If you’re sending the kids off to day camp this summer, you know you can’t forget about camp snack ideas. I mean, sure, your little camper is going to miss you, but they’re also going to miss that jar of granola bars or cookies they’re so used to helping themselves to between meals.
Here are a few of our favorite camp snacks from Trader Joe’s that are perfect for lunch bags on hot summer days.
And if you’ve got an overnighter, they make terrific care package treats to remind your kids of home, make them popular with their bunkmates during snack time, and maybe even get them to remember to write you more than once the whole summer. Maybe.
Related: 5 creative ways to send a food care package to camp this summer
Lately I’ve been obsessed with sprinkling these Trader Joe’s Coconut Sesame Seed Clusters over my oatmeal (that I cook in my rice cooker overnight, but that’s another obsession) and I could see them as a great camp snack idea all on their own. ($1.99 for a 2 oz pouch)
(Note: Nuts are not in the list of ingredients, but they may contain traces of soy and tree nuts.)
If your child’s camp allows nuts, these Pistachio Cranberry Bites would be ideal to pack for energy for the trail. Made with pistachios, dried sweetened cranberries, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, sunflower oil and sea salt, they sound delicious and would be a healthier alternative to cookies, but still offer a little sweet. ($3.99 for a bag of six)
Anyone who’s been to Trader Joe’s with kids knows that you can’t leave without buying a bag of Veggie Sticks. CMP associate editor Lexi Petronis says that they’re one of her favorite camp snack ideas for her own kids, and I have to agree – tasty, shareable and a nice alternative to a bag of greasy chips. ($1.99 per bag)
Camp kids, like “man,” does not live by healthy snacks alone. If you want to let them them live a little, send them off with a few Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Coins for snack time. A version of Trader Joe’s popular holiday cookies, these are coin-sized shortbread morsels that have been infused with mint and coated in dark chocolate. Best for day camps that stash the lunch boxes in a fridge though, for sure. ($1.99 for a 6-ounce box)
Granola bars are the ultimate camp snack food — easy to pack, healthy (mostly), and even if they get squished at the bottom of a backpack, they’re still delicious. These Fiberful Granola Bars with Rolled Oats and Chocolate Chips will be shared with camp friends and are affordable enough to send multiple boxes in a care package They also get the stamp of approval from contributor Anne Wolfe Postic, who says her son is obsessed with them – and that’s good enough for us. ($2.69 for a box of 5)
(Note: Nuts are not in the list of ingredients, but they may contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.)
This Trader Joe’s Seed and Bean Medley is one we’ve raved about before, and makes the perfect camp snack idea to pack when your child’s camp is nut-free. A combination of roasted pepitas, corn kernels, chickpeas, fava beans and edamame, it sounds delicious, full of protein, and and downright healthy — not that you have to mention that to your kids.($3.49 for a 6 oz bag)
I’ve you’ve got a cracker loving kid, we’ve recommended these gluten-free Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup Seasoned Crackers before, and they also make the perfect camp snack idea. What better way to remind your kids of home than with one of their favorite comfort food meals? ($1.99 for a 3.5 oz box)
While not a traditional camp snack idea, I have to vouch for these Gluten-Free Norwegian Crispbread as another cracker alternative. My kids and made it through an entire package of these we realized they were even gluten-free (I admit we don’t read packages very carefully.) I served them with cheese, but they would make a great addition to a camp care package since they’re nut-free. Get an extra one for yourself to pair with wine — which hopefully they’re not serving at camp. ($4.29 for a 7.55 oz bag)