Camping is lots of fun, but can lead to unhealthy eating habits while you are away from home. When camping, people often get too busy or too tired to prepare meals and they end up eating pre-packaged junk food or fast food. It is possible to eat healthy when you are camping but requires planning and preparing ahead of time. Here are some tips on how to eat healthy when camping.
Things You'll Need
- Meal plan
- Pre-cut fruits and vegetables
- Ice Chest
- Grill with propane (if needed)
Plan ahead. Before you leave for your camping trip, figure out a menu. Plan on how many days you’ll be cooking meals and come up with a menu for each meal of the day, including snacks. Prepare a shopping list and purchase the items before you leave on your camping trip. If some items need to be refrigerated, you may need to purchase them closer to your campsite. Be sure to bring an ice chest filled with ice. If you are packing perishable items, replenish the ice chest with ice often.
Prepare snacks ahead of time. Before you leave for your camping trip, cut up some celery, carrots, oranges, apples, and other fruits or vegetables you enjoy. Keep them on ice so they stay nice and fresh. Baby carrots, grapes, cherries, and whole apples are healthy snacks don’t require preparation for eating. Beef jerky and trail mix are good options also. If you bring chips, try to choose the healthiest ones possible–those that don’t have a ton of grease on them when you hold them in your hands (i.e. pretzels instead of potato chips).
Pack a meal to eat when traveling to your destination. Part of what leads to unhealthy eating habits while traveling is not having food with you. You get hungry so you decide to pull over to a fast-food restaurant where the food is already prepared. If you pack ahead of time, you’ll eat healthier and you won’t have to spend the money on junk food.
Bring cooking utensils. Bring a grill and propane if you need it. Cook up chicken, turkey franks, hamburgers (made with lean ground beef), and stews. Bring a cutting board, chef’s knife, and pot or pan to use on your grill. You can make eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast; sandwiches for lunch; and stew or meat with grilled asparagus or corn on the cob for dinner. If you make smores, limit yourself on how many you eat.
Drink your water. You don’t want to get dehydrated on your camping trip, so be sure to drink your water. Bring a water bottle with you and refill it often to make sure you are getting enough water. Also, bring some gallons of drinking water in case there isn’t fresh water available where you will be camping.
Tips & Warnings
- To keep cut up apples fresh, squeeze lemon juice over them and put in a sealed bag. Keep in a cool environment, such as an ice chest.
- Do not eat meats or foods that require refrigeration if they were left out overnight. You don’t want to get food poisoning while on your camping trip.
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