Athena Camps is a summer day camp for girls ages 4 to 14 located in Los Altos and Campbell whose vision is to build communities of empowered girls who inspire and uplift each other to have a positive and lasting impact on this world. They focus on developing the whole girl through sports, creative art projects and facilitated group discussions with peers and mentors.
“Bringing healthy snacks to camp is important because girls expend a large amount of energy mentally and physically learning and practicing their sports.” says Aby Ryan, founder of Athena Camps.
“Water and healthy snacks with high nutrient values replenish the energy output and keep girls physically strong, in learning mode, and emotionally balanced throughout the long, hot summer days. As parents, it’s no fun to pick up a grumpy camper and this can often be prevented with adequate healthy snacking throughout the day.”
Here are some tips that will get your child excited about their lunch and eating healthy.
1. Carbohydrates are your friend
Carbohydrates fuel the body and your little ones need fuel. Not only for all the energy that they burn but for growth. It’s important to pack a lunch that is about 50% carbohydrates, so your child can feel his or her best all day.
Not all carbohydrates are created equally. When looking in the grocery store, pick out the whole grains (look for whole in the ingredients and fiber in the label), fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Make the meal colorful with your child’s favorite fruits and veggies. Fruit and vegetables also provide a great amount of water to help with hydration over the hot months.
Try your best to limit processed foods. Although they’re sources of carbohydrates too, they’re not the best energy source for your little one.
2. Keep Hydrated
What is the best drink to quench your thirst? Water! It doesn’t have all those added sugars and calories that sports drinks or sodas contain.
The water recommendation for a child 5 to 8 years old is about 5 glasses, while a child 9 to 12 years old is 7 glasses. It’s important to keep drinking water throughout the day.
Some easy tips to keep your child away from those sugar filled drinks are:
- Pack a water bottle with you (maybe even put it in the freezer overnight so it stays cold during those hot summer days!)
- Keep a cold pitcher in the fridge
- Change it up a bit by adding different fruits or vegetables to your water (strawberries, cucumbers, lemons, or oranges
3. Make It Fun
What’s the saying? Oh, that’s right… Don’t play with your food. Don’t get me wrong, don’t think that making a mess is advisable, but putting together a lunch that your child gets to build can be fun!
Sandwiches are staple foods for summer camps, but instead how about trying a DIY lunchable using the same ingredients. In a tupperware put pieces of whole grain bread or crackers, slices of nitrite free luncheon meat or hummus, cheese, lettuce, and whatever else your child enjoys! This way she gets to create her own sandwich or lunchable.
Not only will he/she get excited, but she will be more open to trying healthier meals.