For an appetizing and nutritious lunchbox

4 basic principles


With all the activities they do at camp, your children need a good lunch. But what should they take in their lunchbox?
1. Balance. Nothing could be easier! To whip up a balanced lunch, just make sure you include foods from each of the four groups set out in Canada’s Food Guide. Vegetables and Fruit… A leaf of lettuce added to a sandwich is just a start! Fruits and veggies are the best way to add color to your child’s lunchbox—raw veggie sticks, salads, whole fruit, fruit sauce… the choices are endless! Grain Products… Whenever possible, opt for whole grain bread, pasta, crackers, and other grain products for their great taste and their essential dietary fiber. Milk and Alternatives… Remember, kids need calcium and vitamin D to develop strong, healthy bones. Meat and Alternatives… Vary your choices: meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, tofu. Foods from this group help satisfy your child’s hunger.

2. Hydration. Kids spend their days at camp out in the sun, moving, running, and having fun, which means they need to stay hydrated to take full advantage of all their activities. Beverages are therefore a must in the lunchbox. Water is the ideal choice, but you can also add small bottles of 100% pure fruit juice, vegetable juice, milk, or a plant-based beverage, e.g., soy milk. For more about hydration, click here.

3. Snacks. While children have high energy requirements, they’re not always hungry enough at mealtimes to consume the food they need to see them through to the next meal. That’s why it’s important to include at least two snacks in your little campers’ lunchboxes (one for the morning and another for the afternoon).

4. Variety. Does your child get bored with the same lunch menu every day? Adding color and variety to their lunches will make them more appealing—and more appetizing too! To help your kids enjoy their midday meal, opt for colored fruits and vegetables and cut them different ways, alternate bread types and season their sandwiches with different condiments (tzatziki, pesto, hummus, tapenade). There is no shortage of ideas for making lunch a delicious daily mail.

Offer your children varied, appetizing, and nutritious lunches and let them decide how much of each food they eat. Have faith in them—kids’ appetites vary depending on a host of factors, like growth spurts, for one.

Offer your children varied, appetizing, and nutritious lunches and let them decide how much of each food they eat. Have faith in them—kids’ appetites vary depending on a host of factors, like growth spurts, for one.

Check out our inspiring recipe ideas.

Did you know?

Protégez-vous magazine recently conducted a survey to find out what’s in kids’ lunchboxes. The good news is that most of the lunches provided sufficient protein, calcium, and iron. The findings for fiber and sodium were not so encouraging—one-third of the children’s’ lunches didn’t contain enough fiber. This can be improved by placing greater emphasis on whole grain products, legumes, and fruits and veggies. The results for sodium showed that six out of ten kids had lunches that were too salty. This is one of the dangers of adding too many processed foods to their lunchbox. Preparing homemade meals and snacks with basic ingredients is a good way to limit sodium intake for the whole family.