Keeping Campers Fueled at Day Camp
Last updated: February 14, 2023, at 9:42 a.m. PT
Originally published: June 14, 2022, at 7:50 a.m. PT
Packing a Healthy Lunch
A nutritious lunch is critical to keeping campers active and energized! Please provide a lunch each day that strives to meet the USDA guidelines including a dairy product, protein, and two or more servings of fruit or vegetables. Note, some camp locations may provide lunch through a school partnership in which case, we will let you know in advance if that applies to you.
Refrigeration or microwaving is not available so please do not send foods that may spoil or require reheating along with candy or gum. And don't forget to label all containers.
Fun as well as Food
Taking a break at lunch is about more than just nutrition, it's also about spending time with new friends. Campers eat in small groups that create a sense of community, foster relationships, and reinforce connections.
• Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a great choice.
• Freeze juice or water bottles to keep lunches cool and safe.
• Baked chips, dried fruit, or pretzels are a great addition.
Remember! Y campers are on the move, so pack a little more than you do during the school year.
Try Something New
Sandwiches are a day camp classic but if you want to mix it up, try these simple ideas for fun and fuss-free lunches your child will be excited to eat.
DIY Bento Boxes: A bento box is a lunchbox with separate compartments and it's super easy to make your own version of homemade Lunchables. The key is you can really fill it with anything you'd like. Try hummus with pita chips and different vegetables, crackers with deli meat, cheese and fruit, or even leftovers from last night's dinner! Check out more lunch box suggestions from The Kitchn (that are also nut-free!).
Bagel Sandwiches: Yes, these are technically sandwiches, but there's something so much more interesting about them. They can be made sweet (banana and cinnamon) or savory (cream cheese and cucumber). The options are endless! Check out more topping suggestions from Eats Amazing.
Kids Love Snacks
A light morning and afternoon snack will be provided by the Y each day and includes at least a half a cup of fruit or veggies plus a grain (crackers, whole wheat bread, etc.) Note, this is not sufficient to replace your child's breakfast or lunch.
If your child would prefer an alternate option for snack time (e.g. food from home, extra food from their packed lunch) for dietary, health, or other reasons, please ask for a Y Parent Meal Plan Agreement.
Keeping Kids Hydrated
Active play requires active hydration. Water is the beverage of choice and the Y will ensure your little camper can keep their water bottle refilled throughout the day.
Low or nonfat milk and 100% juice may also be provided by the Y on occasion.
Please do not send soda or other beverage alternatives.