Healthy Snacks For Summer Camp

Healthy Snacks For Summer Camp

July 6, 2010   18 Comments

Snack Girl's kids started summer camp this week. The camp requested that I pack TWO snacks per day (as well as lunch) to keep my little ones from getting peckish.

I am not the only one with this problem. Yesterday, Katherine reached out to us on FaceBook:
I am seeking everyone's advice: I pack lunches for my 3 daughters (ages 6, 13 and 17) to take to camp everyday. I need ideas beyond the sandwich. *No nut products allowed and they are kept refrigerated. Thanks!!!

My kids are 6 and 3 years old and I have to come up with 20 snacks this week! Yikes! (this freaks ME out and I'm Snack Girl!)

Just an aside, I'm not really sure that my 6 year old needs 2 snacks per day. Any thoughts on this?

Here is the list I came up with for myself and Katherine (in no particular order). Please add your suggestions in the comment section below.

Packaged Snacks

Whole Foods Mostly In Season

water melon Watermelon
blueberries Blueberries
raspberries Raspberries
Bananas Banana
Strawberries Strawberries Prevent Cancer
peach Love Peaches
nectarines Nectarine
grapesb Grapes
Cherries Cherries
edamameb Edamame
mangob Mango

Homemade Snacks

hardboiledeggb Hard Boiled Egg
pancakeb.jpg Overnight Pancakes
diyyogurtb DIY Yogurt
Homemade energy bar Energy Bar Recipe
buttermilkbananabreadb.jpg Buttermilk Banana Bread
and you can make your own granola WITHOUT nuts - just don't add them homemadegranolab DIY Cereal

Please share your snack ideas for camp below.

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Wow ... the camp refrigerates their snacks/lunch? We're skipping camps this year but we've never had refrigeration.

We've done carrot sticks, crackers, cut up melon (cantalope, honeydew, watermelon), granola bars. I've also packed partially frozen water bottles or 1 water bottle and 1 juice. We've had problems with 1 camp and the kids coming home with heat exhaustion so I always pack extra water.

on July 6, 2010

Hi, Katherine here.. THANKS some much Lisa! I know we will get great ideas! Our camp is a camp for kids with cancer and their sibs so they refrigerate. Can't have immune suppressed kids having bacteria in their food! although my oldest, now a counselor, doesn't get refrigeration so I give her a bigger ice pack. My 6 year old is in remission and has a normal immune system now.

Anyway, I usually give a sandwich of some kind, or a chicken patty on a bun. Some things that I pack are grapes, strawberries, cherries, applesauce, celery, black olives, carrots, peppers, grape tomatoes, plus snacky stuff like veggie sticks or chips, Fritos (only 3 ingredients!), Annie's Bunnies (like Goldfish), pretzles and (natural) Kettle Corn. Treats I pack are frozen Paul Newman O's (like good Oreos).

Everything goes in resusable containers. Keeps stuff colder and uncrushed creates no garbage. I also use small baby washcloths for napkins.

My big problem is the main lunch. They love their lunchmeat!

on July 6, 2010

Hey, Katherine! What about Sun Butter? - sunflower seed butter (no nuts) costs $5.50 a pound but tastes just like peanut butter. My kids can't tell the difference - their camp doesn't allow peanuts. Lisa

on July 6, 2010

For main lunch's I like pita pockets with guacamole or hummus with some veggies and lunch meat. Or you can do wraps, the brand I like to use is called Flat-Out, very yummy and lots of different flavors with only 90-100 calories! And if you kids go for it you can make little homemade salads with lots of fresh veggies and dried fruits (I like craisins) or lunch meat on top. If they have microwaves there you can also throw a can or thermos of soup or even a bun and a hot dog.

on July 6, 2010

Sunflower seed butter would still classify as a nut butter, and would be confiscated. Also, at most camps kids are running around all day, and will need to eat every couple hours. It would be better to pack then not pack it. If refrigerated anyway, it could just go back the second day as one of those snacks if not hungry.

on July 6, 2010

Homemade bean burgers are tasty! And I bet kids would like them, too.
My mum used to make me "pancake sandwiches" when I was a little kid. Two pancakes with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon between them. Ummm not the healthiest, hehe. But delicious!

Cups of yogurt, cartons of milk, string cheese, veggies, fruit, nut butter, baggies of air-popped popcorn, and beef jerky are all good options.

