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Pack (Your Cooler) Like a Pro

A long Labor Day weekend is right around the corner, and we’re not missing any late summer opportunities to be outside. Whether you seek sand in your toes, on-the-water adventure, or a picnic in the park (we’re game for all three!), level up your food and beverage game to pack your cooler like a pro. 

Here are seven tips from FLIK’s dietitians:

1. Keep Your Cool

What’s the point of packing a cooler if it’s 25 years old and won’t hold temp anymore? The technology advancements for vessels and coolers to keep things cold has come a long way. If you’re a regular outdoor adventurer, investing in new items may be worth it. We love a cooler on wheels to make part of the trek easier but expect to pay a pretty penny if you need a cooler that can roll over sand.

2. Ice is Nice    

Ice will keep everything nice and cold but consider freezing some other items as well. Frozen wet washcloths are a treat on the hottest days. Plus, they can double as an ice pack, just in case. Frozen water bottles will contribute to keeping the cooler cold and, as they begin to thaw in the sun, you’ll have a refreshingly cold thirst quencher. Frozen grapes are a deliciously crunchy sweet treat to snack on between swims and are a favorite amongst FLIK's dietitians.

3. Family-Friendly Hydration

Speaking of fruit, most consist of more than 90% water and will contribute to staying hydrated on a hot, sunny day. Pre-chop and pack fruits in individual containers for easy grabbing and don’t forget wet wipes to clear away dirt, sand, or sunscreen from your hands before snacking. Infuse water with fruit like lemon, watermelon, and berries to encourage intake. And pack plenty of water as you’ll want to chase every adult beverage with a water, if you choose to imbibe. Alcohol + sun + high temps + extra exertion can be an unforgivable combination!

4. Adult Beverages

As for adult bevs, go with cans! They are lightweight and come in a variety of options: wines, seltzers, beer, pretty much every alcoholic beverage and their virgin variations are now available in a can. Don’t forget the koozies to keep them cold as you sip.

Signature Chips

5. Salty Snacks

Not only are fluids essential to maintaining hydration, but we lose electrolytes in our sweat as well. Pack salty snacks to satisfy savory cravings and replenish sodium. Popcorners are one of our favorites right now and are available in a variety of flavors. We like the minimal ingredient list and lower fat content compared to traditional potato chips. Salted nuts and seeds or individual nut butter packages pair perfectly with fruit which will replenish potassium.  

6. If You Plan to Stay All Day...

If your adventure plans take you out of the house for the entire day and need heartier options, you can’t go wrong with sandwiches. Just like in grade school, we recommend cutting them into fourths for easy sharing. Plus, if one-fourth somehow ends up in the sand, not all is lost! Traditional deli meats are okay in moderation, but we prioritize less-processed sandwich fillers like chicken, tuna, or egg salad, and nut butters.

7. Leave No Trace

To round out your packing list, be sure to bring reusable utensils, napkins, and a few garbage bags to separate waste and recycling materials. You know the phrase: Leave no trace!

Need some food inspiration for your next picnic? Let us guide you with this superb Picnic by FLIK menu. 


At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.

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