Camping is so much fun but can be exhausting. You want an easy camping menu that the kids will eat, minimal time to prepare, and not a lot of cooler space being used since it is at a premium while camping. It is the best time for good food, but with minimal amounts of effort!
These are my go-to meals to have on our camping menu that my kids actually eat. I can prepare stuff before we leave and easily grab extras in town to supplement as the cooler gets emptier so I can fill it again. Pretty much tasty, easy meals, with minimal amounts of effort so we can spend more time chilling with friends, exploring nature, playing at the beach, or enjoying a campfire.
For breakfast we enjoy eating:
Yogurt, cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit, overnight oats premade at home and kept in the cooler.
We make muffins at home and pre-freeze them to stay fresh and keep the cooler cool. It is such a great and easy breakfast or snack. A staple of mine for sure when planning our camping menu.
If we feel like making more effort, then of course we do scrambled eggs and home fries, but it depends on our effort and cooler space. We also have to be mindful of keeping little hands away from the Coleman stove. I look forward to making this next weekend camping though for breakfast.
For lunch we throw together:
Usually a modge-podge of things. I pre-cut veggies for sandwiches and to dip in hummus or another veggie dip. Hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, crackers/pita/tortilla/buns. I pre-make chickpea salad and/or egg salad sandwich filling for easy sandwiches. Or we just stick to PB & J since it is easy and the kids love it.
Salsa & chips is a favourite too. We may even eat it with leftovers from dinner (taco salad, chili, etc.). My kids love black beans so that’s an easy thing to throw in with the salsa to eat.
One of my good friends always pre-makes quesadillas to bring camping and my kids swarm her like flies to get bites too. Wrap them in tin foil, then toss in a zip lock bag to keep it out of the water at the bottom of the cooler.
For dinner we enjoy:
Dinnertime we usually have everyone contribute stuff to make joint meals easier. These are our favourites.
Dorito salad, or walking tacos, or quinoa taco salad, all the same thing. Perfect because like tacos everyone personalizes theirs so you get exactly what you want. A great hit with the kids.
Pasta is always super easy, especially if you throw together a salad to go on the side. I make the pasta sauce in advance so it has some protein in it to make it more filling, but you can even just bring a jar of tomato sauce and use that. Plain still tastes good! Again, if pre-made I freeze it in zip lock bags to stay fresh until we eat it and also help keep the cooler cold.
We make frozen chili in advance too (again freeze in zip lock bags to stay fresh and keep the cooler cold). We add whatever fits in the cooler and we have on hand, nacho chips, grated cheese, cut up avocados, sour cream, etc. It is always a big hit and super filling.
Of course if you have a campfire you can roast veggie or meat hot dogs on it for a fun hands-on meal everyone is sure to enjoy.
If you start the campfire early enough you can always make foil dinners. These are a favourite of ours while camping, but they take two hours to cook by the fire so make sure you start them early or plan for a late dinner.
Is it time for dessert yet?
If you have a campfire then you can make Banana boats for dessert!! THE BEST CAMPING DESSERT!
What are your favourite go-to meals while camping? Do you go for tasty or easy or both?
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