Summer Camp Lunch Box Ideas

PSP members have tons of ideas on how to freshen up your child’s lunch box, including peanut butter alternatives if you attend an allergy-safe camp.

Want more? Check out School Lunch and Snack Ideas, which includes recipes sourced by PSP members—and if you’re not yet a member of the community, join PSP today!

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One member asked their baby group…


“My daughter (3.5yo) is loving Brooklyn Nature Days so far (first week)... but lunch-eating is a challenge. The past year at preschool, we fell into a habit of a constant PB&J sandwich at lunchtime, and she loves it. But peanut butter is a "no" per camp allergy policy, and she's strongly detecting and rejecting the sunflower butter substitution. I'm trying to think of other foods she'll eat that can survive summer weather pretty well (must contain no nuts of any kind).  She does eat a few of the edamame and blueberries and plantain chips, etc, that I put in her lunchbox "bento compartments."


Got any lunchbox food ideas for this season?”


Parents recommend…


Peanut butter alternatives


“Advice from an allergy-aware mom I’m sitting with, both sympathizing and appreciative of you starting this thread, recommends Wow butter that is soy butter and is less bitter.”


“My son has a peanut allergy so we do ‘cream cheese and jelly’ sandwiches.”


“There is pumpkin seed butter that my daughter likes better than the other nut butter alternatives, and that qualifies as non-nut.”


“If you want to stick along the lines of the peanut butter, I recommend chocolate sun butter. It tastes like chocolate but is full of protein. They also have chocolate tahini which makes a good spread.”


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-Avocado (sliced or mashed)

-Babybel cheese

-Baby carrots

-Beet crackers

-Cheese cubes



-Corn on the cob


-Hard-boiled egg

-Hummus with veggies, crackers, or pita chips

-Laughing Cow cheese

-MadeGood granola snacks

-Mini tomatoes


-Rice crackers with cream cheese

-Spanish tortilla

-Steamed broccoli

-String cheese

-Sugar snap peas

-Trader Joe’s cream cheese salmon dip with crackers


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-Acini di pepe pasta tossed with olive oil, salt, and chicken breast

-Annie's Bunny Grahams


-Applesauce pouches


-Chocolate-covered pretzels

-Chocolate hummus with strawberries

-Dried mango, apricots, dates, etc.



-Fig bars


-Solely Fruit Jerky


-Trader Joe’s sunflower butter cups

-Waffles with butter or sun butter and honey

-Welch’s Fruit Snacks

-Yogurt frozen in the pouch

-Yogurt-covered pretzels

-Yogurt smoothies


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Sandwiches and starches


-Banana zucchini muffins

-Cold ravioli

-Grilled cheese and ham

-Near East Rice Pilaf

-Raisin bread with flavored cream cheese

-Rice and beans

-Pizza bagels

-Protein Plus Penne

-Sunbutter, jelly & fluff toasted in the air fryer sandwich

-Trader Joe’s kale gnocchi

-Tuna pasta (make tuna salad and stir in cooked pasta; add cheese if you like)

-Turkey slices with hummus on an English muffin







-Baked tofu

-Chicken nuggets

-Chicken salad with crackers

-Chicken sausages

-Cured meat (prosciutto, mortadella, salami, etc.)

-Fish sticks

-Hot dogs

-Kidfresh chicken meatballs


-Lunch meat with mayo wrapped around a pickle

-Prosciutto on bread

-Salmon fillet

-Tuna fish salad

-Turkey breast slices

-Turkey jerky sticks


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Lunch boxes and supplies


Bentgo Buddies Reusable Ice Packs

Jansport Lunch Break: “I am really happy with our jansport lunch break lunch pack as it’s sturdy and fits a bento box, the freezer gel pack, and a pouch and fork outside of the bento box. I have thrown it in the washing machine with Lysol sanitizing wash and that has taken care of the Nature Days grime.”

Packit Freezable Lunch Box: “We've been doing camp for the past week in Cape Cod and I cannot recommend enough the "Pack-it" lunchbox. You freeze the entire lunchbox so it keeps things cold (even in the 100 degree weather we had last week).”

YumBox bento box: “We use a YumBox bento box that fits great in the Pack-It lunch box.”



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