Healthy Food Options and Meal Ideas for Camping

July 10, 2013

in Gluten Free, Healthy "MAKEOVERS", Kid Friendly, Kristine's Favorites, Recipes

So I asked on Facebook who would like to see a post about healthy meal options for camping. Well, the response was great, so here I am writing a post on it!

Healthy Food Options and Meal Ideas for Camping

Tomorrow we’re heading out for our first camping trip of the year. Thinking about what to pack, food-wise is always a challenge. That’s why I wanted to create a list of healthy food options and meal ideas for camping. Sure the hot dogs and s’mores are always fun, but after days of that, I feel “blah”, and I definitely don’t want to feel like when I’m camping. So I’m always on the lookout for ideas and recipes that would be good for adults & kids, and some that don’t require refrigeration.

When we camp, its in a trailer, so basically an RV.  These options are best if you have a fridge or cooler.  I’ve never backpacked (or have much of a desire to! ha!) so I’d always be very careful with what you bring if you don’t have any sort of fridge or cooler. There is great risk of food poisoning if meats (aside from jerky), dairy products, and many other food items aren’t kept at a certain temperature, so keep that in mind.

A Couple Tips:

– Anything that would need to be kept cold, that you could potentially freeze beforehand at home, I recommend doing that.  Eg. pre-cooked packaged turkey burgers, bacon, any other meat.. Cheese can also be frozen. Then as you’re driving to where you’re camping, it will thaw out, and once its thawed, you just have to keep it cold in a fridge (if you have an RV) or a cooler with ice (if you’re tenting).

– Wash, cut and pre-pack fruits and veggies in ziplock bags. If you’re storing in a cooler you don’t want them to get waterlogged and also cross-contaminate with raw meats.

Healthy Food Options for Camping


– individual oatmeal packets (just add hot water)
– fresh fruit (depending on what, may not need a cooler)
– eggs & liquid egg whites (*cooler item)
– bacon (regular or turkey *cooler item)
– greek yogurt (*cooler item)
– grilled grapefruit
– cereal and granola
– pancakes (great idea via Pinterest – can’t find the original source). Make your favorite pancake batter. Freeze it, pack it, and just cut the tip off when you are ready to cook!

pancakes camping


Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Pumpkin Spice French Toast_3_e

Breakfast In a Jar (make ahead)

Breakfast in a Jar

Banana Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies (make ahead)

Banana Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies -

Breakfast Sandwiches (Buffalo Chicken Breast or Mediterranean)

buffalo chicken breakfast sandwich (1) (Copy)

Mini Frittata’s (make ahead)

Mini Frittata's -



– protein bars (Quest or Premier Protein bars or any low sugar, high protein bar)
– beef or turkey jerky
– nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc)
– protein powder and shaker cup for protein shakes (just add ice/water)
– trail mix or any nuts/dried fruits
– rice cakes (flavored or regular)
– jarred salsa with baked tortilla chips or pita chips
– cheese (*cooler needed)
– popcorn snack packs
– Snapea Crisps. I like these, and they are lower carb than other snacks (12g carbs per bag, 100 cals)

IMG_0534 (Copy)

– Lower cal dip. Serve with tortilla chips/pita chips.


Homemade Quest Protein Bars (make ahead)

Homemade Quest Bars-main-photo

Like-Larabars (make ahead)


LikeLara Balls

Trail Mix Protein Granola Bars (make ahead)

trail mix protein granola bars 750

Coconut Bliss Balls (make ahead, keep cool)

Coconut Bliss Balls_3

Homemade Fruit Rollups (make ahead)

Homemade Fruit Rollups


– bagged salad with dressing (*cooler needed)
– sandwiches (peanut butter won’t need cooler, jams (once open) & lunch-meat will)
– hard boiled eggs (boil and peel at home and store on container, *cooler needed)
– bagged baby carrots, cucumber, snap peas (*keep cool)
– canned tuna or salmon
– bread and/or buns for above


Black Bean Summer Salad (make ahead, keep cool)

Black Bean Summer Salad_2

Healthy Creamy Macaroni Salad (make ahead, keep cool)

Creamy Macaroni Salad - Busy But

Goji Berry Chickpea Salad (make ahead, keep cool)

goji berry salad_750

Green Apple & Cabbage Slaw

green apple cabbage slaw (Copy)

Quick 3-Bean Salad

bean salad 4_e (Copy) (2)

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans

boston beans (Copy)


– homemade chili
– lean beef, chicken, turkey or veggie burgers
– nitrate free hot dogs
– pre-cooked rice or rice packs (I made up some short grain brown rice, and put in a tupperware container)
– veggies – corn on the cob, fresh green beans, carrots, etc.
– bagged salad with toppings and dressing (*cooler needed)


Easy Chili


BBQ’d Salmon with Orange Dijon Ginger Glaze

easy salmon glaze_1

Sage & Apple Turkey Burgers

Sage Apple Turkey Burgers_2

Quick Bean & Sausage Stew

moose sausage kale white bean stew (Copy)

Chicken, Pesto & Cranberry Quesadillas (could be made ahead)

chicken pesto cranberry quesadilla (Copy)

Garbanzo Burgers

garbanzo burger




– s’mores (cause really, what’s camping without them!)
– banana’s and chocolate chips wrapped in tin foil and warmed over the fire
mountain pie (like sweet grilled sandwiches)
roasted sugared apples


Cheerio Treats

cheerio treats (1) (Copy) (2)

Puffed Rice Squares

Puffed Rice Squares_2

Oatmeal Turtle Bars (make ahead)

oatmeal turtle bars 750


Hope this list makes your camping trips easier to plan and more enjoyable! Would love to hear your healthy camping tips and go-to products and recipes…share them in the comments below!



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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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Latest posts by Kristine (see all)

  • Diane

    I haven’t even made it to the end of the article yet, but I am so blown away by the pancake batter idea that I had to come and say thanks! Now I need to go finish reading. 🙂

  • Fairyland

    You obviously haven’t really done a real back pack trip. Most of the food you list needs to be in cooler which is silly. Food you recommend is teenagers eating at home, and has nothing to do with camping. Disappointing!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      I’d love to hear your suggestions for things to take that don’t need to be kept cool. Well aside from trail mix, that is. We have a trailer as mentioned and don’t backpack so I don’t need to ‘rough it’ and I’d always have a cooler or fridge. But maybe some others can take your suggestions.

  • Joe

    Why does the gluten free pizza translate to healthy…..gluten is not unhealthy.

  • BMC

    Looks like someone made a trip to Costco, I already eat better, was looking for different meal ideas, this is store bought…

    • Kristine Fretwell

      These are more grab-n-go options. If you’re wanting some homemade salads and such to make ahead and take with you, I have plenty of those on the website here.

  • Amber Williams Davis

    I can’t believe you would recommend all these processed foods as healthy options!

  • rockamama

    Your food consists of almost all pre-packaged, chemically-laden, high salt and high sugar items. No thanks.

  • Katie

    Bringing along fresh veggies and low fat chicken and beef are awesome ways to decrease your unhealthy fat intake while camping! HTCO put together 7 surprising Health Benefits of Camping Pretty cool stuff!

  • Bridgette

    This was super helpful! Thanks!

  • Jessica Jann

    Such a GREATTTT idea! 🙂 Thanks so much!!!!! Will def need to try that!

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