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!
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.
Sugar-free jelly .
Please note that at Barracudas we have a no-nuts policy.
If you have some ideas that have worked for you, please share your ideas in the comments below. We’re sure other parents will appreciate them!