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One4mom4All
One4mom4All asks:
Q:

Have ideas for healthy cold lunch for summer day camp?

Our daughter is off to day camp this summer and they don't have a microwave. She's a bit of a picky eater, so I'm struggling with what to put in her lunch.

She really likes those pre-packaged Lunchables, but I can't afford to do those every day (maybe once or twice a week). And when I try to mimic their ingredients (crackers, turkey and cheese slices, etc.), she doesn't eat as well. She also gets bored with PB&J or turkey sandwiches day after day.

Plus, she's so skinny already (fast metabolism -- at home she eats a lot, but at school, she only nibbles). I worry that being at camp all day (vs. half day at regular school) without substantial eating will make matters worse with her weight.

So I'm seeking some ideas for cold food items I can put in her lunch. Fruit is obvious and will be included, but what else? Any ideas or recipes out there for cold main meals I can include?
In Topics: Camp and summer enrichment, Nutrition
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Jun 6, 2009
Level

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Well, if you want it to be healthy then Lunchables is not the choice. Lunchables have processed meat and crackers plus a candy bar in them with a juice box that has no nutritional value. I would say no on those. I usually make these recipes for lunch at my house. Even though they are not at camp you can still make them to pack up.

Shrimp and Spinach Salad (add shrimp, spinach, Italian dressing, crutons, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, and sunflower seeds)
(high in B12, amino acids, folate, iron, you name it)

Tuna fish sandwich

Chicken salad sandwich
(egg,celery, Hellman's mayo)

Any cold pasta will do. The noodles are usually high in the B vitamins

Snack:
Dried cranberries
Fresh bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, and blackberries
Dried Apple chips
carrots and dip
homemade veggie tray
sunflower nuts (rly good source of folic acid and vit E)
macadamia nuts




Welch's grape juice or Juicy Juice contains vitamin C.

Also, there is a product called Yummybears and it is a safe vitamin for kids. This will supplement what she may not be getting.

Hope this helps, I could go on and on but just remember the more whole foods your daughter can get the better for her.

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Additional Answers (5)

Climateclass
Climateclass writes:
Wraps are great for kids, using hummus, sliced cheese, chopped carrots, sunflower seeds, romaine lettuce, and seedless cucumbers.  I always like the organic protein bars for kids in lunches to supplement like Luna or Clif - to provide calories and energy for the day.  To save money on protein bars, buy these by the case on line.  Trail mix and peanuts also provide energy.  Let her package her own lunch the day before so she is more likely to make it fun.  Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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PennyL
PennyL writes:
How about something she can dip? Pita wedges, veggies, and hummous. Nuts are also a good option.
> 60 days ago

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LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
I get the little frozen mini pizzas from Trader Joes, microwave them in the morning and then put them in a lunch box. Cold pizza is the best!  I also make pasta with pesto and cheese, that is good room temperature.  Sometimes I try to get fancy rolls  to make the sandwiches different.  Sometimes I heat up the chicken nuggets (the healthy kind from Costco) and add a bag of raw veggies and ranch dressing.  My children like those room temperature too.  Yogurts, cottage cheese, tuna fish????
I know its hard.  Just make sure they eat a HUGE breakfast before camp so that they get a lot of calories in the morning at least.  Those lunchables are filled with sodium and are really not healthy, plus very expensive.  My kids love those too, but I don't get them very often.
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
I wouldn't worry as much about "main meal" vs. "side dishes" but rather focus on finding healthy foods that she'll eat and that will give her lots of energy for her busy day.

I put "GoGurt" yogurt tubes in the freezer and then they're still nice and cold by the time my campers get to them at lunch time.

You can let her make her own "pizza" by packing a few mini pitas, a tiny container of sauce and another container of shredded mozzarella cheese.

My kids love when I pack them bagels with cream cheese. They also love dried fruits like craisens and dried cherries.

If you do want to pack something hot, you can always go with a thermos that will keep soup or pasta warm until lunch time without microwaving.

Hope this helps and have a great summer!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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dayjakeyra5
dayjakeyra5 writes:
I have the same prob with my girls. I ve learned that even the same sandwiches can be fun to eat, if i try using cookie cutters. Stars, hearts, cicles, etc. For some reason they take interest in the shapes; plus they learn a little something...
> 60 days ago

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