Ah, camping with kids. The great outdoors, the fresh air, the sound of crickets… and the constant chorus of “I’m hungry!” coming from your little ones. As if planning and packing for a camping trip wasn’t already a Herculean task, now you have to figure out how to keep your kids fed and happy in the wild. Fear not, weary parent! We’ve got your back with our list of the 50 best camping meals for kids in 2023.
Because, let’s be real, you don’t want to be stuck roasting hot dogs on a stick for every meal. And no, a bag of chips does not count as a balanced meal (even if it’s labeled “organic” or “gluten-free” or whatever buzzword is trendy this year). We’ve scoured the internet and consulted with expert campers (and picky eaters) to bring you a list of delicious, easy-to-make, and kid-approved camping meals.
So pack your cooler, dust off your camp stove, and get ready to impress your kids with your culinary skills (or at least, make them stop whining for five minutes). Let’s dive in!
40 Best Camping Meals for Kids
1. Campings Meals for Kids for Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re camping and need fuel for all the hiking, swimming, and marshmallow-toasting you’ll be doing. But let’s face it, kids can be picky eaters, and they might not be thrilled about the prospect of oatmeal or scrambled eggs (unless you add a ton of cheese, of course).
So, what’s a camping parent to do? Here are some breakfast ideas that are sure to please even the fussiest little camper:
- Pancakes: Pancakes are a classic camping breakfast for a reason. They’re easy to make (just add water to your mix), they’re customizable (add some chocolate chips or blueberries), and they’re a crowd-pleaser. Plus, who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of pancakes sizzling on the griddle?
- French Toast: Another breakfast favorite that can be made with minimal ingredients. Dip bread slices in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon, then cook them in a skillet until golden brown. Top with syrup or fresh fruit for a sweet and satisfying morning meal.
- Breakfast Burritos: Wrap scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and bacon or sausage in a tortilla for a handheld breakfast that’s easy to eat on the go. You can also add veggies like bell peppers or spinach for some extra nutrition.
- Yogurt Parfait: Layer yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit in a cup or bowl for a healthy and refreshing breakfast option. Kids can customize their parfaits with their favorite toppings, making it a fun and interactive meal.
- Breakfast Quesadillas: Layer scrambled eggs, cheese, and sausage or bacon between two tortillas and cook in a skillet until crispy. Cut into wedges for an easy-to-eat breakfast that’s perfect for little hands.
- Omelets in a Bag: This is a fun and easy breakfast option that kids will love helping with. Crack eggs into a Ziploc bag and add your choice of toppings like ham, cheese, and vegetables. Boil the bags in a pot of water until the eggs are set, then open the bag and enjoy.
- Muffins: Bake a batch of muffins before your camping trip and bring them along for an easy breakfast option. Blueberry, banana nut, and chocolate chip are always popular choices.
- Cereal: Sometimes you just need a quick and easy breakfast, and cereal fits the bill. Bring along individual servings of cereal and milk or yogurt for a fuss-free breakfast that kids can serve themselves.
- Breakfast Sandwiches: Layer eggs, cheese, and bacon or sausage between English muffins or bagels for a hearty breakfast sandwich that’s perfect for on-the-go eating.
- Breakfast Skewers: Thread cubes of ham, cheese, and pineapple or other fruits onto skewers for a fun and colorful breakfast option. Serve with a side of yogurt for dipping.
These breakfast options are sure to please even the pickiest little camper and will give them the energy they need to tackle all their outdoor adventures.
2. Camping Meals for Kids for Lunch (Besides Hotdogs!)
Let’s be real, as much as kids love hot dogs, nobody wants to eat them for every meal during a camping trip. So, what else can you make for lunch that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters? Here are some ideas that are sure to please:
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: A classic sandwich that never fails to satisfy. Butter slices of bread, add cheese, and grill on a camp stove or over a fire.
- Pita Pockets: Fill whole wheat pitas with turkey, cheese, lettuce, and tomato for a healthy and easy-to-eat lunch.
- Chicken Wraps: Wrap sliced chicken, avocado, and veggies in a tortilla for a tasty and filling lunch option.
- Hummus and Veggie Wraps: Spread hummus on a tortilla and add shredded carrots, cucumber, and lettuce for a vegetarian lunch option.
- Tuna Salad Sandwiches: Mix canned tuna with mayonnaise, diced celery, and onion and serve on bread for a quick and easy lunch.
- PB&J: The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always a crowd-pleaser.
- Mac and Cheese: Make a box of mac and cheese and serve it as a quick and comforting lunch.
- Pizza Pockets: Fill crescent roll dough with pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice, then bake in a camp oven for a fun and easy lunch.
- Quesadillas: Fill tortillas with cheese, chicken, and veggies and cook them in a skillet for a crispy and delicious lunch.
- Tacos: Cook up some ground beef, add taco seasoning, and serve in taco shells with cheese and lettuce.
- Egg Salad Sandwiches: Boil some eggs and mix with mayonnaise and diced celery for a protein-packed lunch.
- Bagel Sandwiches: Fill bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumber slices for a delicious and easy-to-eat lunch.
