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Our family is going on a 2-week summer camping vacation this summer that will include a tent, cooler and camping stove/grill. Could you give me some recommendations for healthy camp meals?
by Vic2016

Our family is going on a 2-week summer camping vacation this summer that will include a tent, cooler and camping stove/grill. Could you give me some recommendations for healthy camp meals?


Comments

Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

Camping doesn't have to mean hot dogs, burgers, chips. A cooler gives you the opportunity to pack fresh fruits/vegetables, hard boiled eggs and cheese sticks, and a campfire is great for tin foil meals in addition to s'mores. The key is plan out your menu before you leave so while the rest of the family is pitching tents, you can be getting dinner going.

Here are my recommendations:

Pack produce that doesn't bruise easily and can be eaten raw such as apples, oranges, grapes, baby carrots, bell peppers (cut into strips).

Make a pantry box that includes peanut/nut butters, olive oil, whole grain crackers, canned soup, seasonings, whole grain bread, condiment packets (syrup, mustard, ketchup), pasta, oatmeal packets, nuts, boil-in-a-bag rice, canned beans and canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. And, don't forget the aluminum foil and plastic baggies.

Start with a hearty breakfast. Eggs and pancakes are easy to make on either a camp stove or camp fire. Add some fruit and even a slice of bacon for a great start to the day.

Cook one pot/one pan meals. Make pasta, drain the water and toss the pasta with canned chicken and diced canned tomatoes or brown up some ground beef with taco seasoning in a skillet, add some salsa and shredded cheese for a taco bake.

Use the campfire and aluminum foil to make packet meals. This is the best way to cook fish/seafood, chicken breast and even burgers. Place the protein on a piece of foil, add vegetables, potatoes and seasoning and cover with another piece of foil to make a packet and place into the campfire.

Think beyond s'mores with baked apples with cinnamon, banana splits (banana split down the middle in the peel filled with chocolate chips and mini marshmalllows wrapped in foil and cooked in the campfire) or grilled fruit kabobs.

Camping is a great opportunity to be creative and get the whole family involved in the cooking.


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