10 Camping Recipes for Kids

I love bringing my kids camping. There is really nothing like watching them explore the outdoors and get caught up in the wonder of the wilderness. Preparing meals has often been a challenge, however. My son is a good eater who will eat just about anything that you prepare. My daughter, not so much. During our earlier camping trips, this was not a big deal. For a night or two we could get away with some easy junk food. As our adventures grew longer, it was important that we develop some options that both kids would get excited about and that we as parents could feel good about serving. Here are some of our meal options that the kids will think are either fun, tasty, or both.

Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast burritos are a great way to get your kids the nutrition that they need for a full day of activity. The great thing about breakfast burritos is that you can prepare them to the liking of each member of your family. The following ingredients are the basics; remember, you can add or change to accommodate your tastes.

Ingredients (for four burritos):

  • Large flour tortillas (4)
  • Eggs (6-8)
  • Precooked sausage or bacon
  • e½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Optional:

  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped bell peppers
  • ½ cup diced or shredded potatoes
  • Beans
  • Salsa

This meal is simple to make; first, chop or shred any ingredients you plan to use that require chopping or shredding (cheese, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes). Set those aside. Then scramble the eggs and warm up the sausage or bacon. You may choose to cook the cheese into your eggs or layer it on top. Once the sausage or bacon is cooked, chop into small pieces.

Next, place the tortillas on plates and fill each with scrambled egg and meat. Then add cheese and/or any other optional items. Fold into a burrito and serve with salsa if preferred.

A bonus to breakfast burritos is that they are portable. You can wrap up the burritos and bring them with you. This is perfect for those who are not ready to eat first thing in the morning.

French toast in Foil

Bring along some aluminum foil to make an easy and hearty breakfast that will get the family going in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • Sliced bread cut into bite size squares
  • Eggs or egg substitute
  • Frozen or fresh fruit
  • Cinnamon
  • Syrup
  • Cooking spray

Spray a large piece of tin foil with cooking spray. Place cubes of bread into the center of the tin foil. Bring the edges of the tin foil up in order to create a “bowl” and pour beaten eggs or egg substitute over bread (about ½ cup for two pieces of bread). Top with your choice of frozen fruit and sprinkle with cinnamon. Then fold the aluminum foil into a packet. Place the packet on the grill or over the campfire (medium high heat) and check after five minutes to see if ready. If not continue cooking.

Once the French toast is completed, add toppings as desired.

Lunch

Create your Own Wrap

There are many positives to this lunch idea. It is simple and requires no cooking, and can be wrapped and taken along on your adventure after getting an early start in the morning. I also like that the kids can prepare it how they like so that they are happy with it.

Ingredients:

  • Large flour tortillas (4)

With the exception of the tortillas, everything else is optional; bring the items that appeal to your family. Some ideas:

  • Meat-this can be any number of things, from lunch meat from the deli to leftover meat from the dinner the night before.
  • Cheese (sliced or shredded)
  • Hummus
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Green peppers
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Black beans
  • Mustard
  • Salad dressing

When we prepare this, I usually get the items out after breakfast. I cut enough vegetables to ensure that everyone has what they need and then each person can put their wrap together. Everyone can come up with their own combination. Wraps have ranged from simple for my daughter (chicken or turkey with cheese) to more complex for my son and my husband (a bit of everything on the list) to vegetarian for me (hummus, avocado and veggies). We roll the wraps up and put them either in sandwich bags or Tupperware containers. Lunch is made and it is portable. For the entertainment of your kids, allow them to add a few chips or Doritos to their wrap. I am not sure why, but this is big fun for my kids.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

This is simple and while my kids have no interest in this meal at home, they always ask for it when camping. There are also variations to the meal, making it appealing for a variety of tastes.

Ingredients:

  • Sliced bread
  • Sliced cheese
  • Butter
  • 1-2 cans of tomato soup

Optional:

  • Sliced ham
  • Cooked bacon
  • Sliced tomato

Place a few slices of cheese between two slices of bread. Add anything else you would like; ham, bacon, tomato, etc. Put a bit of butter on the outside of each piece of bread. Cook in the pan on your camping stove.

Open the can(s) and heat up the soup. Serve soup in a small bowl and encourage dipping the sandwiches into the soup.

Dinner

Camping Kabobs

One reason I love making these is that they can be personalized to the tastes of each member of your family. We all have different preferences and kabobs make it easy to please everyone. Ingredients can be changed to suit the tastes of those you are camping with.

Ingredients (to serve four):

  • Steak or chicken cubed
  • Two bell peppers (cut into squares)
  • One package of whole mushrooms
  • One onion (cut into squares)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • One zucchini cut into chunks
  • Four skewers

Optional:

  • Cut pieces of broccoli
  • Cut pieces of cauliflower
  • Cut pieces of pineapple
  • Spices or sauces as preferred (soy sauce, salad dressings, etc.)

