For most families, the annual camping trip involves a lot of fun and cutting loose from the usual routine. The last thing on the mind of mom, dad and the kids is trying to put together a healthy menu.
Camping means bbq meats, snacks, junk food, freshly caught fish cooked over the fire… healthy eating while camping?
You don’t have to turn your camping trip into a health spa getaway, and you don’t have to eat like a rabbit in order to have healthy camping food.
Eating healthy on your vacation starts with doing a little bit of healthy meal planning so you have some variety to your menu that will provide plenty of energy (while still leaving space for chips, salsa and hot dogs).
Staying Healthy Starts with Hydration
Camping in the summer means a lot of time outdoors, under the sun, sweating out the stress during more activity than you’re probably used to. If you want to eat healthy while camping, then start with water.
It’s easy to pack cases of soda, juice boxes, and travel ready drinks that taste great – but remember to take plenty of fresh, clean water. Freezing water before your trip can ensure that the personal water bottles stay extra cold throughout the day.
Hike with Health in Mind
Families love to hike and explore nature trails in and around tent and RV campgrounds. If you’re planning to get out into the wilderness, take some healthy snacks for the trail. Nuts, fruits, pre-cut melon and bite size vegetables are fantastic trail snacks to help with hydration and provide lasting energy while you’re camping.
Have Healthy Foods at the Ready
Before you leave on your trip, put together a few pre-made salads along with a small selection of sandwiches. These healthy campground foods don’t require any prep, are portable, and can be consumed on the fly in between activities. If kept cold in your cooler they’ll likely last the entire duration of the trip (unless you’re camping with hungry teens!)
Hot, Healthy and Delicious
Want to grill up a great dinner? Try an alternative that can enhance flavor, seal in nutrients and keep your food from becoming charred. Use aluminum foil to try pouch cooking!
Vegetable blends, potatoes and even meats can be sealed into a pouch and thrown on the grill (just like when you cook a potato or corn on the cob). The pouch locks in moisture and steam, cooking food at a more even temperature. Your food won’t stick to the grill (no unhealthy oils), won’t absorb chemicals from treated charcoal and will be far more tender without the char.
Make your pouches ahead of time at home and add some herbs and/or marinade for a flavor punch when you finally cook up your meals.
Pre-make your Meals
Having to spend time prepping lunches and dinners during your camping trip can be a downer – it eats into your free time that is better spent having fun with family and friends. Instead, prep your meals before you go.
Stock an ice chest with water, frozen vegetables and pre-made meals. The frozen veggies will help keep your food cold and you can pull meals to heat and serve as hunger pops up among your campers.
Avoid Sweets While Camping
Just kidding – what’s camping without S’mores and goodies around the camp fire?