it is they will end up spilling everywhere so I don’t usually put lettuce or tomatoes on my boating sandwiches.

The one exception to my filling rule is pickles. I find they do tend to say put much better than the lettuce and tomatoes do. I also love using soft rolls or buns instead of bread slices, since they’re thicker.

The extra thickness makes it less likely that the mayo/mustard will seep through and make the bread a soggy mess to eat.

When it comes to bringing sandwiches and wraps on the boat my motto is always: the simpler the better! Less mess and maximum deliciousness.

You will want to put them in sandwich bags and keep them on top of the cooler so your mayo and meat don’t go bad.

4. Pasta Or Potato Salad

Salads made with leafy greens can go soggy if left in a cooler for too long, that’s why I prefer bringing a pre-made pasta or potato salad instead.

You can get some crunchier, hardier veggies in there like celery and onions that won’t wilt if they sit in the cooler for a few hours.

I wouldn’t recommend bringing these salads with you if you don’t have cooler space, since they are often made with mayonnaise, which goes bad if left out at room temp (or higher) for too long.

If you want to make it super easy to eat, you can pack individual containers of salad for the number of people who go boating so you don’t have to worry about bringing plates or bowls with you.

Just pop a few spoons in your bag and you’re ready to enjoy!

5. Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

You may not have seen crunchy chickpea snacks before, but they’re cropping up all over the place as a healthy alternative to chips. They’re often flavored and salty and crunchy, which makes them a great snack that’s packed with protein.

They’re also super easy to pack and bring on the boat since they come in resealable containers.

Crunchy chickpeas are easy to eat and not messy at all, so I like to bring a bag with me whenever we go out boating for a quick hit of salty, crunchy, protein.

The Best Indulgent Snacks To Bring Boating

To me, boating is all about pleasure, and bringing indulgent snacks with us when we hit the water is a great way to take that pleasure to a whole other level.

Below are some of my favorite indulgent snacks to bring boating. I like to combine them with a few healthy options from above for balance.

Here are a couple of general guidelines I follow to keep things from getting too messy on board:

  • Don’t bring frozen foods unless you have a big boat that has a freezer or a really high-quality cooler. They’ll likely end up melting all over you and the boat.
  • Avoid foods with sticky and runny icings or frostings- they’ll end up all over your fingers and the boat.
  • Look for items that have resealable containers or bring your own containers or chip clips to close bags to keep leftovers from spilling everywhere.

1. Charcuterie Board

My all-time favorite thing to bring on the boat is a charcuterie board.

I love them because there are endless combinations of things you can include and even though they feel super indulgent, they are actually pretty healthy all things considered.

I like this one because it has a covered container to put your dip in, plus sections for your meats, cheeses, crackers, and other goodies.

I like to combine my charcuterie board with some fresh fruit options from above, especially grapes and strawberries.

To make a great charcuterie board you want to have a few things:

  • Your favorite cheeses. I love an old cheddar, gouda, and some kind of soft cheese. Cut them up into pieces before you leave for easy eating!
  • Some cured meats. My favorites are prosciutto, spicy pepperoni, and capicola salumi, but use whatever you like best. Make sure you cut them up so they’re easy to eat!
  • A dip of some kind. I love a baba ganouj, red pepper dip, or hummus.
  • Crackers. Choose a couple types of crackers. I like to put a plain salt flavored one and one that’s a little fancier like a breadstick (great for dipping or wrapping prosciutto around!).
  • Dried fruit. Dates are always a yummy choice, but you can put dried apricots, raisins, or papaya depending on your preference.
  • Olives. I hate olives, but lots of people love them. I suggest bringing some toothpicks if you include olives to keep your fingers clean.

There are lots of other goodies you can add to a charcuterie board, but these are some ideas to get you started.

2. Chips And Dip

I mean, chips and dip are always a classic and if you don’t have a cooler you can just bring a variety of chips with you.

They’re easy to pack, easy to eat, and always a crowd-pleaser. You can even add them to your charcuterie board as a vehicle for meat, cheese, and dip.

I love bringing an onion, jalapeno, or garlic and herb dip for my plain chips when we go boating. You can also bring some pretzels or a party mix if you want to change things up.

I recommend packing a chip clip just in case you don’t finish the bag. That way you can close it up and prevent spills.

3. Cookies, Squares, And Brownies

Bring a baggie or little container of cookies and brownies on the boat with you so you can enjoy something sweet and indulgent. My caveat here is to avoid any treat that has frosting or icing since these can be super messy to eat.

Most baked goods don’t need to be refrigerated, which makes them perfect to bring on a boat if you don’t have a ton of room in your cooler and want to reserve that for your cold drinks, dips, and cheeses.

Most baked goods are super easy to eat and not messy at all, aside from a few crumbs, which you can brush right into the water as a snack for the birds and fish.

Always bring a few napkins with you to use to clean up and serve your snacks.

4. Mini Chocolate Bars

We always have a few mini chocolate bars with us on the boat, because what’s better than lounging in the sunshine?

Lounging in the sunshine eating chocolate. They’re easy to pack up since they come in their own wrappers and since they’re so small, they’re not messy to eat.

I would throw them in a cooler with an ice pack and your cool drinks to keep the chocolate from melting before it’s time to snack down since the melted chocolate can make a pretty huge mess.

If you don’t have room in your cooler, then you might want to leave them behind this time.

I like bringing mini chocolate bars instead of full-sized ones since they’re easier to eat and you can bring a whole variety, so there’s sure to be something to please everyone.

5. Leftover Pizza Or Garlic Fingers

Okay, I know this sounds super weird but hear me out!

Cold pizza is delicious and super easy to pack up, not messy to eat, and always a crowd-pleaser. I like to cut my leftover pizza into two-bite sizes so it’s easy to pick up and snarf down.

If you have leftover garlic fingers, they also make a great addition to an indulgent boating snack platter.

I like to dip my leftover pizza and garlic fingers in chip dips like ranch or garlic and herb to take it to a whole other level of deliciousness.

If you’ve never packed up cold pizza and brought it on the boat, give it a try this summer!

Up Next: Are Ninja Blenders Dishwasher Safe?

Leave a Reply

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