With so many fun physical activities at summer camp, kids’ energy can drain quite quickly. Stock their lunchboxes with healthy kids snacks that are tasty enough for them to actually eat but still packed with the essential nutrients your little campers need to make it through the day. Here are a few ideas for camp snacks to get you started.
Nothing beats a cold treat on a hot day. Ice cream may not always be healthy or easy to pack, but frozen fruit is the best sweet and cool alternative. Frozen banana chunks are a fantastic option, as they’re very nutrient-dense. Grapes and cherries are similar great choices for freezing. Even if the fruit thaws a little before it’s eaten, it’ll still be cold and tasty.
Hit the Trail
Trail mix is one of the easiest healthy kids snacks around. Many prepackaged snack mixes are loaded with sodium and additives from flavoring, though, so consider your own version by mixing your kids’ favorite ingredients. You’ll know exactly what’s in it, and they’ll be extra excited to eat every bite. Nuts of all kinds, along with small dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, make a solid base for your mixture. You can also include ingredients like fresh popcorn, mini pretzels, and even tiny bits of dark chocolate for a sweet energy-boosting addition.
Your kids may have already had a sandwich for lunch, but that doesn’t mean they won’t love one for snack time too. Instead of bread, use two thin slices of crisp apple. Spread your children’s favorite nut butter between the two apple slices to create a mini sandwich that’s chock-full of protein. If the camp doesn’t allow nuts due to allergies, sunflower seed butter is a safe alternative that’s just as healthy.
Healthy dips, like hummus and guacamole, make great tasty snacks that are full of protein and nutrients. Opt for whole grain pita chips over unhealthy snack chips, or forgo the chips altogether and pack carrot sticks or other chopped veggies that can serve as dippers.
Bento box-style lunches are all the rage, and for good reason. Besides looking super cute, several small compartments make it easy to offer kid-sized portions of different healthy foods for a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals that keep active kids energized. The possibilities are really endless, but finger foods mean no utensils are needed.
Fruits and veggies, whole-grain crackers, cheese and deli meat slices, finger sandwiches, and healthy muffins are all great examples, but get creative depending on what your children like.
On a hot day, food can go bad quickly, so make sure you add an ice pack to lunchboxes to keep things cool until the afternoon. Mayo Clinic suggests even mild dehydration can zap energy, so don’t forget to pack plenty of water.
Image source: Sher Warkentin
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