Keep your campers happy with kid-friendly, familiar meals while you're roughing it. These foods are easy to travel with and can be cooked right over the campfire or on a portable camping stove. Remember to pack all your camping essentials, and store your food in coolers and sturdy containers — and inside your car, if possible to keep critters away. Bon appétit in the wilderness, campers!
S'mores — Of Course!
S'mores are a must-have treat for camping. It's believed that the Girl Scouts invented s'mores in the 1920s. All you need are graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars, plus a long stick or skewer for roasting your marshmallows. If you want to get fancy, use dark chocolate, a chocolate peanut butter cup, or another kind of candy bar.
Buy the "complete" kind of pancake mix in a box so that all you'll need to add is clean water — and blueberries or chocolate chips, if you'd like. You can cook your pancakes on a cast iron skillet or griddle over the campfire (flip them quick — they'll cook fast), or on any kind of pan on a camping grill.
Franks and Beans
Hot dogs and baked beans from a can are another easy camping meal. Just freeze your hot dogs before your camping trip and then keep them chilled in a cooler with ice until you're ready to cook them. Remember to bring a can opener for your beans and other canned goods. Keep these food safety tips in mind.
If you and your kids plan to go fishing, make dinner with your catch of the day. Clean your fish and throw it on the grill as is, or filet and season it however your family likes. Try this recipe for teriyaki fish.
Chicken Sausage Sandwiches
Because most kinds of chicken sausage are sold fully cooked, you don't have to worry about undercooking your meat over the fire or on your camp stove. Bring some onions to roast on your grill for added flavor. Keep your sausages cold in a cooler until right before you're ready to cook.
Meaty or vegetarian chili full of beans will make a hearty meal to give your little campers lasting energy. Make a big batch ahead of your trip, and store frozen servings of it in an icy cooler. Pour it into a heat-safe saucepan and warm up over the fire or on the stove. Bring cornbread or corn muffins for a treat on the side. Try this delicious Fiesta Chili.
Trail mix and GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) are other camping and hiking classics. In addition to nuts and raisins, you can add chocolate chips or candies, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, apricots, bananas, or other dried fruit. Mix up some of this crunchy trail mix.
If there's a farm stand with fresh veggies somewhere close to your campground, make the most of it by buying fresh veggies to roast over the campfire or on your portable grill or stove. Don't pass up homemade jam and pies, if they sell those, too. Local treats are always the best!
Baked Potatoes with Fixin's
Making baked potatoes while you're camping is similar to making them at home. Wrap the individual potatoes securely in tin foil to help them cook evenly and keep in moisture while warming over your campfire on a stake or metal grill grate. Baking potatoes can take 30 to 45 minutes, so start cooking before everyone's hungry. Bring sour cream, shredded cheese, cooked broccoli, and bacon bits in your icy cooler for some tasty toppings.
Whip up a batch or two of cookies before your trip. The recipe inside the lid or on the package of oats is usually no-fail. Why not throw in some extra treats, like dried cranberries or cherries, coconut shavings, walnuts, or chocolate or butterscotch chips? Or try peanut butter oatmeal cookies for a change of pace.