Family Camp Meals: 7 Ideas to Make Them Less Stressful
Preparing and cooking family camping meals can be a stressful time. You haven’t got all the conveniences and appliances that you have at home. However, eating them can be one of the many highlights of a camping trip. After a hard day of camping and having fun it’s great to sit down, share a tasty meal and stories with friends and family.
No one wants more stress and their lives. And you do want tasty meals without the stress right?
1. Plan your menu
It can seem like a lot of work upfront but it saves time when you are wondering what to cook and you are missing some ingredients. This will help you to know what you need to take. It will also give you an idea of what you may need to source locally. Of course, when you get there you can always change your mind if something more appeals.
2. Stick to favorites
It might seem like a good time to introduce new foods to your kids and it may work if you are lucky. Many times kids are picky and want to stick with what they know, especially if they are unsure about the cooking methods. If you serve up the tried and trusted meals there shouldn’t be any times where they refuse to eat.
3. Prepare beforehand
Although you are not probably going to get everything prepared beforehand for your entire trip, it can make the first meals much easier to get sorted. You can do all the cutting and dicing before you go and put them in plastic bags. Then all you need to do is put them in the pot and get them started. This is a great time saver, and is great for the first night, especially if you have traveled a long distance to your camp site.
4. Ingredients checklist
Just like you may have put together a camping gear checklist, and ingredients checklist will help to ensure you take all you need. It is frustrating if you have forgotten one of those key ingredients when you get ready to cook and then have to come up with something new to cook. Also it will help to identify what needs to sourced locally such as fresh meat, eggs, butter etc.
5. Involve the kids
It’s a great opportunity to get some help from your kids. Depending on how old and how much experience will determine what you can easily get them to do. Normally children like to be involved in the preparation, even if they don’t like to do it home; I think it is to do with the novelty and fun of being outdoors for a change. Anyway it makes for an opportunity to have fun with your kids.
6. Easy does it
Keep the meal preparation and cooking simple. Have some easy to follow recipes to follow (here are 5 to get you started). One pot meals are easy with a side salad or fruit afterwards. If you want a meal with rice you can cook that in the pan with the meat and sauce (store bought or prepared earlier). Or if you want to cook using a campfire you can wrap some potatoes and butter in foil and cook them in the embers. For desert there is one of the all time camping favorites of s’mores – which are easy to make and just about everyone likes and can prepare with appropriate supervision.
7. What to cook on
You can cook using 3 different things. A camping stove, a bbq grill or a campfire. I think using a camping stove is the easiest, just a bit more than a bbq grill. If you have a 2 burner stove you can have two things on the go at the same time. The campfire is the hardest but can be the most fun. If you have never done campfire cooking it can be difficult to get it to the right temperature and it takes a bit of time until you can start cooking.
When cooking family camp meals it is important to be prepared in advance so you have everything to hand. Keep the meal preparation easy by using simple cooking methods. Stick to favorites to avoid any fuss at meal times and involve children in the preparation of the food. In this way mealtimes when camping will go smoothly and will be one of the highlights of your trip.