First, cut all of the vegetables and meat into squares/cubes. Depending on how long you will be camping for, this may be a great thing to do at home before you leave to make it easier once at the campsite. How you go about preparing these from there is dependent on who you are feeding. We usually make my daughter’s separately; she does not want any seasoning except a little salt. We place her preferred items on the skewer and we are done. Since I am a vegetarian, we tend to marinate the rest of the vegetables in one bowl and the meat in another. We then create skewers for the rest of us based on our preferences.

We prefer to cook the kabobs over the campfire, however they can be cooking on a camping stove as well. We serve the kabobs with black beans.

Hamburgers

My kids love hamburgers at home, so why not on the road? We bring along some frozen patties that are ready to be thrown onto the grill, as well as the fixings everyone prefers. This is an easy meal that can be made in different ways for variety.

Ingredients:

  • One hamburger patty per person
  • One hamburger bun per person

Optional:

  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced cheese
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced pickles
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Anything else you like on a burger

The easiest thing to do, of course, is to throw the burgers on the grill. There are other ways to go too…for example, bring along tin foil and place the burger patty in the foil. Include some sliced potatoes and maybe some onion on top of the burger. Season as you like. Fold the tin foil leaving some space in between the food and the top and put the foil pouch on the grill or over the campfire.

Vegetarian Chili

This is a favorite for my kids and it is a hardy meal packed with protein; perfect for time spent outdoors.

Ingredients:

  • Two cans black beans
  • One can pinto beans
  • One can corn
  • ½ cup mild or medium salsa
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chili seasoning to taste

Optional:

  • Tofu “crumbles” available by Morningstar or Boca
  • Browned ground beef for a non-vegetarian version

This is a super simple recipe that my kids love at home or at the campsite. Simply open the cans of beans and corn and put the contents of the cans into a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring on occasion. Add salsa and chili seasoning and stir until chili thickens. Frozen tofu crumbles add texture and additional protein and can be added in. For a non-vegetarian version, add in some browned ground beef.

Once the chili is thick, serve in bowls or on plates topped with shredded cheddar cheese. French bread or corn muffins make a great complement to this simple dish.

Contents of the Cooler Stir Fry

This is my husband’s favorite meal to make at the end of a camping trip. It is a bit different every time and is made based on what we still have available in the cooler. It is a great chance to be creative, clear out your leftovers, and enjoy a nutritious meal.

Ingredients (this is typical for our family though can be different for yours):

  • One bell pepper (cut into squares)
  • One onion (chopped)
  • One tomato (chopped)
  • One medium zucchini (chopped)
  • Broccoli spears
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Two sausages (Italian or Andouille) cut into pieces
  • Chicken breast or thigh cut into pieces
  • Black beans
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Black pepper

In our case, the meat is pre-cooked from the prior night’s meal. If you are using uncooked meat, cook first and set aside. Heat oil in a skillet; once the oil is warm, cook the onions for a few minutes until they are brown. Add garlic and cook for approximately one minute. Add in the rest of the vegetables, meat and beans as desired. Add your preferred sauces or seasoning. We use a lot of soy sauce; choose what works best for you.

Multiple versions of this can be made. My husband leaves the meat out for me and makes a simple version for my daughter. We love this recipe because it cleans out the cooler and means little to nothing goes to waste.

Just for Fun

These last two recipes are fun, will be enjoyable for kids and easy for parents. They will definitely give kids something to look forward to when camping.

Worms in Dirt

There are variations to this dessert, but here are the basics:

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate pudding
  • Oreo cookies
  • Gummy worms
  • Styrofoam or plastic cups

Put Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag and crush into pieces. Fill cups up with pudding and place gummy worms in the pudding. Sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies over the pudding, helping to hide the worms.

Kids love to participate in the preparation of this dessert. It makes a great treat after a fun day outdoors.

Corn on the Cob over the Campfire

This is a super easy recipe for a side or a snack. My kids love corn on the cob and to them it is even better when prepared over the campfire.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen corn on the cob
  • Butter
  • Seasoning as desired
  • Aluminum foil

Tear off large sheets of aluminum foil and place a piece of corn on the cob on top of the foil. Place a pat of butter on top of the corn, as well as any seasoning that you would like (salt, pepper, etc.). Wrap the corn in the foil, twisting the foil at the ends. Place the foil wrapped corn on the fire or grill for up to 15 minutes.

Hopefully these recipe ideas will work for even the pickiest eaters in your family. There are often a variety of preferences in any family, meaning that meals that can easily be geared to all tastes are particularly helpful. For our family, we have found that meals are even more important when camping, as a full belly is often key to a good attitude.

Please share your favorite camping recipes for kids. What have your kids enjoyed?

Ilyssa
 

Ilyssa is a mother of four who is employed full-time as a grant writer and who enjoys writing freelance articles in her spare time. Ilyssa has a great love of adventure and the outdoors, which she hopes she is passing along to her children. Last summer Ilyssa and her family took a five week road trip, camping and exploring most of the western United States. The trip inspired Ilyssa to work towards achieving flexible employment and/or financial freedom, so that she and her family may continue to travel and explore all nature has to offer, and not just for a few weeks out of the year.