Simple & Nutritious Snacks for Camping

Simple & Nutritious Snacks for Camping

With summer just around the corner, many families will be planning an outdoor adventure or two.  Camping can be fun and affordable, but it may present unique challenges when it comes to meal and snack planning.  Left to their own devices, the kids (and, let’s face it, even some of the adults) in the family may be tempted to rely simply on manufactured, pre-packaged meals and snacks.  

Here are some ideas to help you plan ahead and make sure everyone on your camping trip has healthy food choices that will fuel all of the outdoor fun and activities.

Start planning early.

After you plan the details (the where, when, and how) of your trip, research the facilities and amenities available along the way.  For instance, if you are choosing a remote or more rustic campground, you may have to bring coolers, barbeques, and cooking tools to use for campfire meals. If you are staying in an RV or cabin, you may have access to a refrigerator, stove or other appliances and you can plan accordingly.

Focus on ease.

Preparing meals and snacks before you pack up the car will make it easy for everyone to choose nutritious foods throughout your trip, but be realistic. This is a vacation, after all, and you don’t want to take too much time away from all the fun in order to prepare elaborate meals or complicated snacks.  

Pack individual portions.

Pack small individual meals and healthy snacks in sealed containers that you can grab on-the-go while you’re camping. Try some of these ideas to keep your family healthy and happy:

  •  Food on a Stick

Kids of all ages love food on a stick, so put together some healthy foods in a fun way. Try cutting fruit into bite-sized pieces, and arrange in a colorful way on a skewer for a quick pick-me-up during the day. Plus, you can put your family’s favorite fresh vegetables, like peppers, onions, and tomatoes, on a skewer for easy barbeque-ready meals whenever your family gets hungry. 

  •  Mason Jars

Mason jars are versatile and can help you easily transport food. Prepare a few “salad-in-a-jar” creations with your family’s favorite fresh greens.  Let everyone make their own, adding anything from cucumbers, carrots, and sprouts, to sunflower seeds, broccoli, and quinoa. Just be sure to leave the dressing on the side to avoid getting any of the ingredients soggy before you can enjoy them.

  •  Food On-The-Go

If you’ll be out hiking, swimming, or biking, you’ll want some snacks that can go with you in a backpack.  Take energy bars with natural, organic ingredients, or, if you like to bake, find a recipe online and have the family make some treats for the trip together. Cut the bars into individual, ready-to-go portions.

Campfire traditions with a twist.

Instead of gathering around the fire with chocolate, cookies, and marshmallows, try a variation on a traditional “s’more” with apple slices and cinnamon, and maybe a drizzle of dark chocolate on top. Make sure you take aluminum foil to cook the apples over the fire and let everyone enjoy a healthier version of a camp favorite.

Pack your car wisely.

Make sure you have room in your car for all the cooking supplies, groceries, and coolers, along with your personal items…and don’t forget to make room for your family members! Find out where the closest grocery store is to your destination and pick up last-minute perishable items there.

It might take a little effort to get organized with healthy snacks and campfire meals before you leave on your trip, as well as a little prep time when you arrive at your campsite, but knowing that you and your family are enjoying the fresh air with equally refreshing healthy snacks will be well worth it.