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Food Fuel

A guide to packing your kid’s lunch for Camp Backcountry.

Summer at Camp Backcountry is here, and so is the return of prepping your kid’s lunch boxes! Let the Backcountry Wilderness Area team guide you with simple, nutritious meal prep ideas and tips to keep it all cool when summer heats up. Whether they're off to camp for just one week or the entire summer, mastering the art of packing an appetizing and well-balanced lunchbox will set them up for success and fuel the fun! 

Just to be clear, the standard, well-loved PB&J is a perfect option. Foods YOUR kid will eat are just what they need each day. But if you find yourself in a lunchbox rut after a long school year, or wonder which foods we’ve found successful, discover our step-by-step guide to pack a balanced camp lunchbox your kids will love!

Step 1: Protein Power

Kick it off with protein, a cornerstone of children's growth and development. Here are a few lunchbox-friendly protein options:

  • Turkey or pastrami slices

  • Chicken or tuna salad

  • Greek yogurt

  • Peanut Butter

  • Chicken Strips

  • Hummus or tofu

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Beans or chickpeas

  • Cheese sticks

Step 2: Fruits and Veggies Made Fun

Next up, add a colorful array of fruits and vegetables to their lunchbox. Here are some creative ways to incorporate them so that your kids actually eat what you’ve made:

  • Berry lollipops: Stick blueberries and strawberries onto toothpicks

  • Celery boats: Smear peanut butter into celery sticks

  • Turkey roll-ups: Wrap turkey slices around pepper or cucumber strips

  • Melon cutouts: Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes from melon slices for a playful twist on fruit.

  • Add a dip: Pair veggie strips with guacamole, hummus, or nut butter for added flavor and nutrients.

Step 3: Carbs for Energy

Carbs provide the energy kids need to stay active at camp for 7+ hours. Try these carb-rich options:

  • Whole grain crackers or rice cakes

  • Sandwiches or wraps with a variety of fillings

  • Pasta salad with whole wheat or protein-packed pasta

  • Cereal for a crunchy side

  • Trail Mix

  • Granola Bars

  • Whole Grain Muffins

Making Lunchtime Funtime

Having trouble getting your kids to eat what you’ve made them? Elevate lunchtime with these fun tips:

  • Use colorful containers and lunch boxes.

  • Miniature versions of favorite foods are always a hit. Make mini sandwiches, mini muffins, or mini fruit skewers for bite-sized fun.

  • Kids love to dip! Pack hummus, yogurt, or nut butter with sliced veggies, fruit, or crackers for a fun and interactive lunch.

  • Add fun utensils and straws for an extra pop.

Pack it Up and Keep it Fresh

It’s summertime, so you know it’s going to be warm out there. Follow these tips to keep your kid’s lunch cool all day long:

  • Our staff-preferred lunch box contains built-in ice packs to keep everything cold and safe to eat: PACKIT - Classic Soft-Sided Lunch Box

  • Keep all temperature-safe pantry snacks they might want to eat before lunchtime outside of the lunchbox for quick access and to avoid opening the lunchbox and losing coldness.

You know just what they need to sustain a day full of adventure and outdoor fun. If you ever have questions, feel free to reach out to our team!


Mia Phillips is the Communications Coordinator for the Backcountry Wilderness Area. She has a knack for crafting compelling campaigns and turning ideas into impactful narratives. You will find her running programs at Base Camp, steering our social media presence, orchestrating email campaigns, and navigating the ever-changing digital realm.

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