Sending a Picky Eater to Overnight Camps in California
There’s a somewhat common problem that gives parents pause when considering overnight camps in California. You might be familiar with this if your potential camper a picky eater.
How do you send a picky eater off to overnight camp in California?
It’s hard enough on a parent, making sure their picky eater is well fed at home. It can be especially daunting to consider sending a picky eater off to summer camp. But rest assured, it can be done! Picky eaters (and anxious parents too) do fine at overnight summer camp, with a little bit of planning.
Talk to the overnight camp in California about your picky eater. For sure your child is not the first picky eater they have dealt with and won’t be the last. Ask what their policy is with regard to mealtime and find out what’s on the menu that your child might like to eat.
Talk to your camper about how they feel about mealtimes at overnight camp. Are they anxious about finding enough to eat at camp? Are there any foods in particular that they are hoping to eat, or worried about eating?
Make a list of “safety foods”served at the overnight camp in California – these are foods that the camp offers, that your camper likes and will have access to at each meal. Make sure that the camper and the camp are on the same page about these items and that the camper knows they will be able to access these foods.
Make a low pressure list of new foods to try. If allergies and other health/religious issues are not an issue, these are foods that your camper might want to try and to challenge themselves with. Camp is the perfect time (amongst peers, away from family pressure and family chef egos) to try a new food in a safe environment. If your camper is game to challenge themselves, let them make the list and report back to you if/when they do try something new. It’s a great subject for letter writing!
Get reassurance from others. Your camp might be able to put you in touch with the parents of other picky eaters who not only survived, but thrived at summer camp – so don’t hesitate to ask! Many picky eaters actually become more adventurous eaters in a camp setting and for some, camp is a life changing culinary experience!
Bottom line: Don’t let fear of your picky eater starving keep you from considering overnight camp in California! Picky eaters typically do just fine at camp!