Have you taken children under the age of 5 camping? While it can be loads of fun, it can also be a bit stressful if not prepared. And mealtime is included in that! But the more you can think ahead about your family camping meals, the easier and more fun they’ll be!
Here are three of my all-time favorite camping meal tips that make meals easy, require little equipment, and your kids will have so much fun enjoying them while out in the wilderness!
- Use the campfire! Cooking over the campfire is one of my favorite parts of camping. Wrap corn on the cob in foil, add a bit of butter, salt, and pepper, and drop them right in the coals. Easy peasy to cook, no pots or pans needed, and most kids LOVE corn on the cob! Hot dogs on a skewer or stick, or even on the fire pit grate are a big hit with kids as well, and super easy. Make roasted “veggie packs” if you want more than corn….pre-cut your veggie mix and travel with them in a ziplock in the cooler. Put the mixed veggies into individual rectangles of tin-foil (one per person), add butter and any seasonings you like, wrap up and place over the fire or in the coals. Again, no pots or pans to clean or pack!
- Buy pre-packaged food or prep food in advance. While you can cut up fruits and veggies in the woods, it is MUCH easier to do as much prepping in advance as possible. Cut any and all fruits and vegetables you’ll want in advance. Toss it pre-portioned for meals into large ziplock bags or Tupperware. Label everything! And all of the sudden your cooler will be a super-organized meal haven. Buy your three favorite salads out of your grocery store deli section and enjoy alongside sandwiches for lunch. Pasta salad, potato salad, quinoa salad are all good choices! Just don’t feel like you have to make everything homemade while camping. So much easier to just pull it out and have it all prepped and ready to serve.
- Overnight oats! While I love cooking some scrambled eggs and bacon on a camp stove, sometimes you want one less meal to buy propane for or want to hit the trails right after you wake. Overnight oats are a GREAT camping breakfast! If you’re just going on a weekend camping trip, you can do the whole prep before leaving (oats, milk of choice, fruit, nuts, honey, you name it!) in the mason jar and into the cooler. They’ll be ready for you when you want to eat them. If you’re not going to enjoy the oats for a few days, pre-portion the oats in advance, toss in the nuts and fruit but hold off on the milk until the night before you want to eat it. Simply grab them out of a cooler, along with a spoon, and enjoy right away the next morning!
Bonus tip! You already know you can’t forget the s’mores, but swap out the Hershey bar for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! You can thank me later.