- Ham and Cheese Croissants: Stuff croissants with ham and cheese and heat them up in a camp oven for a delicious lunch.
- Veggie Burger: Serve up some veggie burgers with lettuce, tomato, and condiments of your choice for a healthy and tasty lunch.
- Fried Rice: Cook up some rice, add veggies and scrambled eggs, and season with soy sauce for a flavorful lunch option.
- Pesto Pasta Salad: Cook up some pasta and toss it with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella for a refreshing lunch.
- BLT Sandwiches: Toast bread, add bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and you have a delicious lunch in minutes.
- Grilled Chicken Salad: Grill chicken breasts and serve them on top of a bed of lettuce, cucumber, and tomato for a healthy and filling lunch.
- Caesar Salad Wraps: Fill a tortilla with romaine lettuce, chicken, croutons, and Caesar dressing for a tasty and portable lunch.
- Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups: Roll up sliced turkey and cheese for an easy-to-eat lunch that requires no utensils.
Well, let me know if these recipes were able to surpass the HOTDOG! Let’s move on with the Dinner Plan now.
3. Camping Meals for Kids for Dinner
Dinner is the perfect time to get creative with your camping meals. Here are some ideas that will help you keep the kids happy and well-fed:
- Foil Packet Dinners: These are classic camping meals that can be customized to include any combination of meat, veggies, and seasonings. Simply wrap the ingredients in foil and cook them over the fire.
- Spaghetti and Meatballs: Cook spaghetti and heat up some store-bought meatballs for an easy and filling dinner.
- Chicken Fajitas: Cook up some chicken, peppers, and onions in a skillet and serve with tortillas and toppings like cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
- Chili: Make a big pot of chili and serve with cornbread for a hearty and warming dinner.
- Kabobs: Thread meat, veggies, and fruit onto skewers and grill them over the fire for a fun and tasty dinner.
- Fish Tacos: Cook up some fish, add taco seasoning, and serve in taco shells with lettuce, tomato, and salsa.
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Slow-cook some pork in a camp oven, shred it, and serve it on buns with BBQ sauce.
- Grilled Burgers: Make some burgers and grill them over the fire, serving them on buns with toppings like cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
- Stir Fry: Cook up some veggies and protein in a skillet and serve over rice or noodles for a flavorful and filling dinner.
- Corn on the Cob: Roast corn on the cob over the fire and serve with butter and salt for a simple and delicious side dish.
- Tacos in a Bag: Take individual bags of chips, add taco meat, cheese, lettuce, and salsa for an easy and fun dinner.
- Grilled Sausages: Cook up some sausages over the fire and serve them on buns with toppings like sauerkraut and mustard.
- Baked Potatoes: Wrap potatoes in foil and cook them over the fire, serving them with butter, cheese, and toppings of your choice.
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Thread shrimp, veggies, and fruit onto skewers and grill them over the fire for a delicious and healthy dinner.
- Chicken Alfredo: Cook up some chicken, pasta, and Alfredo sauce for a comforting and filling dinner.
- Pizza: Make personal pizzas using pre-made crusts, sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice, then bake them in a camp oven.
- Sloppy Joes: Cook up some ground beef with tomato sauce and spices and serve it on buns for a quick and easy dinner.
- BBQ Chicken: Grill chicken with BBQ sauce for a tasty and easy dinner option.
- Grilled Veggies: Slice up some veggies and grill them over the fire for a healthy and flavorful side dish.
- Beef Stew: Make a big pot of beef stew and serve it with crusty bread for a warming and filling dinner.
These Dinner recipes are sure to make your kids fall in love with camping. Let me know if you think these helped!
How Do You Pack Cooked Food for Camping?
When packing cooked food for camping, it’s important to make sure it’s properly cooked and stored in airtight containers to keep it fresh. You can use cooler bags or coolers with ice packs to keep perishable items cold, and insulated containers or thermoses to keep hot food hot. Pre-portioning your meals into individual containers can also make it easy to grab and go. Just remember to follow safe food handling practices to prevent illness.
How Do You Warm Up Food While Camping?
To warm up food while camping, you can heat it over the campfire using a skillet or wrap it in foil and place it on top of the coals. You can also use a camp stove or portable electric heater. Just make sure to use a food thermometer to ensure your food is heated to a safe temperature before eating.
Check out: Best Campfire Starters of 2023
Well, folks, there you have it – 50 of the best camping meals for kids in 2023! Who says camp food has to be boring? With these delicious and easy recipes, you can keep your little ones happy and well-fed on your next camping adventure.
From breakfast burritos to cheesy nachos, from grilled pizza to campfire chili, there’s something for everyone on this list. And don’t forget the s’mores – because what’s a camping trip without some gooey, chocolatey goodness?
But in all seriousness, when it comes to camping with kids, mealtime can be a make-or-break situation. Hungry and cranky little ones can quickly put a damper on your outdoor fun. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and come prepared with plenty of tasty, kid-friendly options.
With these 50 camping meals, you’ll have no shortage of delicious and nutritious meals to keep your family fueled and happy throughout your trip. So grab your camping gear, head out into the great outdoors, and get ready to chow down on some seriously tasty eats!