Healthy Food Choices at Camp
A big part of the camp experience is mealtime. Three times a day, every day, we gather as a family to eat, share, laugh and show our spirit through camp songs and cheers. The menu at camp has come and long way, evolving not only with the sophisticated palates of young people, but with the importance of good nutrition. Health and nutrition now play a major role in what camps are serving and how food is prepared. Camp staples like pizza, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are still offered, but menu options have grown to a whole new level. Camps know that healthy eating prepares campers mentally and physically for their day, and with all the physical activities being offered, camp is definitely a place where energy is needed.
Changes in kid’s menus have become a focus in camps, schools, and restaurants nationwide. The National Restaurant Association notes that healthful kids’ meals are a top 2013 restaurant trend – even at theme parks. 30,000 restaurants are now participating in the NRA’s kids LiveWell program that promotes healthier kids meals. An example of this trend is in the McDonalds happy meal, which now comes with apple slices, a smaller portion of French fries and an option of low-fat milk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the obesity rate in children has tripled over the past 30 years… so these changes are a great start to help kids lead healthier lives. The American Heart Association notes that one in three American children is now overweight, and at risk for serious medical conditions as well as psychosocial issues. The first lady, Michelle Obama, is combating childhood obesity with her “Let’s Move” campaign, promoting exercise and nutrition among kids. It’s about putting children on the path to a healthy future, giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices.
This coming summer, here at Iroquois Springs, we are on board with healthy eating, and are moving toward a more wholesome menu. We are using more fresh produce and less frozen, baking instead of frying and offering more whole grains. These small changes will benefit our campers and help them stay energized throughout the day. Our canteen, which offers snacks like ice cream and candy, is also offering some healthier options like pretzels and 100 calories packs. We know that our campers want options and though everyone loves a candy bar now and then, it’s nice to have some healthier snacks to choose from. Campers will also continue to create and enjoy the delicious recipes we put together at Kitchen Stadium. The use of more wholesome ingredients only adds to the great tastes of the foods campers prepare like fresh guacamole and quesadillas. Campers really enjoy being creative in the kitchen, and definitely learn about health and good nutrition along the way.