It can take a little bit of effort to get your boat out on the water, but we all know that time is well worth it. There’s planning, preparation, and often travel before you are ready for your day of fun in the sun. But whether you intend to wakeboard the day away or just soak up some rays, you have to make sure you keep your energy up. Eating on a boat can be like eating in the car, or on a plane: a real pain in the neck! You have to worry about spilling food, whether or not you have easy access to your cooler, and what you can store and eat in the easiest possible way. Simply put, there’s a lot to consider.
One thing you need to know is you don’t necessarily need full meals all the time. Part of the joy of boating is there doesn’t have to be a set schedule; the day is yours! So snacking is a great way for everyone to get what they want, when they want it. It also keeps you at a more consistent energy level. Here are some tips you can use to keep eating and snacking on your pontoon as simple as possible.
One of the easiest things to eat while boating is fruit, and there are a ton of reasons why. First of all, fruit requires no preparation on your part. Grab a bunch of bananas, a bag of apples, or a bundle of grapes, and you’re ready to go. They don’t even have to be kept cold, leaving tons of room in your cooler for water and perishables. Even if you want other fruits, you can generally slice them up, put them in plastic bags, and then eat them with your hands when you get hungry. Fruit also has high water content, so it’s a snack that not only fills you up but also keeps you hydrated!
*Pro Tip: You can freeze your grapes, and they taste like amazing little popsicle droplets. Plus they will help keep other items in your cooler cold!
Saying “finger-food” might make you think of a Super Bowl party, but I promise this is different (a pontoon is really no place for hot wings). But eating with your hands is ideal for when you’re onboard because packing plates and utensils takes up space and finger food is generally much harder to spill. A great go-to for me is beef jerky. Jerky is extremely lean because most of the fat is removed to dry it, and it also doesn’t spoil easily so it’s a great choice. I mean, can you really go wrong eating the same protein-high snack as astronauts?
Other great options are foods that are packaged individually. Whether that’s string cheese, fruit snacks, or protein bars is up to you, but having pre-portioned food is always nice. It’s also great if multiple people are boating, because that means every person can open their food as soon as they’re hungry, while still keeping the food of others sealed tight.
If your ideal snack is chomping on some crunchy potato chips then you’ll want to be prepared. It’s super easy to squish the bag by accident and break up all your delicious chips, and storing said bag once it’s half empty is a huge pain. Instead, opt for Pringles so that the canister it comes in can protect your crunchy goodness! Pringles are also great because you can put the canister in a cupholder to keep them easily accessible.
More Than A Snack
Okay, so you’ve been snacking all day and want something that fills you up a little more. Or maybe, you aren’t much of a snack person to begin with. Either way, you want a meal. I hear you. Start with the old faithful: sandwiches. Sandwiches continue to reign superior because you can hold them in your hand as you eat with no plate or fork necessary. Plus you can make them however you want, so if there are kids on board they’ve got something they like too. If you are doing low/no carb diet, then make it a wrap! You can use a tortilla or lettuce to do so. I recommend romaine because it has the best shape for holding all your delicious fillings.
If you absolutely want something that you need a fork to eat, then there is still one more plan: salad on-the-go. By putting your salad in a plastic cup with a lid, you create a lot more space in your cooler. You can also set it in a cupholder if you need to set it down for a little while. Finally, you can put the fork through the straw hole so you know when you make the salad that the utensil is already packed. And this idea is not just limited to green salad: if you want to put pasta salad, potato salad, or fruit salad in your to-go cup, go for it!
*Pro Tip: Dairy products need to be refrigerated, so if you’re worried about your cooler temperature not lasting as long as you need, use a vinaigrette or other non-dairy-based dressing.