Go Camping: Healthy Eating and Decadent Desserts!


I just returned from what was one of the wettest camping trips ever. It wasn’t a sleep-in-the-van-overnight “oops the tent REALLY leaks” wet like we experienced on our 2012 camping adventure but it did rain for a full 15 hours during the day on this trip. And we were with seven families and 18 kids. Ice cream and wine got us through.

Rain aside, this camping trip got me thinking about how we tend to pack for camping and eating out of a cooler for two to three days and I realized that just because we are camping, doesn’t mean we have to live on hot dogs and roasted marshmallows.

We certainly did all the traditional favorites, but with a twist. I added fruit to the cones filled with marshmallows that we melted for dessert and we cooked giant lean sausage instead of hot dogs on the open fire with our roasting sticks. We certainly enjoyed more bubbly beverages and chips not made from kale than usual, but we also had salad and corn for dinner and yogurt and eggs for breakfast and our avocado sandwiches were the envy of everyone at the beach.

Knowing we were going to be having extra treats, I tried to plan for at least two balanced meals a day while camping. It was not difficult to switch up the usual camping menu of burgers and dogs for something a little healthier and it made room for the extra special treats. On rainy camping days – you need extra treats!

What to Pack for Healthy Eating while Camping

Protein & Fibre Packed Breakfast

These Oatmeal Packs are perfect, just add water. A dozen eggs and loaf of whole grain bread means you can have scrambled eggs one day and French toast the next! Kids will be ready for a full day of camping adventures.

Beach Ready Lunch

Plan for easy make-in-the-morning-then-head-to-the-beach peanut butter and banana sandwiches or nitrate free chicken slices with cheese, tomato and avocado. Cut up apples and take grapes, hummus and veggie sticks. Fill up on the healthy sandwiches and fruit first so you have room for a stop at the ice cream shop before your beach day is done!

Fire Up Dinner

Don’t just throw hamburgs in the cooler and call it a meal – pack boneless chicken breasts and corn on the cob, take chunks of stewing beef and make your own beef kebobs for the grill and trade in unhealthy hot dogs for lean turkey sausages. Have the kids put the sausages on their marshmallow roasting sticks and let them cook dinner over an open fire. Camping fun for sure!

Decadent Desserts

Smores will always be a favorite around here, but this year I surprised the kids with these Grilled Ice Cream Cones and Banana Smores.  By filling a banana instead of a graham cracker with the with marshmallows and chocolate you just created a healthy dessert! And why not try strawberries and bananas melted into mini marshmallows in a cone?  Good fun and good for you!

Enjoy your camping weekend and making marshmallow memories!
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She ensures her own kids are having fun while being active and eating healthy.  Writing for many website and magazines, Deb’s goal is to inspire others to raise healthy, active families. Follow her on Twitter @Deb_Lowther, Pinterest and find more healthy tips on her www.RaisingHealthyKids.co website.

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