Eating Out the Camping Out Way

So, we just came back from camping (tenting) this past weekend. As always, it was quite the experience. Some of our adventures had to do with cooking over a fire. We did not have a portable stove or barbecue, so the fire was our only cooking option. Those of you who have ever cooked over an open fire probably would agree with me, food tastes so much better cooked this way!

Now, depending on how you camp, you may have other options for cooking: barbecue, stove or maybe even a microwave. Most people may picture roasting hot dogs and s’mores over an open fire, or eating lots of packaged, convenient snack foods. But camping foods can also be healthy…if you take the time to prepare.

Here are some ideas for healthy camp foods (for food safety, remember to keep cold foods cold):

Beverages
• 100% real fruit juice boxes
• milk (can be put into a drink container and stored in a cooler)
• water (make sure to drink lots with the summer heat; it is your best thirst quencher)

Breakfast Foods
• homemade whole grain muffins
• whole grain bagels (can be toasted or not)
• whole grain breads (can be toasted over an open fire)
• whole grain cereals (can be eaten with or without milk)
If you’re adventurous:
• eggs (can be boiled, fried, poached or scrambled over an open fire with a pan or pot)
• French toast (egg mixture can be made ahead of time)
• pancakes (batter can be made ahead of time)

Lunch and Supper
• corn-on-the-cob
• homemade hamburgers (with whole grain buns)
• homemade pizza (or individual pita pizzas)
• meat: chicken breasts, chicken legs or thighs (with the skin removed), lean cuts of pork chops or tenderloin, lean cuts of steaks or fish (might be best cooked on a barbecue). Cooked, cold meat can be used in a salads, sandwiches or wraps.
• salads (can be made ahead of time, but pack the dressing separately and add just before eating)

Snacks
• cheese (cut-up block cheese or cheese strings)
• fruit (wash and cut the fruit up so it is easier and more desirable to eat)
• nuts and seeds (or homemade trail mix)
• peanut butter (on whole grain bread or crackers)
• popcorn (can be made ahead of time and bagged)
• tuna (can be added to a salad to make it meal)
• vegetables (wash and cut the vegetables up so they are easier and more desirable to eat)
• whole grain bread products
• whole grain crackers
• yogurt tubes (can be frozen ahead of time)

Most heathy food options can be prepared, taken and eaten while camping. Be sure to have a method of storing cold foods that keep them at the proper temperature. Of course, some camping treats can be enjoyed (what’s an open fire without roasting marshmallows), but be sure to balance out the treats with lots of healthy food options as well.

Do you have any favorite go-to camping meals or snacks that you would like to share? If so, email me at [email protected].

If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!