And no, I doubt a 6-year-old needs 2 snacks. Maybe make the lunch slightly smaller? I remember when I was an au pair for a 6-year-old girl, she didn't need very much food for lunch. Go with your gut!

on July 6, 2010

Sun Butter advertises itself as a "nut-free" alternative to tree-nuts and peanuts.
see here:
I doubt they could make this claim without it being true -can you imagine the law suits? Lisa

on July 6, 2010

How about making your own variety of snack bars. This is so easy to do. There is a video of how to prepare them on my youtube channel called Power of Food that walks you through it, but essentially all you need are dates and then from there you can create any number of amazing bars your kids will love. I add almond butter and cocoa powder to the dates to create raw brownies. So yummy. Let me know if you need any help making the snack bars.


on July 6, 2010

There is a recipe for "Playgroup granola bars" at allrecipes that's really good. There are also several good recipes on recipezaar. I use white whole wheat in all of them and it's fine. Kids love to add their own mix-ins.

If you have a dehydrator, I would suggest making your own fruit roll-ups. There's a great how-to video at dehydrate2store.

on July 6, 2010

My daughter (5 1/2) also has 2 snacks..One in the morning, one in the afternoon. She's there from 9am - 6pm. Those kids get hungry after running around all day! I don't pack huge snacks, but it's there if she is hungry. Some days they come home, but most days they are gone (and she's not a big eater)

on July 6, 2010

great ideas we don't have a frig, but don't have a no nut policy...not that my son would eat peanut butter any who! I have an active 11 year old boy and he needs a man size lunch and hefty snacks
I like freezing the grapes, and of course the water. He will also do hummus and bagel chips and or Syrian bread for a non meat lunch.

on July 6, 2010

When you say they don't need 2 snacks a day ... walk a day in their shoes! They are starving by snack time & lunch time. They are far more active than at school or home and they NEED that fuel. My 4 1/2 yr old eats her full lunch, and 2 snacks. If you have access to a fridge, have you tried getting a Rotisserie chicken, shredding it, adding celery, grapes, and a small amt. of low-fat mayo or light ranch dressing, or my daughter's new favorite the garlic herb light mayo (just enough to bind it)? I stuff it in pitas or whole weat bread and it is her favorite! Snacks we do hummus with carrots or celery, raisins, banana chips, yogurt (frozen), apple chips, pear chips (we do our own from our fruit trees). Fruit we put in a small, cleaned out pringles can so it does get smooshed. If they don't have enough fuel, they won't be having fun, so pack more than you think they will eat, if it does not come back, you know you packed enough. Have a fun summer!

on July 6, 2010

Hi Lisa. Thanks for sending this post our way on Twitter!

I help SunButter with their social media and wanted to answer some questions. SunButter is completely peanut and tree nut-free (it's technically a seed butter, not a nut butter). It's also a great snack for kids on the go since it's packed with protein and good fats.

Our SunButter blogger just wrote a great post on kids' lunches for camp. You might get some ideas from her suggestions:

My fave is the "sandwich" made of a hot dog bun, banana, almond or sunflower seed butter, and sprouts!

on July 6, 2010

I was a camp counsellor the past two summers and trust me your kids will appreciate having 2 snacks. With the kids that stay all day they were usually hungry by about 1030 and if there was no snack there was no choice but to eat their lunch. and then we always had another break at 2 when they started getting tired.
There was nothing that bothered me more than kids who got processed foods, chocolate bars, pop and gatorade for snacks.
complex carbs like fruit and whole grains will keep them going longer. cutting it up into easy to eat slices makes it perfect to snack on.
another great snack is popcorn drizzled with a little olive oil and some sea salt.
crackers and cheese for protein, veggies and dip.
dont be afraid to pack an extra sandwich.

on July 7, 2010

Fresh and simple is always best. I go with a fruit in the morning (apple, bananna, grapes, watermelon) and veggie snack in the afternoon. Snap peas, raw or slightly steamed string beans, carrots work well. Add some yogurt too.
more kids snack ideas at

on July 7, 2010

I think we are looking at the word snack like it has to be chips, or a "powerbar" We have a snack container wherever we go (son's 3 years & 9 mos)
We use dried fruit (no sugar added) nut mixes (or sesame sticks and seeds) orange slices and cheese sticks. We made frozen watermelon as our treat (we bring snack once a month for 20 kids - each parent rotates) and the kids LOVED it. Apples and Yogurt (throw frozen berries into the yogurt, by the time snack time rolls around..yum.

Always try to add a protein with the carb, as it is more sustainable energy.

That being said. A little person (child) only has a tiny stomach and doesn't eat like an adult (over filling their stomaches) so regularly scheduled "snack" time is a must. Keeps the crumbles and grumpies away.

on July 13, 2010


on June 20, 2012

you cant really pack boiled egg because you can get sick if it stay out

on November 14, 2013

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