Coming up with simple, kid-friendly lunches day after day is tricky– way trickier than consuming freeze-dried meals. And that’s because packing summer camp lunches could be pretty different from usual school lunches due to the unpredictable environment.
It could get even more complicated if your child is a picky eater. That’s why you need fresh, fun ideas to keep your child happy whenever it’s time to grab their lunch box.
You could use some ideas on creating healthy lunches that keep the lunch boxes as appealing as possible. Hence, you need our help.
Not to worry, we’ve curated a detailed list of kids’ lunches for summer. It includes snack lunch ideas, healthy fats, and other thrilling tips.
We’ve done our bit, So browse these all-time favorites to select your next summer camp lunches.
Best Summer Camp Lunch Ideas
To get ready for summer camping, you need to purchase a quality lunch bag or box you use for summer lunches. Sometimes you need one that can keep food cold or warm. Once you have purchased the best box or bag, it’s time for lunch packing.
If you know simple foods for lunch, summer could be a breeze! Check out these ideas:
Sandwiches and Wraps
Sandwiches and wraps are the go-to lunch option for summer camps. They are easy to make and customizable. You can fill them with various ingredients like turkey, cheese, veggies, or even peanut butter and jelly for a classic favorite.
Try out these simple options:
Turkey and Cheese Sandwich/Wrap
A classic lunchtime favorite, the turkey and cheese sandwich or wrap is a satisfying combination of tender turkey slices and creamy cheese. Layer it with fresh veggies and condiments of your choice.
Chicken Caesar Wrap
Bursting with flavor, the chicken Caesar wrap combines succulent chicken, crisp lettuce, tangy Caesar dressing, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. This handheld delight offers a satisfying meal that’s easy to eat and perfect for a summer camp lunch or picnic.
Pasta salads are perfect for summer camp lunches as you can serve them cold and flavorful. Whether it’s a Greek pasta salad with feta cheese and olives or a refreshing Caprese pasta salad with tomatoes and basil, these dishes appeal to your kid.
Greek Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese, Olives, and Cucumbers
This refreshing salad blends cooked pasta with tangy feta cheese, briny olives, crisp cucumbers, and a Greek-inspired dressing. It’s a flavorful and vibrant salad that captures the essence of Mediterranean flavors, making it a perfect addition to summer camp lunches or picnics.
Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad
Packed with protein and veggies, this pasta salad features cooked chicken combined with a medley of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Tossed with cooked pasta and a zesty dressing, it’s a satisfying and nutritious option providing a well-rounded summer meal.
Bento Boxes Style Lunches
Bento box-style lunches are visually appealing with a balanced mix of foods. Beyond the numerous goodies the camp has to offer kids at different stages, Bento-style lunches are the real deal. They typically include a protein like a hard-boiled egg or shredded cheese, egg salad, fresh fruit, crunchy veggies with dip, and carbs like crackers or mini sandwiches. It’s a fun and interactive way for anyone to enjoy their meals.
A protein-packed and easy-to-eat option, hard-boiled eggs make a nutritious addition to summer camp lunches. You may prepare it beforehand and provide another quick and satisfying snack to your child, energized throughout the day.
Sliced Fruits (Watermelon, Grapes, Berries)
Fresh and juicy, sliced fruits like watermelon, grapes, and berries offer a refreshing burst of sweetness in summer camp lunches. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, they provide a healthy and hydrating treat you will love.
Quesadillas and Tacos
Quesadillas and tacos are portable and versatile options for summer camp lunches. You can fill it with cheese, chicken, beans, or vegetables. These handheld meals are sure to please campers with their delicious flavors.
Bean and Cheese Tacos
A vegetarian-friendly choice, these tacos are filled with seasoned beans and gooey melted cheese. Topped with fresh salsa, lettuce, and other desired toppings, your children will enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Veggie Quesadillas with Bell Peppers and Onions
With tasty, colorful bell peppers and onions, these veggie quesadillas are a delicious and nutritious option for summer camp lunches. The sautéed vegetables and melted cheese provide a tasty and satisfying meal for vegetarians and veggie lovers.
Cold Cut Roll-ups
Cold-cut roll-ups are a convenient and protein-packed option for summer camp lunches. Simply roll deli meats like ham or turkey with cheese or spreads like cream cheese for a quick and satisfying meal that your kids can grab on the go.
Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups
Roll slices of ham around a slice of cheese, creating a delicious and protein-rich snack. Secure with toothpicks if needed and serve as satisfying finger food for a quick lunch or snack during summer camp.
Salami and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups
Take a slice of salami and spread a layer of cream cheese on top. Roll it up tightly and secure it with toothpicks if necessary. These simple roll-ups bring together the savory taste of salami and the smoothness of cream cheese, creating a tasty and satisfying snack.
Cold Pasta and Rice Dishes
Cold pasta and rice dishes are light and refreshing choices for summer camp lunches. You can make them ahead of time and enjoy them at room temperature. Options like cold sesame noodles, tomato, and basil pasta salads will keep a summer camper cool and satisfied.
Cold Sesame Noodles with Vegetables
Cook noodles according to package instructions, rinse with cold water, and toss with a sesame-based sauce. Add julienne-cut vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers for added crunch and freshness. Serve chilled for a refreshing and flavorful noodle dish.
Tabbouleh (Bulgur Wheat) Salad
Soak the bulgur wheat in water until tender, then drain. Combine with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. This Middle Eastern salad gives a refreshing and herby blend of flavors.
Skewers and Kabobs
Skewers and kabobs make lunchtime fun with their colorful and bite-sized presentation. These handheld delights are perfect for kids. Whether caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil or chicken and vegetable skewers.
Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers, alternating with colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. Grill or bake until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender. These skewers provide a protein-packed and nutritious option for campers, showcasing the delicious combination of chicken and veggies.
Fruit Skewers with Melon, Berries, and Pineapple
Thread chunks of watermelon, berries, and pineapple onto skewers for a refreshing and sweet treat. These fruit skewers are visually appealing and provide a natural burst of flavors and essential nutrients.
Homemade Snacks and Treats
Homemade snacks and treats are a great way to provide campers with healthy and delicious options. From pure maple syrup to energy balls or granola bars, these treats are energy boosts and tasty, ensuring kids get the nutrients they need.
Energy Balls or Granola Bars
Prepare a mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sweeteners like honey or dates. Form the mixture into bite-sized balls, press into a pan, and cut them into bars. These homemade energy balls or granola bars provide a nutritious and portable snack for campers to enjoy throughout the day.
Apple Slices or Other Refreshing Fruits
Slice and pack refreshing fruits like watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, or other seasonal favorites. These juicy and hydrating fruits are perfect for hot summer days at camp, giving a refreshing and naturally sweet option for campers to enjoy.
One of the worries people experience during summer is that camping is too expensive. However, these kid-friendly and fun summer camp lunch ideas are budget-friendly and will nourish your little ones for a day full of activities.
The options run the gamut from sandwiches and salads to pizza and tacos, with a mix of hot and cold choices perfect for the warm summer weather.
And the best part is, with some prep work the night before, these lunches come together quickly, so you’re not slaving away for hours in the kitchen.
Your kids get a tasty midday meal, and you get to enjoy more of your summer too. Win-win! Now go forth and pack those lunches.