Your child’s day at an activity camp is bound to be filled with lots of fun activities which can get exhausting! That’s why having nutritious food with them is so important. It can help them make the most of their day by maintaining their energy levels.
But we know feeding your child healthy food can be easier said than done. It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut, especially when you have to give them something they’ll enjoy and can easily eat.
That’s why we thought we’d share our top tips to help you prepare healthy packed meals for your child. We hope you find them useful. You might even want to steal some of the ideas for yourself!
Please note that at Barracudas we have a no-nuts policy.
When you’re preparing your child’s packed lunch, here are some tips to bear in mind:
Get them involved - Your child is more likely to eat their lunch if they helped make it
Include finger foods - Kids love food they can simply pick up and eat without any fuss
Aim for variety - Including various types of naturally colourful foods will make their lunch box more appealing and it’s a great way to get them eating different kinds of nutrients too
Use lunch boxes with compartments - Bento boxes are a particularly good option. They’re more convenient than using lots of Tupperware, which can be fiddly to open
Avoid processed food - These tend to be high in salt because it’s often used as a preservative
Batch cook meals - You’ll save time by making extra when you cook for the family, then you can all enjoy the leftovers. Cold pasta dishes are perfect for packed lunches
Healthy packed lunch ideas for children
Try to include the following types of food in your child’s packed lunch to keep them feeling satisfied and help prevent them from flagging.
Protein - Meat, fish and eggs are all good sources of protein. Aim to keep processed meat to a minimum. Sugar-free yoghurt is good too. If it’s too tart for them, you could try adding some fresh fruit, which’s better than sugar
Fresh fruit and veg - Colourful vegetables like peppers and tomatoes or mini broccoli trees are great. Although fresh fruit is best, you can also include fruit that’s been tinned in its own juice, rather than in syrup
Fibre - This will help keep them full! Fruit and veg contain fibre but so do foods like wholegrain bread and pasta, beans and pulses like chickpeas
A sugar-free drink - Water or milk are good options
Healthy snacks ideas for children
Resisting unhealthy snacks is hard enough for adults, let alone children! That’s why, if you have the time, it’s worth the effort of pre-preparing healthy snacks.
Here are some of our suggestions for portable healthy snacks for kids:
Chopped vegetables like cucumber, carrots and peppers with dips like hummus and cottage cheese
Bite-sized fruit like blueberries, satsuma segments, apple chopped into segments, cubes of mango, melon or pineapple
Avocado is a good fibre-rich option to have with crackers
Popcorn that’s low in salt and sugar is good for fibre too
We hope you find these tips useful and we're looking forward to welcoming your child to camp!