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Healthy Eating and the Appel Farm Garden!

Nutrition at Appel Farm

Healthy eating is important at Appel Farm, so we strive to offer nutritional and balanced meals daily. A nutritionist-approved menu includes vegetarian and allergy-friendly options at every meal. Locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables are a part of every meal and our protein rich (tofu, chick peas, sunflower seeds) salad bars are full of vegetables from our on-site organic garden.

Our top-choice meats and milk choices are hormone free, and we don’t serve any pork products. We offer soy milk, Lactaid, soy peanut butter, and gluten free breads and pastas for those campers with allergies. Our Executive Chef strives to prepare food in healthy ways by baking, grilling or roasting all entrees. We don’t even own a fryer!Dinner Dance

Campers create small communities at each table by choosing to sit with their friends and two Counselors, who ensure every child is making healthy choices. Meals are served buffet-style at 8:30 am, 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm, and we offer mid-afternoon and evening snacks.

All meals includes a hot entrée, a hot vegetarian entrée, hot soup, fresh fruit, lush salad bars, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Breakfast also includes yogurt, granola, hot oatmeal, cold cereal and toast.

Our seasoning bar allows campers to customize their meals with spices to fit their tastes, and we serve a small dessert like cake or ice cream each evening with dinner.

  • Nutritious, buffet-style meals with lots of options
  • Air-conditioned dining hall for all meals
  • Organic garden that stocks the fresh salad bars
  • Nutritious menu with options for vegetarians, picky eaters and special diets
  • Campers husk corn from our organic garden


Campers may stop by the Dining Hall or Pavilion between minors at 3:30 PM for a couple of cookies and a piece of fresh fruit. After the evening activity at 8:30 PM, campers may come to the Dining Hall to relax and socialize with friends and enjoy a snack such as soft pretzels, granola bars, popcorn, or cheese crackers.

Fresh, organic produce!

One of the best parts of being in the heart of the Garden State is the fantastic organic garden that flourishes right outside the Dining Hall each summer.
Food Harvest
Campers are often seen carrying bushels of fresh produce directly from the garden into the kitchen, and with each harvest, our chef incorporates fresh corn, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, green beans, snap peas, cucumbers, melons, and herbs into meals and salad bars.

Community Responsibilities in the Garden

Each bunk with have a chance to work in our garden, help maintain flower beds, pull weeds, plant vegetables, or pick and clean vegetables for the salad bar!


Gluten-free menu available!

Worried about your child being on a special-diet while away from home? Have you held back from a sleepaway camp experience because you just weren’t sure there would be enough options?

Now, in addition to vegetarian and vegan menu items, we are proud to offer a gluten-free menu. We call it gluten-friendly — you’ll call it a life-saver!

Your child’s health is important to us, and to our meal preparation team. Our chefs are certified in gluten-free food preparation, and have lots of creative meal plans to make sure camp meals are enjoyable. Your child will leave the stress and anxiety at home, and simply enjoy the meals that everyone else is eating.

Tasty rice pasta, a daily hot soup, healthy quinoa and gluten-free bread and cereal are  staples on the menu. Delicious chicken nuggets, wraps, bagels and so much more will make the dining experience fun. Gluten-free desserts will also be served, and your child can bring his or her own foods to supplement.

Allergic to dairy? Soy milk, tofu, beans, soy nut butter, fruit, granola, seeds and nuts all add up to a healthy diet for everyone. The bountiful fresh salad bar is presented every day and is allergy-friendly, with no nuts or cheese. One table is designated as peanut-free.

Allergies and Special Diets

We understand that many children suffer from food allergies, and we strive to make eating away from home as safe as possible. We are not a peanut-free camp, but can accommodate campers with mild nut, dairy, and gluten allergies.

Here are a few ways you can make sure your camper will be safe and healthy at camp:

  • If your camper has a severe food allergy, please call a Camp Director today to discuss your camper’s needs in detail.
  • Include any food allergies, medically prescribed meal plans or dietary restrictions, or special food needs on your Camper’s Health Form.
  • Before camp, speak to your child about making healthy choices while at camp to ensure his or her health and safety.
  • Campers with gluten allergies can bring special snacks and/or dessert items to be kept in the kitchen. Please label them with your camper’s name, and give them to the chef on Check-In Day.
  • On Check-In Day, discuss your child’s allergies thoroughly with our Camp Nurses.
  • Here are the ways Appel Farm will keep your camper safe and healthy:
  • We will meet with our Executive Chef before camp to discuss your camper’s needs and make sure that your camper will be able to make good choices at each meal during the session.
  • Our Executive Chef will post the menu, along with warnings for campers with known allergies, on a board at the front of the dining hall before each meal. Campers should check the board before every meal to ensure they are making good choices. If the entrée or sides include something that your camper cannot eat, an alternative item will be offered.
  • Appel Farm has an allergy-friendly drink, sandwich, and salad bar station that is free of peanut butter, or any other nuts. Soy peanut butter is available upon request. The station also has soy milk, and other substitutions for campers with food allergies. Campers with severe food allergies are encouraged to sit with our Camp Nurses at the allergy-friendly table near this station.

Camp Shots
Sample Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Allergy-Friendly Dishes:

  • Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew
  • Creole Veggies on Basmati Rice
  • Pepperonata on Polenta
  • Vegetable Quinoa
  • Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
  • Vegetarian Curry
  • Vegetarian Paella
  • Quinoa Pilaf with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts



Click to check out an example of our weekly menu!

Dinner Menu Screen Shot