In our house, we are in the full swing of summer & the full swing of summer camps! We have soccer camp, art camp, zoo camp & let’s not forget swimming camp! Along with all of these camps come lunches!
Most camps do not include food for the little ones, and it’s no different than packing them a school lunch. The only difference being these little sac lunches have to pack so much more power inside of them as most of the time, your kiddos will be running, swimming & jumping around like mad!
Yes, I know this can be as equally exhausting a task as thinking about what to cook for dinner, and I’m almost positive that most of us out there can’t even stomach the idea of giving them those high sodium & starchy lunchables thingies, but fear not! I’ve got some fail proof answers & ideas!
So what do you pack, you ask? These are my basic my rules of thumb when packing a lunch for your child:
- Keep it healthy! Don’t load the kids up on junk food & empty carbs. Summertime is a time when fruit & veggies are abundant and don’t be afraid to fill those lunch boxes with them. Avoid the processed foods!
- Familiar foods. Pack foods that are tried and true that you know your kids will eat. Don’t decide to pack celery & red bell peppers if your kid has never eaten them before! Remember, if you’re not around, it just makes it that much easier for them to toss into the trash when someone isn’t looking… and let’s face it, no one is gonna be looking like mom will be!
- Variety! Don’t pack the same thing every day. Switch it up! Give their lunches as much variety as you can.
- Keep it high in protein! Your little active ones need as much protein as they can to sustain their energy levels and keep them fueled up & energized through out the day.
- Keep it cold. It’s hot! It’s summer! If you can pack a little re-useable ice pack in there… go for it.
- Invest in a cool lunch box! Spend a few extra bucks and it’ll go a long way! In the hot sun it can make the difference between a mushy warm lunch and a cool crisp lunch!
Some of our favorites….
- Oven Roasted Turkey & American Cheese on whole wheat with mustard & mayo.
- Peanut Butter & Sliced Apples… squeeze a little lemon juice on the apples to keep them from turning brown…put the peanut butter in a little disposable tupperware.
- Leftover fried chicken! Go ahead and make some fried chicken legs the night before and pack it in the lunch the next day! Cold chicken is super tasty!!!
- Hard Boiled Eggs- don’t forget to put a pinch of salt on there…
- Hummus & Cucumber wraps- Store bought hummus (or you can make it fresh) wrapped in a pita with a few slices of cucumber…. or even cherry tomatoes!
- Veggie Sushi from the supermarket! If your little one is into sushi… go ahead, buy some the night before and pack it in there! Don’t forget the chopsticks, soy sauce & wasabi!
- Salami & Mozzarella roll-ups- Roll up some slices of salami and mozzarella and put a toothpick in there to hold it together.
- Fruit Fruit Fruit!!! Oranges, Cherries, Grapes, Apples, Peaches, Bananas, Pineapple Spears, Strawberries!
- Pirates Booty… Organic “Pop-corn”
- Almonds & Craisins
- Go for the juice boxes that contain 100% juice and no extra sugars!
- And my kids all time favorite… take a bottle of water and throw it in the freezer the night before… by the time they get to it in the afternoon, it’s still got some ice in there and the water is super duper cold! The perfect way to cool their little active bodies!
Last but not least, pack one of those antibacterial wipes in there. I can almost assure you, they won’t be taking the time out to clean those grubby little hands. Hopefully this will be one more way of letting your little one know that MOM IS ALWAYS WATCHING: MAKE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS!
HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!