Camp Lunch Recipes and Ideas

Summer Camp lunch ideas and tips to keep your kids hydrated during the hot summer months!

Last week I let out a huge sigh of relief as I packed my final lunches of the school year. I actually love making school lunch, but there was something extremely satisfying knowing that there was one less thing to manage on my nightly to-do list.

Sadly there is no rest for the weary. Almost as soon as school ends, camp begins and that means more nightly or early morning lunch making. While in many ways lunch is the same no matter whether it's eaten in the cafeteria or the mess hall, watching Kenya devour three helpings of dinner one night last week made me realize that differences do exist. 

For starters, while at school kids primarily sit indoors all day at a desk, at summer camp they spend the better part of their day outside in the hot sun swimming, running around, and generally taking part in hard core active play. Burning all those extra calories can make your little one pretty ravenous.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning the midday meal these next few months.

Stay cool- In most parts of the country it gets seriously hot outside. For reasons of both taste and food safety, keeping your child's lunch cool is essential. An ice pack is great but Chloe adores these squeeze pouches from Ella's Kitchen which I freeze and use as edible ice packs. By the time they defrost they're a refreshing mid day treat. 

These reusable, sweat-free ice packs from Kids Konserve are another great choice.

Pump up the volume- This is the time of year to consider upping the amount of food you pack, especially if your child is extremely active. I'm loving this Planet Box because of its large compartments as well as these Lap Top Lunches reusable containers which you can stack in a either a lunch bag or in this box and put it in this cute carry bag.

Liquid assets- Make sure to pack lots of liquids so your little one stays well hydrated. Whether you pick good ol' water, coconut water (which is extremely hydrating), or even a reusable bottle filled with herbal tea, healthful liquids are a must for your little one.

So smooth- If you want to make sure your child heads out every morning with all the nutrients needed to get their day started, nothing beats a nice cool smoothie like this vitamin packed one.

If you're feeling in a lunch time rut and want daily inspiration throughout the summer you can follow me on my latest obsession Instagram and look for #camplunch on twitter too.

If you have other suggestions, recipes, or cool ideas for camp lunch I would love for you to leave me a comment below!

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.