The days are getting shorter, but we still have a little time left for family camping and road trips before going back to school. If your kids are preschoolers, September is an ideal time for family camping trips.
Camping & travelling healthy
How can you pack a variety of options for meals and snacks without bringing your entire pantry? Try some of these meal and snack ideas to nibble on the road or roast at the camp fire!
Quick & easy snacks for ages 3 & up
- Fresh fruits and nuts
- Apple slices dipped in almond butter
- Baby carrots and hummus
- Homemade mock “kettle corn”:
(¼ cups kernals popped with 2 tsp oil makes about 8 cups of popcorn)
Drizzle or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1-2 teaspoons of scantly heated honey. Store in an air tight container or zip-lock bag to keep fresh. Kids love this yummy snack…and it’s much healthier than chips!
- Turkey jerky
- Mixtures of un-sugared cereal (e.g. plain Cheerios, Spoon Size Shredded Wheat, Puffed wheat), nuts and raisins or other dried fruit
Snacks for the toddler crowd and up
For the 2 and under crowd, avoid chokers—make sure foods can be squished between 2 fingers or will dissolve in saliva.
- Soft fruit (bananas, peaches, pears, apricots, melon)
- Steamed and chilled veggies with hummus (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, carrots; steam until soft enough to squish between two fingers, then chill for snacks)
- Cheddar cheese fingers (cut slices of natural cheddar cheese into ¼ inch strips) and mini rice cakes
- Peanut butter and jam sandwich wedges (take a peanut butter and jam sandwich, cut it in half diagonally and then cut each ½ into thirds)
- Un-sweetened cereal that dissolves in saliva (Cheerios, Kix, Puffed cereals)
- Small cartons of flavored yogurts. Compare brands and look for the one with the least sugar (we examined nutrition labels of several different yogurt brands on our blog earlier this year)
- Turkey Sausage on Whole Wheat Buns served with sliced red peppers, carrots and cucumbers
- Chicken Shish Kabob: Alternate chunks of chicken with red, green and/or yellow peppers, onions, pineapple, zucchini or mushroom. Be creative and use up refrigerator items! Place kabobs on fire grate or barbeque and roast. Marinate chicken ahead of time, or brush with a teriyaki sauce while roasting. These can be assembled at home and brought ready to grill at your campsite–just keep raw meats the appropriate temperature and away from other items. Here are some great tips on camping food safety.
- Fire Packs: Fill 1 foot x 1 foot aluminum foil squares with white fish (such as cod), diced veggies (sweet potato & zucchini work well), 5-6 fresh cherry tomatoes, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Seal at the top and place over heated coals or fire until fish flakes using a fork. Serve over cooked quinoa, brown rice, wheat bulgur, or whole wheat couscous. Quinoa, rice or bulger can be made ahead at home; whole wheat couscous cooks in 5 minutes, so is easy to make on your camp stove!
- Frozen spaghetti sauce or chili: Make ahead of time; by day 2 or 3 of your trip, it will have thawed enough to heat over your campfire.
- And don’t forget about good old fashioned burgers! Turkey, beef, or veggie burgers cooked over a fire or portable barbeque are always a favorite. Veggies and baked beans are an easy side.
We hope you enjoyed our ideas! Do you have some go-to recipes for successful camping trips with kids? Let us know–we’d love to share!