The precious summer months of youth are meant to promote bonding, appreciate the outdoors and perhaps even discover your first love – provided there’s not a masked killer wandering the foods. Camping is meant to be the ultimate summer experience for youths. If Bill Murray in Meatballs is to be believed, winning or losing doesn’t matter, it’s all about the journey. And that journey is one meant to be built on simplicity; on roughing it in the wild. Such an ideology extends to how and where you sleep, how you build the most basic of Boy or Girlscout skills and, most importantly, how you eat.
But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get children to appreciate the wild. Too often, they’re busy texting or playing video games. We’re becoming so culturally disconnected that tearing one away from their phone is a chore. It takes some real effort to get a youngster interested in the outdoors. One way to ensure or renew a long forgotten pasttime is through their stomachs.
So whether you’re just roughing it with your family or gathered with a troupe out in the woods, here are eleven best types of camping food for kids.
1. Eggs and Bacon in a Paper Bag
This easy, simple dish gives off the rustic sense of outdoors simplicity. In addition, it’s wrapping really makes you feel like you’re eating off the land. It also answers in the affirmative to one thing everyone seems to like: yes, it includes bacon. Just be sure to dispose of the bag properly, as the last thing any camper wants is to run afoul of a park ranger.
2. Pie Iron Pizza
This type of camping food for kids will involve some forethought in packing, but it’s hard to deny a child a decent slice of pizza, no matter the surroundings. The pie iron over a woodfire is a fun and classy way to cook a pie, while leaving as little trace of your carbon footprint on the surroundings. To make it even more camping friendly, use ingredients fresh off the land to make a perfect, camp-friendly meal.
3. Lumberjack Breakfast
Much like eggs and bacon in a paperbag, this simple melange will make your child feel as though they’re eating like an old-fashioned woodcutter. The ommelette mixture tooks over fire nicely in a foil wrap. Include local fresh fruit as a side if possible.
4. Campfire Blueberry Orange Muffins
Baking in the woods takes some creativity, and nothing says inventive baking like making a muffin in an orange. Perfect if you’re camping in an area rich with blueberries, making the freshest muffins you can. And the orange flavour is a delight.
5. Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake with Ice Cream
Again, this will take some packing preparation, and a cooler for the ice cream, but no child will be able to resist the chocolatey goodness of this dish. This typing of camping food for kids is great for children who want to get involved in the process.
6. Fry Bread
Indian Fry Bread, or Beavertails, are a traditional meal that are easy to prepare and fry up. While cooking, give the child a bit of a history lesson about the Native culture surrounding the woods. Great with a dash of cinammon and some lemon juice.
7. Grilled Mini Pizzas
It can’t be reiterated enough that kids love pizza, and especially if they can prepare them themselves. Usually put on a bagel or English Muffin, these little treats will put your tyke to work, gaining as much interest in the land around them as they do their food.
8. Ultimate Rolo S’mores
A camping trip is not complete without heating marshmellows over an open fire, but if you really want to capture a child’s interest, the S’more is the way to go. Pack some Rolos or a chocolate candy of their choice to create an irrestible, fun snack or dessert.
9. Spider Hot Dogs
No, we’re obviously not suggesting one take to grilling arachnids, but splitting hot dogs slightly before putting them on the grill can be a fun twist to what is otherwise a camping staple. It can also help teach a child how to tell when a hot dog is fully cooked through. The key here is in presentation. Many younger children like to play with their food. Rather than chide them for it, encourage them to do it artfully.
10. Foil Wrapped Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sub out the standard French Fry your youngers are always demanding at the drive thru with the delicious sweet potato, cut in wedges. When serving these types of camping food for kids, the children will learn to appreciate the healthy alternative.
11. Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes
Don’t underestimate the necessity or usefulness of aluminum foil; or, for that matter bacon. All these simple, quick meals and snacks will surely create a memorable few days and nights out in the woods, bereft of the dreaded cell phone or laptop computer.