Summer Camp Season: Best Snacks to Pack Your Kids

In a few short weeks school will be out and summer camp season will kick into high gear. Summer camps are a great way for kids to make friends, learn new skills and gain independence. They’re sure to work up an appetite staying so busy! Packing nutritious snacks is important to keep your kids’ energy up and help replenish nutrients they need—especially when it’s hot outside. These helpful tips and delicious recipes will make your kids happy campers!

Tips for packing camp-friendly snacks
First, it’s important to remember a few general guidelines when packing snacks for your child to take to camp:

  • Don’t pack anything that needs to stay frozen or be heated

  • Avoid overly sugary snacks, which can cause blood sugars to spike and then crash

  • Keep it finger-friendly

  • Include ice-packs to keep foods out of the danger-zone

  • Fruit, nuts, nut butters, dairy and whole wheat foods are nutritious choices that’ll keep them going

  • Make sure to find out if the camp is a nut-free zone prior to your child’s first day

  • Don’t forget a water bottle!

Peanut Butter & Banana “Sushi”
Turn a lunchbox favorite into a finger-friendly camp snack. First, you’ll need a couple slices of whole wheat bread or a whole wheat tortilla. If you’re going the bread route you’ll need to cut off the crusts first. Then slightly overlap the two pieces of bread and flatten them to an even thickness using your hands or a rolling pin. Next, slather the bread or tortilla with peanut butter or nut butter. After that, place a peeled banana at one end of the bread or tortilla and roll tightly. Keeping the “sushi roll” seam-side down, and slice it into 1-inch-thick pieces. Substitute chopped strawberries or fruit preserves if you children don’t like bananas.
Fruit Kabobs
This recipe transforms fruit into a fun treat! It’s a good idea to use fruits that don’t easily brown, so the kabobs will still look appealing at snack time. Grapes, berries, pineapple, cantaloupe and melons are all great choices for fruit kabobs. Simply chop the fruit into uniform, bite-size pieces (except the grapes) and slide them on a small wooden skewer alternating between different fruits as you go. That’s all there is to it! Mix a little yogurt and honey together for a kid-friendly dipping “sauce.” Just be sure to include a few ice packs!

Smoothie Pops
This recipe is a homemade take on the store-bought yogurt tubes—without all the extra sugar and additives! First, you’ll need to buy reusable silicon tubes. To make these treats, simply make a smoothie including your child’s favorite fruits, yogurt, and liquid of choice. Then fill the reusable tubes and pop them into the freezer. They should thaw out a little by snack time so your child can enjoy a cool treat on a hot summer day!

Healthy Trail Mix
Trail mix is a camp favorite, but a lot of times the store-bought varieties can include a lot of unneeded sugary additions. Keep it more nutritious and budget-friendly by making a large batch of it at home to pack all week. Combine their favorite whole-grain cereal with dried fruit, popped popcorn, nuts, seeds, or pretzels to make a wholesome snack they’ll love! If you do include chocolate chips or small candy bits, be sure to include an ice pack so they don’t melt all over everything else.