Camping Meals for Picky Eaters - Panergy
We've all been on a camping vacation and struggled to feed the picky eaters in our family. It's hard enough to find the right food when you have the comforts of a refrigerator, stove and cabinets full of food at home, but at the campsite the task can take on a whole new meaning. How can you make mealtime more appealing to those who are married to hot dogs and burgers? Below are some of my favorite tips to get the pickiest of eaters to try something beyond hotdogs and hamburgers while camping.
1. PUT THE PICKY EATER IN CHARGE
Getting your child involved in the planning and preparation always makes them feel like an essential part of mealtime. If they prepare it, they will be more likely to eat it!
A week before you plan to leave sit down with your picky eater and ask for their help in creating a menu for the campsite. Come with some of your own meal ideas and ask them to add their favorite meal choices as well. Work together to see if their meal ideas can be adapted for campsite cooking. Create a daily menu and ask them which meals they would like to help prepare.
Try to include at least one item your picky eater enjoys with each meal so that they feel like their food choices are being included. If your child suggests chocolate for breakfast don't squash the idea immediately, try to see if you can incorporate chocolate into the meal in some way such as adding chocolate chips to shake and pour pancakes.
2. MOVE OVER MARSHMALLOWS?ANYTHING TASTES BETTER ON A STICK!
If I've learned anything over the past 12 years with kids, it's that ANYTHING tastes better on a stick. Kids love to eat food from a stick so my advice is to run to the store and pick up some sticks for your next camping adventure. They come in varying sizes, so find the best fit for your little one's hands and make sure that they are age appropriate. From toothpick to shish kabob size, sticks are a great mealtime essential for kids!
Once you have determined the right size for your picky eater, think about how you can use them at camp. Instead of using forks why not try a toothpick instead? It's easier to use than a plastic fork and much more fun for little hands. Cut up bite-size fruits and veggies and put them in front of your picky eater with a couple of toothpicks. You'll be amazed at how quickly the food disappears. Assemble fruit and cheese kabobs with your children and prepare to be amazed at how fast it is gone.
3. BREAKFAST ANYTIME
Most kids love breakfast so why not make it for lunch, or dinner, too? Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast and cereal are all great options for any meal, why limit it to breakfast time? Make an omelet and throw in some cheese, veggies and bacon. Use bananas, strawberries or blueberries to decorate faces on pancakes and reward a prize for the most creative face that is decorated and eaten. Make a scrambled egg and cheese sandwich for lunch ? it not only tastes great, it will give your little one some protein for an afternoon hike. Don't forget that dry cereal or cereal bars can be a great snack to include in your backpack during the day.
Making campsite food fun is the first step in getting your picky eater to change their habits. Getting them involved and making meals that appeal to the younger crowd but still provide some well-rounded ingredients, is easy to do with a little advance menu planning. We'd love to hear what other suggestions you have for fun and nutritious meals for the family. Happy cooking!