Tips on Preparing Food for Family Camping Trips

Taking children camping can often make your vacation seem to be all about food. Children tend to need to eat their meals more regularly than adults. Making sure you have plenty of quick and easy snacks and meals planned will make sure a fun time camping is had by everyone.

Camping in the luxury of a recreational vehicle or a camper equipped with a refrigerator and stove can make meal planning and preparation similar to being at home. For people planning to prepare meals with only the aid of an open flame or camping stove, the task could require more careful planning.

The weather can become a contributing factor to mealtimes when camping. It is important to be prepared for this eventuality. Using a gas stove and having it situated underneath an awning when the campsite is set up will help to ensure mealtimes won’t be interfered with by the weather.

Packing a good supply of “instant” foods will help keep rainy days from spoiling the vacation. Have a few cans of soup, some prepared pasta salad, instant noodles as well as the fixings for everyone’s favorite sandwich for sure-fire meals even during the rain. It’s a good idea to have some prepared food for the first meal at the campsite. Setting up the new home can take time and work up the appetite.

Good Food Choices for Campers

A family camping vacation often offers many opportunities for adventure like canoeing, exploring the terrain and hiking trips. In order to avoid interrupting these activities by schlepping back to the campsite, an ample supply of portable snacks and meals should be available. Pre-packaged snacks like granola bars, trail mix and yogurt are ideal foods for the family on the go. Have the kids help pack smaller portions of fruit, sandwiches and snack food for each person. Let them make some of the choices for the whole family.

The campfire is a favorite feature of camping for every kid. Incorporate the campfire in meal preparation for the enhancement of their camping experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to teach them how to cook their own meals and use fire safely. Using foil packets to cook meals works well for this activity and helps make cleaning up easier. Children can assist in layering the meat, potato cubes, vegetable slices, and seasonings along with a pat of butter for an easy and satisfying meal.

Consider ways to adapt the family’s favorite foods to campfire preparation. Pie irons are similar to sandwich makers in that they have the hinged halves which close around the food for cooking and are equipped with a handle long enough to safely hold it over a fire. Cheese sandwiches, pizza pockets and even fruit pies can be prepared in this manner.

S’mores are a traditional camping treat. Toasting marshmallows and squeezing them between chocolate and graham crackers creates a classic childhood memory. Customize your family’s s’mores by switching out the ingredients. Try chocolate mint patties or peanut butter cups instead of standard chocolate. Replace graham crackers with another favorite cookie like chocolate chip or oatmeal. Let your family start a new tradition.

We have to be attentive to our family’s nutritional needs while camping. It shouldn’t take the fun out of the trip, though. Thoughtful packing and preparation will keep everyone properly fed while having fun at meal times as well as during the rest of the trip.


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