5 Tips for Healthy Eating on Your Camping Trip

Healthy eating
Tente de camping avec vue sur la forêt

Whether glamping near the breathtaking waterfalls of Ontario's Georgian Bay or setting up camp in Saskatchewan's Grasslands National Park, it is possible to stick to a healthy eating regimen. You might, however, need to do some adjusting based on what you bring with you and what is available where you camp. Consider this a way to try some new food ideas during your adventure.

1. Plan Recipes Ahead of Time

Decide what you will be eating for each meal and for snacks during your camping trip. Check out some recipes for nutritious meals - your nutritionist can help - and make a shopping list. Whip up some energy snacks before you leave or make some along the way. Refrain from too many sugar-filled empty calories that can impede your ability to keep up your strength. Planning ahead will make mealtime easier and more fun.

2. Bring Healthy Food for the Campfire

Kabobs are always kind of fun, and they are one of the simplest healthy foods you can cook on a camping trip. Veggies are a common choice and can be made to order for each person on the trip. Pieces of salmon or canned chicken can be added. Sweet potatoes can be roasted over a grill or wrapped in foil and thrown into the fire. Even eggs and tofu can be cooked over a campfire. Exciting and tasty meals are possible, even when being cooked over a campfire. Let your inner nutritionist guide your food choices as you experience new adventures.

If you see a camping trip as a means to pounding the s'mores, take a step back. You can still enjoy these campfire favorites even when keeping to your healthy eating routine. This will be the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness and moderation as you experience each flavor in the gooey, heavenly concoction. Engage all your senses as you bite into deliciousness. Hear the campfire crackle in the background.  See the treat you are about to indulge in. Touch the rough graham crackers to your lips. Smell the melting chocolate. Taste the sweetness of the melted marshmallow on your tongue as you feel it stick to the side of your mouth and chin.

3. Fill Your Pockets With Goodness

Hiking can use up your energy so make sure you have healthy snacks handy for when you feel that drag setting in. Some high energy snacks that will fit conveniently in a pocket and give you a pick-me-up include:

  • Dried or fresh fruit -The kind of fruit is up to you, but dried is usually easier to carry and store.
  • Trail mix - This can be custom made with healthy tidbits of your choosing and stored in baggies to keep in your pockets or backpack.
  • Gluten-free energy bites - This healthy cookie dough snack made of oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, and other goodies is a great source of energy. They are easy to make and to stash for hikes along your trip.  
  • Energy bars - Read the label before counting on these, as they can be misleading when it comes to really being a healthy snack.

4. Sprinkle Seeds on Your Meals

Almost any meal can be healthier with a sprinkling of seeds that complement the other flavors. Many a dietitian suggests supplementing even already healthy meals with your choice of seeds. Whole or ground up, your recipes will take on a new pizazz and add some nutritional value. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are tasty by themselves or mixed in with other healthy goodies for the go-to of many campers - trail mix.

5. Do a Practice Run

Before you take off on your camping adventure, spend a night or two under the stars in your backyard, with or without a tent. Practice cooking healthy meals on your barbecue or fire pit without the accoutrements or additives from your kitchen. Make sure your meals are simple, fun and nutritious. See how you feel after snacking on some dried cherries and unsalted sunflower seeds.

Happy healthy camping! You got this!

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist