If you’ll be camping with kids this summer, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about food. Great food can make or break a camping trip, as we mentioned in our article about glamping. Camp food needs to be easy to prepare, healthy and tasty. However, cooking outdoors doesn’t have to mean eating hot dogs three meals a day. Here are five great camp meals to prepare this summer.
Kid-Friendly Camp Meals
1. Foil Packet Dinner
This is a fast and easy way to make a flavourful and filling meal for your family. Put potatoes, veggies, onions, garlic and meat (if you eat it) in individually-wrapped foil packs. You can optionally add your favourite barbecue or marinating sauce as well. Cook on a grill over the fire, or on a portable barbecue, until the potatoes and meat are cooked through – about 25 minutes. If you have picky eaters, you can easily custom-tailor the ingredients in their foil packet, so that all of your camp meals are enjoyed with gusto.
If you have a camp stove, this is really easy. You’ll want to use a pre-made tomato sauce, whether you prepare it in advance at home or buy a jar or two from the store. If you like meat in your sauce brown that first before adding the tomato sauce, and then you just need to prepare the pasta. You can also cook garlic bread wrapped in foil over the fire if you believe camp meals need extra carbs. And, if you’re feeling fancy, you can even prepare lasagna in a Dutch oven over the fire.
3. Orange Peel Muffins
For breakfast or snacks on the go, you can cook muffins in orange peels. Cut the top quarter or so off an orange and scoop out the parts you would eat, leaving a hollow peel (save the orange pieces to eat alongside the muffins later for a bit of vitamin C). Fill the hollow peel with your muffin batter, wrap it in foil, and cook it in the embers of your campfire for about 20 or 30 minutes. You can find more detailed information on this camp snack on the Parks Canada Website.
Any one-pot meal is easy for camping. This one is especially easy if you opt for a vegetarian chili, as you can make it out of canned or dry ingredients that don’t require refrigeration. If you want to add meat, just brown it first and throw in the rest. You can cook it in a Dutch oven over the fire, or on a camp stove. Bring along some buns or cornbread – or make some yourself over the fire if you’re feeling ambitious – and you’ve got one of the most filling and easiest camp meals you can make.
Who doesn’t love pancakes? Whether you make them from scratch or use a mix, they’re pretty easy to cook. You can fry them in a cast iron pan on a grill over the fire or use a camp stove. If you don’t want to haul milk you can use powdered milk, or even shelf-stable soy, almond or rice milk. Make sure you bring along real maple syrup and – if you eat meat – bacon. For something a little fancier, Parks Canada has a recipe for power pancakes with apricot.
What are your favourite kid-friendly camp meals?
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.