Camp season is just around the corner!
As the weather heats up, camp veterans and newcomers have one thing on their minds: They can’t wait to get to camp. Once the camp preparation is done, there’s only one thing left to take care of.
Summer camp lunches.
Many camps offer lunch programs for campers (we do at our Syosset, Farmingdale, and Southampton locations!), but if you prefer to send your child with a packed lunch, here are 6 ideas to get you started.
The sandwich is a classic lunch staple that’s been around nearly forever. They work well for school and work lunches, they’re easy to make, and best of all: They make the perfect summer camp lunch!
There are so many types of sandwiches to choose from. You can go with classic ham and cheese, turkey with vegetables, or you can keep it vegetarian with a cucumber or tomato sandwich. Load the sandwich up with your child’s favorite toppings, although you’ll need to pay attention to camp allergy policies, meaning that peanut butter will likely be off-limits.
A sandwich will likely work best with a more robust bread that can stand up to extra moisture from toppings, such as whole wheat or multi-grain bread. These types of bread will work better than the white bread often found in grocery stores.
If you really want to spice up your sandwich game and have your child excited for lunchtime at summer camp, you could try something fun, such as this turkey and cheese sandwich on a stick from Momables.
While wraps are technically a sandwich, some kids simply prefer eating their sandwiches in wrap form.
You’ve got so many different options for wraps to choose from, too. Everything from plain wraps to pitas and even flavored wraps, such as tomato basil. However, to keep things as healthy as possible, it’s best to stick with whole wheat wraps.
Almost anything that you can put into a sandwich will work in wrap form. If you’d like some ideas, kids eat by Shanai has a list of the top 5 kid-approved wraps for summer camp.
Chips and Salsa
If you’re struggling to come up with good ideas for a summer camp lunch for kids, or if you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, chips and salsa is always a great option.
Salsa is a healthy, low-calorie condiment filled with vegetables. It certainly doesn’t skimp in the flavor department either.
Although you might want to avoid chips, there are some healthy tortilla chip options out there. You can choose whole-grain tortilla chips, or you can go with a corn alternative, such as bean or quinoa chips.
Chips and salsa also work as a side for other fun lunches as well. Check out this example from Baked Bree, where they combine chips and salsa with boiled eggs, goldfish crackers, and hummus for a nutritious summer camp lunch.
There’s certainly a sizable portion of children out there who would name pizza as their favorite food of all time.
Who can blame them? A combination of crust, cheese, sauce, and any toppings of your choice make pizza a fantastic choice for dinner. The problem is that pizza does get a bad rep for being unhealthy and full of empty calories—meaning that it might not make the best summer camp lunch.
However, what if you could make some substitutions or changes to help make pizza a more attractive option for summer camp lunches?
Two Healthy Kitchens has a fun alternative for pizza that works well as a lunch: Pepperoni pizza quesadillas. Using whole wheat pitas and reducing the cheese, these quesadillas keep it nutritious while keeping the pizza taste that kids love.
Bento boxes are great for indecisive kids. By including a mix of their favorite healthy snacks, kids can have a little bit of everything during their camp day.
It’s also easy to include loads of healthy and nutritious snacks in a bento-style box. Include snacks such as:
- Apple slices
- Celery and carrot sticks
If you want some more ideas, check out these 6 easy bento lunches from Momtastic for your summer camp lunches.
Salads are one of the most common healthy lunches. By incorporating a good amount of healthy greens, vegetables, and proteins, you get a balanced and nutritious lunch option.
You can mix up a salad with different greens, such as romaine lettuce or spinach, depending on your child’s preference. There are also many different veggie options, from cherry tomatoes to red onions and more. For protein, chicken is always a great option and is perfectly fine to eat cold.
One suggestion we would make is to serve dressing in a small container on the side. If a salad is left with dressing on, the greens may end up soggy and unappealing.
Salads don’t need to be all vegetables, either. This easy pasta salad from The Kitchn is a perfect example of a lunch that kids would love to eat at summer camp.
Questions About Summer Camp Lunch Ideas?
Reach out to us with any questions you have about good summer camp lunch ideas. We’ve got years of experience with summer camps and we’ve seen tons of different lunches from campers.