RD and Mom Approved Summer Camps

Photo by: The Nature Place Day Camp
Photo by: The Nature Place Day Camp

June is here! So is the time for weekend BBQs and sending your little ones off to camp! If you’re still finalizing your campers’ plans or don’t know where to start, we have a few suggestions that may be just what you’re looking for.

 The Nature Place Camp

Discover your roots in a whole different way! The Nature Place Camp offers two summer programs.   Farm & Garden Days where campers are involved in the garden from prepping to plant seeds to harvesting, and then even cooking a meal out of what they’ve grown!   The Nature Place Day Camp program overs a more varied range of activities and outdoor fun, including gardening and cooking components, where campers can discover and learn about the nature around them in a non-competitive and friendly environment.

Photo by: The Nature Place Day Camp
Photo by: The Nature Place Day Camp

 Butter Beans

This 2-week complete farm-to-table experience is a great way to get your kids talking about where food comes from (even in NYC!) and creative ways they can try new foods! Butter Beans is not a camp to miss with “Top Chef” style team cook-offs, learning how to compost, lessons from local food experts and campers even write their own cookbooks!

 Taste Buds

Allow your budding chef to hone their culinary skills in this kitchen-based summer camp! Choose to drop in for the day or stick around for a whole week of creative cooking and learning. Each week has a different theme from Baking 101 to Around the World: France, to Iron Chef, where campers will create savory and sweet dishes from a mystery basket of ingredients, to even visiting NYC food vendors and trying signature dishes which are then recreated back in the Taste Buds kitchen!

Photo by: Taste Buds Kitchen
Photo by: Taste Buds Kitchen

 The Art Farm

Looking for a program for your child to learn about nature, animals and the planet we live on? With an eco-friendly and organic facility offering programs varied based on your child’s age, The Art Farm in the City will send your camper home with stories of everything from animal science to science experiments to soccer games and of course, new friends!

 Sur la Table

Maybe not looking for a full-day experience, but still want your child to have a taste of the culinary world? Sur la table offers kids and teens cooking classes! Each lasting about 2 ½ hours a day, for five days of themed, hands-on learning and cooking! After a week of going over basic knife skills, measuring, mixing, how to follow a recipe and the science of cooking, each camper will come home with their own recipe packet of what they made during the five days!

So, whether it’s for a day or a few weeks, we hope you find the best place for your camper to learn and grow and maybe even how to grow and cook some yummy foods along the way!

Healthy Summer BBQ Menu

Originally published on ModernMom.com

It’s about that time of year again – the time when we open our barbecue grills to family and friends. Set yourself up with paper and pen because you’re about to start the planning process. Read through this, fully imagine the scene, and then procure everything you’ll need for your own healthy BBQ.

Your ideal BBQ will feature whole grains, fruits, veggies, and beans for carbs, lean proteins like fish, chicken and > 90% lean cuts of meat, and healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).


As predicted, cauliflower is one of the hottest vegetables of 2013. Impress your friends by grilling fresh cauliflower and ears of corn. Instead of Cuban corn, you are serving up “C2” – Cuban cauliflower and corn with yummy queso. Whole Foods now carries queso… just in case you need to find it. I bet no one else will be so clever at the grill! And oh, don’t forget that Brussels sprouts are still trendy, so why not make Brussels sprout slaw or grilled Brussels sprouts on skewers?

On the Grill

Next, buy some shrimp and 90% lean grass-fed beef. Grill the shrimp on skewers brushed with lime and tequila. Serve them in a big bowl next to freshly made salsa. If you don’t want to make your own salsa, your farmers’ market or local Mexican restaurant probably has some ready for purchase.

Make mini beef sliders topped with avocado slices and fresh grapefruit flesh. Your taste buds will dance! I promise! And your guests’ bellies will be full from the lean protein and healthy fats like the omega 3 fatty acids in the shrimp and the monounsaturated fats from the avocado.


And finally, for the après BBQ snack, bring out frozen and refreshing mini key lime pies sprinkled with wheat germ. Make one for each guest and serve them with fresh blackberries or raspberries. Your guests will be feeling a spring in their steps… and you’ll sleep well knowing you helped their hearts.

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See below for recipes…


Sprouts on a Skewer

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 metal skewers (10”)



Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Remove and allow the sprouts to cool before handling.

Add 5 or 6 Brussels sprouts to each skewer. Place on grill with cover on for about 6 minutes. Rotate and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sprouts have a nice char. Remove them from the skewers and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.


Cuban Cauliflower and Corn

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into large florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 6 ears of corn, husk on but silk removed
  • 1 cup queso fresco
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil



Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Place the cauliflower mixture on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the edges to create a sealed pouch. Place foil pouch over grill for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

In another large bowl, soak the ears of corn for 15 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Place the corn on the grill and cover for about 20 minutes, rotating the corn 2 to 3 times. When cooked through, remove the corn and allow it to cool. Remove kernels from the cobs. When cauliflower is ready, toss the corn kernels and cauliflower together. Serve warm or cool with a side of queso.


Beef Sliders

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 1 lb ground beef, 90% lean, grass fed
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
  • 3 tsp garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 mini size whole-wheat rolls
  • Optional toppings: lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, sliced tomatoes, pickles


In a large bowl, gently combine the beef, onion, mustard, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Form twelve 2” patties (about the size of a golf ball or 3 tbsp each).

Prepare an outdoor grill on medium to high heat. Place burgers on hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through; learn more about food safety here.

If you like, toast rolls on the grill for a minute. Otherwise, serve the burgers on rolls with 2 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp grapefruit! Get the younger ones involved by letting them dish out the avocado and grapefruit.


For more recipes, please go to ModernMom.com