Sack Lunch Ideas for Summer Camp

Updated on June 03, 2014
D.M. asks from Littleton, CO
11 answers

My kiddos (6 and 7) will be attending a local day camp over the summer (swimming, tennis etc). We are all excited. However, I need to send a sack lunch each day they go (no refrigerator). Just wondering if anyone has creative lunch ideas that will keep outside of the fridge? My kids like PB&J, but a little variety would be good! Thank you!

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answers from San Francisco on

As long as you put a very cold drink in the bag almost anything should be fine until lunch. You can also partially freeze water bottles or juice boxes if it's going to be REALLY hot.
But does it NEED to be disposable? If not, just get them insulated lunch bags and small ice packs.

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answers from Washington DC on

You can send food that needs to be kept cold; you just need insulated lunch bags and freezer ice packs (both are sold in most grocery stores now). I use them all summer long for my daughter's camps, our own car trips etc.

If the camp insists they must bring food in a brown paper sack and/or says all lunch materials must be thrown away (in other words, no lunch bags, lunch boxes or containers that need to come home each day), I'm sorry! Try freezing grapes and putting those in their lunches (they will be thawed but nicely cold at lunchtime), sending dried fruit, healthy snack bars (many have better nutrition than a "real" meal if you read the labels), etc. Be sure to freeze drinks in juice boxes etc. and they too will be defrosted but cold at lunch.

How hot does it get there? I would hate to send a peanut butter sandwich to outdoor camp with my kid here when it's 100 degrees all day in July here, and very would be gross by lunchtime even though PB technically "keeps" OK. It would just be warm and runny, around here.

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answers from Honolulu on

Just use an insulated lunch bag.
AND get a "blue ice" ice pack, and put that in your child's lunch bag to keep it cold, and it will be fine. And give them a water bottle too.
That is how kids bring home lunches to school too. And it is fine and it stays cold.
I work at a school.

And make sure, that per your kid's summer camps, that "nut" products are allowed. Or not.

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answers from Lakeland on

I would pick up a couple of good lunch bags that will keep their lunch cool with ice packs. They also make containers that have a built in ice pack (usually in the lid). This way you can send a variety of foods.

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answers from Kansas City on

I freeze cheese sticks for my boys and put them in an insulated bag with an ice pack. They are thawed but still cold at lunch time.




answers from Chicago on

if they like pbj and j let them have that for most of the days. that way you will know they are eatcing. but here are some things that go well in lunch boxes.

first off freeze a juice box / capri sun thing each night put that one and bottled water in their lunches. the juice box will act as a cold pack until lunch time when it will be thawed enough to drink.

grapes are good frozen and can be ate whenever ready.
my kids liked cheese sticks
bagels and cream cheese
cereal and milk
raisens and celery w/peanut butter
tortillas wrapped around salami / ham / turkey etc
freeze the tubes of yogurt my kids loved those



answers from Louisville on

Do they like tuna? Make tuna sandwiches - freeze them - they will thaw by lunch but still be safe to eat!



answers from New York on

You can send anything. Just put a freezer pack in an insulated lunch bag.



answers from Los Angeles on

I hear you loud and clear! So there are many ideas, but first I am going to ask you a the want PB & J every day? Some kids do and the protein in PB is exactly what their little minds need to keep going through the afternoon. My daughter ate cheese and lettuce sandwiches with hummus for almost an entire year...she ALWAYS asked for one. It was healthy so I said yes. Variety is good, but it is more important that they eat what is sent.

Now if they do want a variety...(please note we are vegetarian so these are meatless options...which is probably a good idea if it is hot and there is no refrigeration)
any type of pasta mixed with their fav veggies and sauce (we like italian dressing)
rice goes with ANYTHING cold - we love mixing it with salsa and eating it with chips!
anything bean can be served cold - burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas...
how about fruit salad or veggie salad

The possibilities are endless!




answers from Phoenix on

Yogurt freezes well, too!
My son's lunch/2 snacks for tomorrow is in an insulated lunch bag (same lack of fridge) and has a Tofurkey, cheese, and mustard (not mayo!) sandwich, an apple, pretzels, raisins, and hummus and pita chips.
And it hit 110 today, so lots and lots of water! Salty snacks are important here in the summer as well.



answers from Denver on

Make them fruit burritos!

Just whip up about 3 oz or less (depending on how many you are making) of cream cheese, mix with a teaspoon or 2 of Honey and spread about1-2 tablespoons onto the Tortilla (depending on size) and then place small chunks of melon and berries, sliced strawberries or cherries onto the cream cheese and Roll it up like a burrito. As long as the sack is not out in the sunshine all will be fine!

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