Camping With Kids: The Type of Foods that You Should and Should Not Bring
Camping with kids may create the best family memories that you will ever have. However, without the right foods, these family excursions can quickly turn from happy joyous events to whiny irritable weekends. Here are some of the things you should and should not bring when camping:
The right foods
When camping with kids, it is essential that you bring the right foods.
The main meals
Meals should be healthy, nutritious, and easy to prepare. Most families take traditional camping foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and lemonade. Other families like to take pre-made foods that can be heated up easily over a campfire or on a gas stove. These meals can include things like homemade or store bought chili, beans, or eggs.
When preparing meals, you need to keep in mind what your children will actually eat. At home, it may be easy to deal with a picky eater by substituting a peanut butter sandwich for the main meal, but this can be impossible while camping. To avoid crises, you need to ensure that you bring food that the kids like and a few substitutions.
Your kids may eat more while they are camping. Lack of sleep combined with extra swimming or hiking may boost their appetites. To deal with this, you should bring a large selection of snacks. Fruits or raw veggies are perfect for snacking, but they are not that filling. To fill kids up between meals, you should bring granola bars, cereal bars, nuts and trail mix. Items like these are easy to store, simple to serve, nutritious, and filling.
Compromise on the Junk
Convenience food is an essential part of camping, and certain junk foods like marshmallows are a traditional part of camping. Although it may be impossible to avoid junk food altogether, you should try to avoid bringing too much junk food. Too many dyes, excess MSG, or an overdose of corn syrup can make kids irritable.
To ensure that your kids stay happy and relatively well behaved, you should try to pack as little junk food as possible. In some cases, this can be accomplished by making small choices. For instance, instead of buying potato chips flavored with MSG, you should try to buy plain chips that are only flavored with salt or organic potato chips which tend to have relatively natural flavorings.
Hydration is essential while camping. You should have an adequate supply of water, and if you plan to do any back country camping, you may even wish to bring a filter so that you can collect and filter your own water. In addition to water, you may want to bring a few healthy drinks, some soda, and a bit of juice.
Space is something that most families must consider when they are camping. If you are low on space, you may want to take some dehydrated or freeze dried food. These items save space, and they are simple to cook as long as you have access to potable water and a fire. For more ideas, you can find great freeze dried foods online here.
Kari Ann is a freelance writer who loves to camp and knows all the tricks to avoiding whiny kids on the road.