It is the time of year moms have tears in their eyes as they watch their children complete one more year of school! Some are tears of joy, some are tears of “oh no… I must get summer camp registrations done ASAP”. Most kids have been doing the countdown for the last 2 weeks already! Summer means no wake up time, no homework, and no projects. They focus on fun in the sun, camps and new friendships. Summer camps are great for kids to get involved in new sports or activities and making memories that last a lifetime.
To ensure your kids maximize their fun this summer, pack their lunches and snacks with the right foods that will provide long lasting energy. Just like for school lunches we follow some simple steps to double check for all food groups in each lunchbox; for summer camp they need an extra boost of energy and protein to endure the long days of physical activity and of course lots of hydration. Here is a check list and some examples of foods filled with the right nutrients:
- 3-4 ounces of lean protein: chicken, turkey, tuna fish, turkey jerky, hard boil egg.
- Plant based protein and healthy oils: handful of nuts, 2 tablespoons of Nut Butters, beans and chickpea hummus (made with olive oil).
- Fiber and micronutrients
- Fruits: 1 cup of grapes, mandarin oranges, pears, apples, berries, watermelon.
- Vegetables: ½ cup broccoli, tomatoes, celery, spinach, cauliflower, baby carrots.
- Calcium boost: Yogurt, 1-2 ounces of cheese, milk, fortified almond, soy milk.
- Whole Grain: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, tortillas, crackers, bagels, pasta.
- Hydration: Water or coconut water.
Following this list will help you build up a variation of lunches to last a whole summer! Variety is key to ensure your kids will get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Try to alternate different fruits and vegetables as much as you can. Use it for planning your grocery shopping lists too. Have key ingredients you can rotate and put together different sandwiches, wraps, dips, kabobs and other fun ideas that will keep your child nourished and ready to enjoy camp all summer long.
… pack lunches for success,