It can be a challenge to think up an entire seasons’ worth of healthy snacks for summer camp, but we’re here to help! Kids expend a lot of energy at camp so it’s important to pack snacks that will keep them feeling full while providing plenty of fuel for all that play. Sugar and refined carbs like those found in packaged snacks provide a rapid burst of energy to the body but fade quickly leaving a tired, cranky kid behind. Instead, be sure to add some high fiber and high protein snacks for sustained energy and to reduce blood sugar spikes!
Here are some ideas for packing healthy snacks for summer camp:
Fruit makes a great summer camp snack, especially apples, bananas, oranges, berries, and avocado.
Apples are high in nutrients and fiber, which helps kids feel full longer. No one like brown apples though, so rubbing slices with a little lemon juice and storing in a sealed container will help them look appealing through snack time.
Bananas are high in fiber and potassium, great for providing steady energy and satisfying an appetite, but they can get bruised or soften too much for kids to enjoy. One idea is to freeze banana slices and mixed berries in a baggie for a delicious morning snack!
Oranges, tangerines, clementine; citrus fruit can be so refreshing on a hot summer day! These humble fruits are packed with vitamin C which helps reduce body stress and prevent fatigue.
Berries are a kid-approved summer snack if ever there was one! Strawberries, goji berry, blackberry and blueberries are all vitamin-packed energy producers. Store them fresh or freeze them overnight.
Avocado is another fruit packed with valuable nutrients and protein. Like apples, avocado can quickly brown, but a dash of citrus juice can save it. Fresh guacamole is a fun snack for camp, just add whole grain tortilla chips!
Animal-based products like eggs, yogurt, cheese and tuna are excellent sources of protein for energy.
A simple hardboiled egg, or deviled eggs if you want to get fancy, are simple foods to prepare for snack time. One hardboiled egg has 6 grams of protein!
Yogurt is full of protein, healthy fats and simple sugars for giving kids lasting energy. Try freezing yogurt cubes overnight to keep it cool at camp.
Cheese cubes or string cheese are great sources of calcium and protein, plus kids love them! Pack them on their own or with whole grain crackers or rice cakes.
Tuna is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids which promote brain health. A small portion of tuna salad with whole grain crackers is a surefire snack time winner!
Natural grains can help provide energy and are high in fiber which slows down digestion, so you feel full longer.
Oatmeal is fiber-rich and hearty, plus it can be dressed up in many ways. We’d never suggest you send your kid to summer camp with a clump of cold oatmeal, however. Instead, try this nut-free recipe for homemade granola bars. Make in advance for the week ahead!
Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids – SuperHealthyKids.Com
Popcorn is fun, delicious and full of fiber! It’s also low in fat, rich in antioxidants and good for both the heart and digestion. Three cups of popcorn provide nearly 15% of your daily recommended serving of fiber plus 3 grams of protein. Avoid microwave popcorn however, as they rely on unhealthy fats to cook it. An air popper is an inexpensive and worthwhile addition to any kitchen. Season with a sprinkle of salt, cheese or nutritional yeast!
Brown rice makes a healthy and nutritious snack in many forms. Brown rice cakes with seed butter or brown rice crackers with cheese cubes make a filling and crunchy snack. Brown rice is considered a low glycemic index food and the high fiber content helps keep cholesterol low while keeping kids feeling full.
Just like adults, kids get bored with routine snacks and food. By mixing and matching healthy snacks for summer camp, you can keep food interesting for your kids while providing them with an array of important nutrients and vitamins to help them grow up healthy.
It is important to properly store snacks to keep them fresh without making it difficult for kids to access them. Minware’s Bento Box is the perfect lunch and snack time solution. The durable outer shell can withstand energetic kids while safely protecting food. Smart silipods fit perfectly inside the stainless-steel shell, keeping foods, dips and sauces secure and separate in airtight containers. Fun, functional and easy to clean!