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Finding foods that your kids will eat can be hard enough at home, but as soon as you leave for a camping trip with kids, that challenge can be extra difficult. To help you find more foods that your kids will love to eat, we’ve put together a list of the best camping meals that kids will love, and that parents will enjoy as well. No, we’re absolutely not talking about roasting hot dogs on a stick here.
Aside from packing (we’ve made a printable list for you), family camp cooking can be one of the hardest things about camping with kids. Of course, you’ve got the cooler to manage (hopefully you’re using one of these coolers), but there’s something about being out in nature that makes even the most simple meals more complicated to make. So to take the brainwork out of camp meal planning, we’ve put together a list of amazing camping meals that the kids will love and won’t make you go crazy.
Best Gear for Camp Cooking
Although it seems nostalgic and Instagram perfect, cooking your meal over an open fire isn’t usually vary practical. For that reason, we ALWAYS take a stove with us for our family camp cooking. When we are backpacking, we like to keep things super lightweight, so we take this tiny pocket stove with us.
When we are going camping just for a night or two or only have easy one pot meals, this stove is my go-to. I love that it’s compact with only one burner, yet it still cooks incredibly well. We’ve had it for over 15 years and never had a single problem with it.
If we’re going for more than a couple of days, I always take this trusty propane stove. It’s a true workhorse, and with it’s double burners, I can bust out a massive stack of pancakes in no time, and then end off the day with a fancy camping dinner! Oh, and don’t even think of making pancakes unless you’ve got a good griddle (the time it takes on a camping frying pan, just might make you nuts)
Best Camping Cookware
To keep all our camping cookware organized, the secret to my success is always storing it TOGETHER. I store everything in a plastic file tote (I love the smaller size compared to most large plastic totes), and then when it’s time to go camping, I just grab it and GO. I’d much rather spend my time putting together amazing camping meals than worrying about packing the can opener (our favorites are here, here, here, here, and here) .
The real truth behind what we take camping, is incredibly inexpensive. All our dishes, cooking utensils, cups, knives, and cutting boards come from either Walmart or the Dollar Store. The truth is that we regularly lose something when we go camping, or my kids end up digging in the dirt with it so I don’t really want to eat on it again. We save tons of money on camping items at the Dollar Store and Walmart so that we can spend money where it really counts.
By saving money in some areas, it’s allowed us to feel great about spending more in other areas. We absolutely LOVE this pot with it’s folding handle and lid that clamps on (PS – the cheap bowls from Walmart stack wonderfully inside of here – I can fit 7 camping bowls inside). It’s also wonderful for backpacking since it’s lightweight and compact.
A good frying pan is also worth investing in, especially if you are camp cooking for a family. Our old one bit the dust last year, so I’m planning on getting this frying pan with a folding handle. It really caught my eye since it’s so nonstick that you don’t need butter or cooking oil to coat it (which I often forget).
Another area that we splurge a bit on is in our silverware for our kids camping meals. I know it’s quirky and weird, but we bought some sporks a few years ago, and have never looked back. The kids are so obsessed with eating camping meals with them, and as a mom, I love that I don’t have to rummage through all our cooking materials to find a fork, knife, and spoon, since it’s all in one.
I also keep my camp kitchen box stocked with a few spice essentials. I’ve found that having a few of my go-to spices on hand in portable containers always seems to be a lifesaver on camping trips. I figure the less I have to remember to pack for our camp meal planning, the better.
Best meals for camping with kids
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no gourmet cook when we go camping with kids. If it’s easy and moderately nutritious, that’s usually what I’ll cook for the kids while camping. So, I turned to my favorite food bloggers and asked them for their best camping with kids recipes, and they didn’t disappoint one bit.
If you’re trying to put together the best family camping meal plan then you’ll want to include some of these recipes. Many of these easy camping recipes are so simple your kids can help make them as well. The best part is that all of these kid camping recipes are so delicious that even adults will love them.
If your family is vegetarian, make sure to check out our 25 best vegetarian camping meals, which has lots of camping meals that kids will love.
Kid Friendly Camping Breakfasts
Are you ready for some delicious camping breakfasts that kids will love? We've put together a list of some of our favorite kid friendly camping breakfasts that won't just please the eye, but will also help you start your day with lots of energy. As an added bonus, all of these kid friendly camping breakfasts are things that the kids can help you make too!
Kid Friendly Camping Main Dishes
Are you looking for some great main dishes that your kids will love while camping? We've got lots of family friendly camping recipes with everything from cheesy potatoes, to campfire pizza, and even sloppy joes! Make sure to add some of these to your family camping meal plan.
Instant Pot Family Camping Recipes
Are you and your Instant Pot inseparable? Then you're going to love these kid friendly camping recipes that you can make right from your Instant Pot. Of course, this only works if you are going to be at a campsite that has electricity hookups.
Camping Deserts that Kids Will Love
Are you looking for some amazing campfire deserts that your kids will love? We've rounded up some of the best recipes for family camping deserts so that your kids can end their day on a sweet note!
Are you looking for more family friendly camping desserts? Make sure to check out our guide to making the best S’mores. We’ve put together the most mouthwatering s’mores combinations as well as some great s’mores alternatives (and even a few healthy s’more recipes).