As summer camps welcome our kids this season many parents may note what’s on their menus looks a whole lot better than what we were served when we attended camps as children. The foodie culture, new dietary restrictions, as well as the recent wave of health conscious parents has turned camp cafeterias into fine dining establishments in many camps across the country.
A recent New York Times report highlights the camp cuisine trend that has taken over many summer camps this year. Though there are still a good deal of camps offering items many of us are all too familiar with like chicken nuggets, pizza, and hot dogs (all of which undoubtedly came out of the back of a freezer before being placed in an industrial sized microwave) a lot of camps have caught on to the trend of cooking healthier fresh meals for kids hiring chefs rather than cooks to put together their menus.
The menus offer lots more local farm to table type meals as well as meals like New York’s Camp Ballibay’s roasted chicken served in a ginger soy sauce with a cilantro puree. Many camps have also begun catering to kids with gluten and nut allergies or those who prefer vegetarian fare.
New Jersey camp consultant, Jill Tipograph, explains why the switch to fresher and healthier foods has really caught on in many camps. Tipograph says, “It’s evolving because camp directors themselves live their lives this way, and believe that campers should learn how to eat healthier, too. But they’re also cultivating the next generation of foodies.”
How important is a summer camp’s food offering to you when deciding what camp to send your kids to?
Have you noticed any changes to your kid’s summer camp menus?
It's good to give kids choices, as they can be picky eaters. I don't send my daughter to camp, but if I did I'd like to know she's eating well.
Its extremely important that summer camps food keeps in check with the child health as well as gives them the right portions for them to do activities... I haven't seen much change in summer camp food at all where I am. They are still serving the same gunk they served every year. I don't know if anyone has seen the email that has been going on where they compare every countries "school lunch" However, USA is by far the worst (if you count the calories and the clotting artery meals they offer). If I had the means, I would relocate to either Korea/Japan/France/UK/Italy/Taiwan where their lunches and/or foods are more balance (IMO).