Camping Food for Kids

Camping Food for KidsMealtime is an important event during a camp out, and even more so for kids who enjoy having a rare treat cooked over a fire or on a barbeque pit. Meal preparation adds so much to the overall experience, and this is one of the few occasions when children won't mind if their food is slightly blackened or the peas touch the potatoes on the plate. When it comes to finding the perfect---and most nutritious---camping food for kids, advanced preparation is the key ingredient. In some cases, renaming foods or allowing the children to have a bit of control over meal preparation heightens the excitement and also the willingness to try foods they may not otherwise consider.

Rename Old Standbys

Camping Food for Kids

It is interesting to note that kids will eat foods on a camp out they may not consider delicious at home. As a general rule of thumb, giving an old dish a new name often helps to give it a new allure. For example, rice and beans---which are not very exciting---may be renamed to worms and grubs in a pot. Add sliced hot dogs, but simply refer to them as bugs, and before long the kids will look forward to this old standby. Allow the children to help with stirring or adding ingredients, and this may turn into a kid's favorite camping food.

Snacks from the Campfire

Camping Food for Kids

Roast marshmallows or make s'mores. The activity is simple: Find a clean stick and skewer a marshmallow. Hold the marshmallow over the fire until it blackens and then either let it cool and enjoy it, or press the warm marshmallow between two graham cracker pieces with a part of a Hershey's bar. With proper supervision, kids can make these snacks themselves.

Serve Food on a Stick

Give the child control over how cooked she would like her food to be. Precook hot dogs and veggies at home, and then slice them up into small chunks. Store these items in separate Ziploc bags. Once the camping fire is built and mealtime arrives, allow the child to take a skewer and spear as many hot dog and vegetable pieces as she would like. She can then roast them over the fire to her personal perfection.

Bring Backup Foods

Camping Food for Kids

Come prepared for the eventuality that the child may not have an appetite for camping foods. Bring along canned foods or prepackaged foods he likes, remember to pack a few treats, and do not take it personal if it takes him a while to warm up to eating food from the campfire. Have plenty of pre-cut fruits, veggies and also pre-made trail mix on hand.


Break the Meal Routine

It is tempting to keep a mealtime routine of three big sit-down meals even during a camp out. Remember that physical exertion affects each camper differently, and if your kids ask for salty snacks or prefer fruits over a meal, the odds are good that their bodies are trying to make up for the salt and water lost. Breaking the routine and letting the kids---within reason---decide what they want to eat and when is a good idea.

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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