It is camping season! Get ready to pull out your gear and start planning your epic family camping adventures. I don’t know about you, but when I camp, the last thing I want is to be stuck over a campfire or stove cooking the whole time. Or listening to the kids complaining about the food we are eating. Which is why I have gathered over 50 tried and true stress-free & fun camping meals for kids. Meals that are also adult approved.
While tbh we eat a lot of “typical” easy camping meals when we go camping (smokies / hot dogs, canned chili, s’mores), we also like to switch it up. Variety is the spice of life as they say. And really there are only so many hotdogs and marshmallows I can eat without feeling like I need a vegetable or two. Do ya feel me?!?
Now you don’t have to miss out on all the fun.
Are you hungry? Let’s come up with some excellent camping food ideas, and camp meal tips for your next family trip.
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What are the “Ingredients” to Successful Camping Meals for Families?
1. Make Meals Simple – While meals made to order may be ok for a restaurant, when camping try to only make one meal for the whole family. It can be hard….but try to plan meals you know the young ‘uns can enjoy. Camping is not the time to roll out kale salad with a side of tempeh (unless that’s a family favorite already).
2. Make meals memorable – Have a special meal / dessert or two that you cook every time you go camping. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something everyone likes. One time we ate canned chili for breakfast, and now every camping trip our daughter requests it.
3. Make meals fun – Don’t you just love the sense of awe and wonderment kids get when roasting marshmallows or making s’mores? Have a couple of fun recipes kids can make themselves, or one’s they can help with. Try out different ways of cooking – solar ovens, campfires, foil packet recipes. Not only is it fun, kids are learning valuable life skills. Easy parenting win!
4. Make meals with a variety of nutrients – Hot Dogs & chips have all the food groups one needs right? Try to pack a variety of foods, especially protein rich snacks. This will help avoid the cranky, too much sugar highs-lows with kids (and adults).
5. Make meals adults will love too! – Plan for meals that can be elevated to adult friendly meals as well. Just because your kids are picky eaters, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your meals (without a lot of extra work).
What You need To bring
Here are a few camping essentials you’ll want to bring
- Coleman Stove – This is the type we have had for 15 years and counting – grill + burner = flexibility. Especially if you aren’t too keen on always cooking over the campfire.
- Long Handled Tongs – Avoid burning your fingers in the campfire or grill. Perfect for turning and grabbing your foil packet campfire meals.
- Camp Cooking Utensil Set – Versatile utensils for all your flipping, cutting, scooping, grabbing, opening needs.
- Heavy Duty Foil – For making foil packet meals & cooking over the campfire or grill.
- Cast Iron Pan – A cast iron pan set is a camping staple. Perfect for cooking over camp stove, grill or campfire. Add in Silicone Handle Holders to make it easier to grab your pan.
SIMPLE MAKE AHEAD CAMPING MEALS & SNACKS
Make ahead camping meals are the perfect way to spend more time having fun with your family, and less time prepping, & cooking. This kid-friendly pre-made camping meals are quick, easy, and mess-free.
Planning for your camping meals is essential, so using camping meal planner sheets are super helpful.
EASY CAMPING SNACKS FOR KIDS
Snack time! I swear my kids spend 3/4 of their time asking for and eating camping snacks. Some of our fun, easy and yummy ready made camping snacks include:
- Crackers and cheese
- Applesauce Fruit Pouches – Not just for toddlers. Make an easy snack or breakfast
- Pepperoni Sticks
- Trail Mix – mix up your favorite combo of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Add in some gummy bears and/or smarties for the kids. Or buy ready-made variety trail mix packets.
- Muffins (see recipes below) – muffins are versatile, hand sized, and can be eaten for snacks or breakfast. Add peanut butter for more protein.
- Cheese Strings
- Cheese Crisps – dried cheesy, crunchy salty goodness
- Fruit Kabob (for older kids) – Cut up your fruit into larger chunks, push through a skewer.
