12 Easy Summer Lunches

12 Easy Summer Lunches

Friends, after an incredible trip to Los Angeles, we are back and ready for summer to really start!

Lord knows I didn't have enough brain power before our trip to think of anything other than all the logistics required to take our show on the road (into the air?). Plus, 2 days before our trip, my friend, LM and I led a sushi and cupcake party for a beautiful 10-year old girl (post to come about that)..

But now, my brain has shifted gears to preparing my best girl for camp. She's going to a wonderful day camp that I have a lot of respect and fondness for and I'm feeling very grateful that she will have another opportunity to make special summer memories as she did last year.

Since our arrival back in NY on Friday morning after a red-eye flight, and a gluttony of sleeping, laundry washing, folding and unpacking, the scene is set. The clothes are labeled, emoji design towels are washed and ready and the sunblock and bug spray is poised and ready for slathering pre-camp pickup. (Yes, glory to all things holy, there is transportation where she will be collected and dropped off! The angels are singing!)

The only tricky bit was figuring out what on earth to pack her for lunch every day! 

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What to Pack for Lunch

My brain hadn't been taxed about lunch packing throughout the school year as my girl was partaking of the school's lunches. Believe me, when she was in Kindergarten I was really troubled by the institutional, carb-heavy lunches the kids were fed but I had to make peace with it.

I used to pack her lunches daily when she began elementary school, and in Kindergarten (KINDERGARTEN, for crying out loud!), the kids would scoff at the healthy lunches I would send her in with and make crude comments and tell her not to eat what I had packed. My baby was not eating lunch because of these kids who had the nerve to pass judgment on the healthy foods I wanted to feed her!!

Anyhoo, my husband and I decided that she would buy lunch from then on. I'm not ecstatic about the lunches the school provides, but they do a decent job, and I'm grateful that I don't have to pack lunch every day.

 

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Enter the Camp Lunches

There are a few considerations I needed to make when planning out the lunches I'll send. The camp only allows Kosher food on the premises, and therefore parents can only send in meatless lunches. As well, the lunches must be eaten cold as there really isn't the time to heat up everyone's lunch. 

Now happily, we have just returned from Los Angeles, where we had the good fortune to spend 10 days with my cousins who are a VERY good influence!! My cousins, bless them, only have good and healthy food in their home and there was always an abundance of fruits and vegetables available to snack on.

Had my girl not seen her cousins eat in this healthy way, I would have a harder time with what I'm trying to pull off with camp lunches. But, the heavens smiled upon us and here we are.

My goal is to give her a carb, a protein and a fruit or vegetable. We have had discussions and I've set forth this plan and I gave her many choices and blank paper to write all of the things that she likes for lunch that fit in with the no-meat/cold lunch rule. (When she suggested that I pack her bacon and cheese on an English muffin, I had to explain why that wasn't gonna happen! ;0 )

 Summer lunches on the road!

Summer lunches on the road!

The Menu Plan

This had to be a multi-step process, or it never would have worked.

  1. I had to get her on board with my plan of providing 3 food items for lunch (plus a water bottle, of course). This involved me explaining that once she told me what she wanted me to buy at the store for her lunch, I would be expecting that she eats it. (Of course, I mentioned that feeling full or sick was a good reason not to eat it). 
     
  2. Then, it was brainstorming and figuring out what she would eat, and reminding her that by selecting these foods, it was a promise that she would eat them.
     
  3. I made a simple menu, which I'll show you below that outlines what I propose as my weekly lunch plan.
     
  4. Then, to the grocery store!
     
  5. A very important step is to make sure you have the containers you need to put the lunch stuffs in! (I had to search a lot longer than I care to admit to find her little stainless steel bento lunch box, and in fact I still haven't found the top!)
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Here Are Some Examples of Lunches to Pack

You might have to pack a lunch for day camp, as I do, or maybe you are running "mama camp" as many of my friends are. These are some examples that will help you plan your snacks so that you can be ready when the "I'm hungry, mommy" wails start!

There are 4 lunch options listed here, because there's a cookout on Friday! Yes!

 Make life as easy as you can during Summer!

Make life as easy as you can during Summer!

There we are, mama, I hope this list gives you a bit of ease as you embark on your camp preparations. Summer may be easy for kids, but we mamas know that the way to that easy living is paved by us. 

Enjoy your week! I hope we get to see you soon in one of our upcoming camps