Wraps. We love things coiled up in a tortilla, which better protects whatever filling we have inside and can be eaten with one hand (you never have more than one clean hand at a time at the beach).

• Whole fruit. Again, natural protection from the peel, and you don't risk sand intrusion like you would if you were opening and closing a container of cut-up fruit. Plus, if you get sticky, you just go swimming.

• Couscous or pasta salad. We've had a lot of experience with these two, and though they seem iffy (lots of forks going in and out, possibly bringing in sand), they tend to hold up well in the heat. Also, a few grains of sand can easily get lost in a jumble of couscous; you might not even notice. We've enjoyed couscous salads in a wrap, too (see above).

• Skewers. They're low-maintenance, don't require cutting or slicing, and leave very little cleanup.

Of course, there are the basic crackers, chips, and cookies that are always a good idea (although we'd avoid chocolate chips in the heat). What else would you add? What are your foolproof beach meals?

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