summer camp lunches

Summer Camp Lunches

Publish Date May 17, 2023 5 Minute Read

Summertime brings an end to the routine of packing school lunches…but starts a new one of packing summer camp lunches. Only this time, there may not be the fallback option of your kids going through the cafeteria line.

Summer day camps mean a less predictable lunchtime setting than at school. Your child could be eating indoors or outside. There may not be refrigeration available, so you’ll often need an ice pack and an insulated lunch bag to keep perishables cool. Pack food in airtight containers when possible to keep it fresh.

You’ll want to create variety to avoid PB&J sandwich burnout. The day’s featured food should be flanked by a diverse, nutritious mix of fruits, veggies and treats.

Here are 5 categories of easy summer camp lunch ideas that’ll satisfy your kids’ appetites and give them energy for a full day of summer play.

Sandwiches and Wraps

While PB&J sandwiches will have their day, PB&J Tacos are a sweet way to switch up the

lunchtime staple. And while egg salad or ham and cheese are good go-to sandwiches, a Turkey and Brie Sandwich can be a winner for kids with more sophisticated palates.

Nearly any sandwich can be recreated with a tortilla wrap or pita pocket. The same switch applies for our Spring Roll recipe that forgoes the traditional rice paper and uses tortillas instead, providing a more filling lunch.

Bento Boxes

These fun-to-use lunch accessories have boxes or dividers that keep foods separate and intact. The simple design encourages variety and appropriate portion sizes, making it easier to pack a balanced meal.

A standard bento box might see cheese and crackers with some protein, such as deli slices or a hard-boiled egg. But your primary item could be a sandwich, like a Waffle PB&J Sandwich or Mini Bagels. French toast can also be a featured food, packaged with a syrup container.

Peanut Butter Banana Roll-ups provide a sweet-and savory taste combo. In our Mediterranean Lunchbox recipe, creamy hummus pairs with pita and veggies for a fulfilling meal that’s packed with fresh ingredients.


Kabob-ing foods brings a fun twist to ordinary lunch presentations. Any sandwich can be cut into bite-size pieces and placed on a kabob. Traditional ham and cheese slices can look more interesting when interspersed on a kabob.

Both Twister Turkey Kabobs and Fruit and Cheese Kabobs can bring color and flair to summer camp lunches.


If your children think pesto is the best-o, then Pesto Pasta Salad is a great make ahead option. If their favorite salad is taco salad, then make a go-anywhere version with a canning-jar recipe of that Tex-Mex staple. And then there’s fruit salad – whether adding yogurt or not, our Berry Salad is a delicious flavor combination.

Camp Snacks

We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you of 2 summer camp staples. So-called “ants on a log” feature peanut butter spread on celery and topped with raisins. Traditional trail mix gets a tasty upgrade in our Trail Mix Bars recipe and as Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites.

Additional Inspiration

For more summer camp lunch ideas, visit and shop our extensive collection of recipes, check out our blog and explore our Easy Meal Solutions page.

Summer Camp Lunch Recipes