- Veggies & Dip
If you are looking to make some delicious camping snacks for kids recipes here are some fun ideas:
EASY CAMPING MEALS FOR FAMILIES
Camping Breakfast Recipes & Ideas
Breakfast, my favorite meal of the day…..unless I am camping. Don’t talk to me before coffee kids!
We have a camping tradition where our youngest gets to buy those mini cereal packs that come with 4 different overly sugary cereals. Once a year it’s her camping treat.
For less sugar filled options, try some of our easy camping breakfast favorites:
- Instant Oatmeal
- Breakfast Muffins (Sweet or savoury) & Fruit Salad
- Scrambled eggs & bacon
- Re-heated leftovers
- Fruit Salad
- Yogurt Parfaits – layer yogurt, granola & berries in a mason jar or cup
- Made Ahead Pancakes or Waffles – Just add nut or seed butter, nutella, fruit or whatever toppings are your favorite
- Boiled Eggs – Buy at the store, or make at home & keep in the cooler. They also can be made into Egg Sandwiches.
- Egg Breakfast Sandwiches – Use English Muffins, cheese, a fried egg & ham or bacon. We’ve also used mashed boiled eggs.
Some more fun & quick camping breakfast recipes to try:
Camping Lunches – No Cook
Trying to get everyone to sit down and eat a complicated meal mid-day is almost impossible. Between beach visits, playground activities, biking and more, quick no cook camping lunches are our go-tos most days. Here are a few ideas:
- Hummus and Veggie sticks – Make your own hummus, or buy a good brand, then add pita bread or corn chips to your dipping options.
- Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwiches – Use leftover bacon from breakfast, or deli meat in a pinch.
- Cracker Stackers – take crackers, salami, cheese and cucumbers and make mini craker sandwiches.
- Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches – Use the squeeze bottle honey for easy application
- Ants on a Log & Apple slices – Celery, peanut butter & raisins, plus a few apple slices are the perfect combo for a light lunch on the go.
- Hummus Wraps – wrap some hummus, cucumbers & lettuce in a tortilla . Or use whatever veggies your kids like.
- Bagels & Cream Cheese – add smoked slamon, for the discerning adults
- Charcueterie Boards – Put out a mix of crackers, deli meat (salami, ham, chicken), hard & soft cheeses, grapes, olives. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you like. For the kids, stick all the bits in a muffin, or on a tray.
- Bean Salad – So many types to choose from. Prep at home. We like a black bean salad, with corn, red peppers, cilantro with an apple cider vinegar, garlic, herb & oil dressing.
- Pasta Salad
Easy One Pot Camping Meals for Dinner
For easy prep, cook and clean up, one pot camping meals are the best, especially for dinner. Some fun ideas for dinner:
- Chili (Beef, Beans & Veggies, Chicken) – cook at home, freeze, reheat at camp.
- Mac N’ Cheese – cook the noodles at home, add a little oil to prevent noodles from sticking. At camp, reheat noodles, add a bit of shredded cheese & Milk, cooked meat if desired (sausage is tasty) & seasonings (we like oregano, garlic powder & lots of pepper)
- Camp Nachos – In a pan layer corn chips, cheese, and favorite family toppings (ideas: ground beef, beans, green oniona, black olives, peppers etc.). Chop everything at home first to make things easier. Wrap foil over top, and heat on campfire grill until cheese is melted.
- Frittata – think quiche without the crust. Fry up garlic, onions & any veggies you want in your frittata in a cast iron pan. Mix up your eggs, pour over the veggies, cover with a lid or foil and cook until done.
- Sloppy Joes – Cook your sauce & protein before you leave (ground beef, chicken, pork or try lentils for a vegetarian version. Or buy sloppy joe sauce. Reheat in your pot onsite. Add to hamburger buns.
- Corn On The Cob – either boiled or roasted in the fire
Camping Meals for Kids
Now you are ready to start meal planning for your next camping trip with family. With over 50 easy camp food ideas, you’ll find something even the pickiest eater will like.
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