July 2, 2021
Get set & go! Lunch prep for Summer Camp.
Lunch is a very important meal on camp days to help your child’s muscles repair and recover from exercise and activities.
Preparing your kids for camp always includes packing a lunch for your young athlete. This can easily seem like a chore, but I have some quick and easy tips that will make this an easy and, dare I say, FUN task-plus some ways to get your kids involved!
First, let’s make sure our kids start their day on the right foot-that means having a nourishing breakfast that contains fibre, protein and carbohydrates to keep them full and energized throughout the day. We want our kids to be focused on the fun they’ll be having at camp, not a growling stomach or lack of focus due to hunger.
Easy items are eggs and toast, a banana rollup, or a breakfast smoothie full of fresh fruit and yogurt! A quick and simple breakfast that they can help make is the perfect solution for a busy morning.
Now let’s get to packing those lunches!
Lunch is a very important meal on camp days. This is the one time they’ll have to replace energy stores and help their muscles repair and recover from a morning of exercise and activities.
What are the best items to pack for lunch?
Keep it simple! You know what your child likes best-so don’t worry about changing it up each and every day.
A sandwich on whole-grain bread or wrap that includes some protein and veggies is perfect. This will give your kids protein and carbohydrates that they’ll need for massive amounts of energy. Don’t like meat and cheese? A nut butter substitution and jelly or honey will do just fine.
Are your kids more of a grazer than a sandwich eater? That’s great-pack some whole grain crackers, some lean meats and dips like hummus. Try to stay away from too much heavy food like cheese, fatty meats, or sugary snacks.
Always include fruit and vegetables.
Allow your kids to choose-and the likelihood of it coming home is much better. Even if it’s an apple or orange every day, cut up melon, or berries, let them have what they like so they ENJOY and EAT it. Simple vegetables like cucumber, celery and carrots are perfectly fine-don’t stress about it!
I like to include a treat every day like a homemade muffin or allergy-friendly energy bites. Not only do the kids enjoy something a little bit sweet, but it’s a great way to sneak in more nutrition and fibre (which means, you guessed it…more energy!)
Help your kids gain ownership of their nutrition by allowing them to help make their lunches! They can choose which fruit or vegetable is going in-so they can’t complain later on about the choice. Plus they are more than capable of making a sandwich or wrap they’ll love or helping pick out the best muffin or treat.
Don’t forget water!
Water is the best source of hydration for our kids. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible, to avoid energy spikes and crashes throughout the day. Keeping an even blood sugar level will mean a more sustainable energy, mood, and behaviour throughout the day which is good for everyone, including our kids and counsellors.
After camp is another excellent opportunity to keep the nutrition going! Dinner will help them replace energy stores they used up after a full day of camp, and you’ll want to include protein to help their muscles recover, repair, and grow. Complex carbs, fibre, and some healthy fats to round it out will help reduce inflammation and prep them for another day of fun. Dinner is an excellent opportunity to get in extra vegetables while talking about all of the actives they participated in and the new friends they made at camp.
Top it all off with a night of great sleep and that is a successful day!