It is officially camping season! Long days in the sun and sitting around the campfire at night are such a great way to spend some quality time outdoors this summer as a family. All the outdoor activities and fun will stir up you and your kids’ appetites throughout the day. It is hard to know what to pack that will be sustainable enough for snack time to get to the next meal, especially when the food you bring needs to be non-perishable. Having healthy, filling snacks on hand is key for happy campers. Here are five great ideas to bring on your next camping trip to keep everyone satiated and happy! (Bonus: they are all gluten-free).
1. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and shelled pistachios and sunflower seeds are all great to bring along to camping trips. Nuts and seeds pack some protein and fat that keep your hunger at bay. If you have a nut allergy, bringing just seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin pack the same benefits. They are filling and energizing, plus there is no need to worry about them going bad.
2. Trail Mix
If you are looking to jazz up your nuts and seeds, a trail mix is a great option! Add in some antioxidant rich foods such as cranberries or add raisins if preferred. The best part about trail mix is that it is completely customizable. Some awesome add-ins include coconut flakes, hard chocolate candies (best for not melting in the hot sun), and dried banana chips. You can mix up the trail mix ahead of time and individually pack them into bags for a quick and easy snack time.
3. Apples and Bananas
Not all fruits are good to take on your camping trip, but there are two great non-perishable options you can grab before you leave. Apples and bananas are perfect for a few days out camping. Apples are high in fiber to keep you full a little bit longer and bananas pack great potassium which is beneficial when you spend the day in the sun. Pair either of these fruits with some of the nuts and seeds for a more complete snack.
4. Beef Sticks and Jerky
Beef sticks and beef jerky are protein packed snacks that hold up great on a camping trip. The protein in these snacks will curb your hunger until lunch or dinner time. They come in a variety of meat options too if you are not big on beef. Turkey and chicken options are also available. They also come in individualized packaging or resealable packaging that make it easy to bring along or eat the whole length of the trip.
5. Energy Bites/Granola Bars
Energy bites and granola bars give you a mix of carbs, protein, and fat all in one for a well-rounded snack. Granola bars can be made at home or there are a lot of great gluten-free store bought options that are filled with nut butters, dates, gluten free flours and oats, plus more. Energy bites can be easily made at home with a nut or seed butter, gluten free oats, chia seeds, flax, honey, and chocolate chips. The combinations are endless and they are such a quick, simple snack that can be popped right into your mouth!
Whether you're spending a day or a whole weekend camping, it is important to have simple, delicious, and non-perishable healthy snacks on your camping trip. These 5 ideas are great gluten-free snacks for morning or afternoon snacking. Trying to incorporate health carbs, protein, and fats into your snacks will help you feel more satiated and ready to take on the great outdoors. Take one or all five with you (plus you can match some together for more variety), they are sure to be crowd pleasers that you (and the whole family!) will love.
Written by Kaitlin Valdick, Nutrition Intern.