Camping Menu Ideas for Kids to Make and Eat

dish of celery, tomatoes and herbs
This was actually made by my ten-year-old nephew; celery, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Two for him, and two for me!

A KIDS’ MENU can really come in handy when you’re camping. Let’s face it–there are kids out there, we love ’em to death, but they can be the pickiest of eaters. The others are sitting around the camp fire happily chowing down on stew made in your dutch oven. But one guy (in our case it’s Kenny, the ten-year-old) is asking if it’s too late to make a run into the nearest town for a cheese and pepperoni pizza. So camping menu ideas for kids to eat and make can be a real challenge sometimes.

Here are some suggestions to make the whole thing a little easier.

Menu planning always begins at home.

Just how picky is this kid? Will he eat a specific number of items, or is it the type of meal he won’t eat, i.e. stews, vegetables, raw stuff as opposed to cooked? If he’s super picky you may have to create a menu specifically for him based on the the foods he likes and dislikes. If he’s only mildly picky, however (won’t eat tomatoes, for example), it’s easy to simply incorporate his “eating rules” in with each meal.

Get the kids involved.

The best thing to do when planning out the camping menu is simply to ask your kids what they would like to eat on the camping trip. You may be dreaming of steak, but if the kids want beans and wieners, make that their dinner. And then get them involved at the campsite. (More about that further down). Take them shopping when you get the camp food and make them responsible for their own list.

Make their menu fun and kid-friendly.

You don’t have to put in everything they want. Make suggestions and keep their food simple. Use it as an opportunity to spend time with the kids at the camp site. Teach them how to cook while camping. A hotdog on a stick over fire is an adventure. A pre-cooked hotdog wrapped in store-bought biscuit dough and baked over those same flames is an experience they’ll be talking about at school. And they’ll eat it!

Establish parameters.

Give them some ground rules about what their menu can and cannot consist of. Chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner might sound just fine to them, but they need to be smart about their food choices, just like they are expected to be at home. Give a little–a treat a day, or incorporate a favorite food or snack into the meals. Remember they want to have a great time too. Compromise a little, but don’t let them take over if they’re too young to make responsible choices.

Help them to do their own cooking.

It should go without saying that a responsible adult must be with the kids when they start to cook when camping. Teach them to be safe and keep an eye on them, especially around the fire and with tools they will need to use, perhaps doing any slicing for them, depending on their age and experience. Want the recipe for any of the suggestions below? Go here.

Some menu ideas:

Breakfast                   Dinner                         Lunch                        

Nutella Rollups                                  Dog in a Blanket                             Baked Potato Burgers

Bran Muffin Baked in an Orange      Pickle Petes                                     Hobo Stew

Tinfoil Toad-in-a-Hole                     Tuna salad Baguette Slices            Pizza in a Fry Pan


Have a comment?

I’d love to hear from you! Other kid-friendly recipes, ideas or just what you think about Hiking and Camping Ideas!

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5 thoughts on “Camping Menu Ideas for Kids to Make and Eat”

  1. This is a great site. I like your menu ideas. I am a grandma and needed some reminders on how to engage the kids. This has been really helpful.

  2. Your article has been a great help with how to better deal with my fussy little fellas…I will implement and look forward to trying some of your recipes…thanks

    1. I’m delighted you found some ideas for your camping trips with your kids, Lev. And if you have any ideas about what works for you and would like to share, I’d be delighted to hear from you! Thanks for the comment.

  3. I think you’re right on the money with involving the kids in most aspects of camping. Let them attempt to create their menu, but fit for camping. The more involved they become the more participation in the outing and less I want to go home. Lol! Great suggestions! Happy camping!

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