Are you so excited to pack your final school lunch only to find out summer camp requires a packed lunch? No worries, friend! I’m here to help you pack super easy, hydrating and delicious lunches for your kiddos.
I love packing lunch. It’s one way that I care and show love to my family. During the summer, we’re all about simple, refreshing eats. Check out this mix and match list to design some of the easiest, tasty lunches!
- Cheese + crackers
- Naan + pepperoni
- Pepper Slices + hummus
- Cream cheese + cucumber bagel
- Ham + cheese wrap
- Rice cake + Nutella
- Peanut Butter + banana waffle sandwich
- Turkey + cheddar roll ups
- Mini pita + hummus
- Salami + cheddar cubes
- Bakery scones or muffins
FRUIT / VEGGIE:
- Watermelon chunks
- Pitted cherries
- Pineapple chunks
- Baby tomatoes
- Baby carrots
- Sliced Radish
- Celery sticks
- Orange slices
- Mango chunks
- Sweet pepper rings
- Applesauce cup
DIPS / SNACKS:
- Ranch dip
- Peanut butter + Greek yogurt
- Goldfish crackers
- Fig bar
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit
- String cheese
- Yogurt pretzels
- Plantain chips
- Shelled pistachios
- Olives or pickles
- Chocolate covered almonds
- Freeze your juice boxes and pouches. They will help keep your packed lunch cold and defrost just in time for snack time or lunchtime. We love Honest Kids drinks.
- Grab some ice packs from your grocery store, Target or Amazon. (Click the link in my bio on Instagram @lunchboxmafia to check out my Amazon store.)
- Label your kids’ supplies. Camp is not like school with cubbies and assigned desks. They might store everything in a shared bin. Labeling helps keep track of their stuff.
For Elementary to Teen: Here are some easy/doable ideas on keeping your kids happy and hydrated during summer camp and lunchtime.
- Ditch the sugary drinks and get your kids a water bottle. Let them pick it out and put a rubber band on the bottle. Challenge your kids to drink water “up to the line”. Gradually move it down till they drink what they need.
- Pack foods that hydrate like pineapple, watermelon and cucumber. Use a small ice pack to keep it fresh. Target has some cute ones.
- Teach them to eat foods at room temperature. Their food has to cool off anyway. You’ll be able to send more variety like homemade pizza, dairy free pasta salad and even rice!
For Preschoolers starting school or heading back after a long stretch of homeschool:
- Train your preschooler to eat out of their lunchbox at home. Let them practice opening and closing it. You want to make sure they can manage it alone. We love PlanetBox and OmieLife, both of which feature a built-in thermos! Both are available on Amazon. (Link in my Instagram bio.)
- Use veggie cutters or cookie cutters to cut food and bread into fun shapes.
- Pack at least one food they love. Familiar foods provide a sense of the comfort from home.
Dear parents: Give yourself some grace! Don’t fret if they didn’t touch their lunch. Serve it as a snack at home and ask them to tell you about lunchtime. Sometimes they’re just not in the mood for certain foods. One day it’s their favorite food, the next it’s blasphemy. That ever happen to you? Try serving it up different ways! My daughter loves pizza. I make it on English muffins, mini bagels and even on leftover Texas toast from pasta night. Visit Instagram @lunchboxmafia for those recipes!
Originally Published in June 2021 + June 2022 | Photos by Jenny P.