Snacks & Treats
10 Dietitian-Approved Camping Snacks To Keep Your Kids Fuelled And Satisfied
BY SARAH REMMER, REGISTERED DIETITIAN
PHOTO © Anna Kurzaeva/123RF
Jul 25, 2018
It’s that time of the year again! Summer is in full force and many families (mine included) are looking for ways to spend some quality time outside. For me, camping brings back so many great memories. Sure, there’s the odd bug bite and the potential sunburn, but who doesn’t love a meal cooked over the campfire? It is also no secret that I am a huge chocolate fan, so the thought of melting chocolate with graham crackers and marshmallows is something to look forward to every year.
When packing camping food, I focus on is keeping food fun but nutritious. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean that it’s all hot dogs all the time. Truth be told, I love a good hot dog, but not every day. Foods like fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains and healthy homemade snacks still need to make their way in there. It’s all about striking a balance!
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It’s important to be strategic when packing snacks for a camping trip. Space is limited, especially cold storage, so don’t forget to think about food safety. This means keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. To prevent bacteria from multiplying, try not to let food linger at room temperature for too long. For camping in the hot summer days (think 30 degrees), don’t let foods sit outside for more than one hour. On cooler days, two hours would be your threshold. Cold snack foods such as cheese, yogurt and hummus would need to be kept in a cooler — so plan your space accordingly.
To make things easier (and not limit ourselves to hot dogs every night), I often make ahead a few frozen meals — like lasagna or other casseroles — that we can just reheat over the fire. I keep these in the bottom of the cooler (which helps keep the rest of the food cool!).
I also make sure to wash and cut up lots of fresh fruits and veggies and store them in plastic containers so that they’re ready to go. And homemade nutritious snacks are a must (I’m all about easy homemade granola bars, energy bites and muffins for between meals and as road-trip snacks). I like to concentrate on both protein and fibre when preparing these, which helps keep my kids fuelled and satisfied throughout the day — always try to include a fruit or veggie in there too. By planning and preparing in advance, I get to sit by the campfire and relax!
To help you plan a few delicious (and nutritious) campfire snacks, I rounded up a few of my dietitian-approved favourites. Happy camping!
Dietitian-Approved Camping Snacks
- Double chocolate chia protein bites (if you want more energy ball recipes, here are 20 dietitian-approved recipes to choose from)
- Homemade trail mix: raw almonds, unsweetened dried fruit and whole grain cereal
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Peanut butter and banana tortilla “sushi”
- Low sugar, higher protein and fibre bars such as KIND bars, Lara bars or Made with Local’s Real Food Bars
- Raw veggies and hummus
- Fruit and cheese, almond/peanut butter or hard-boiled egg
- Flourless muffins like these lentil chocolate protein muffins
- Whole grain crackers and cheese
- Sweet and salty chocolate lentil granola bars
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