Meal planning for camping trips can be overwhelming, especially when trying to find RV-friendly recipes that please the palates of both kids and adults.
We’ve got your back with these easy, kid-friendly recipes that will fuel everyone in the family— grandkids included. But first, here are some cooking tips for small travelers.
Tips for Cooking for Kids
- Ask your kids to help plan menus. Including their favorite dishes in meal plans makes it more likely they’ll be excited about mealtime.
- Get the kids into the kitchen—being included in meal preparation will make more foods familiar to them, which may make them more likely to try new ingredients.
- Pair new ingredients with things the kids already enjoy eating, so that new dishes won’t feel as unfamiliar.
- Make meals that are easily customizable at the table, like tacos or rice bowls, so the kids can choose what to add to their plates.
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Blueberry and Chia Pudding Parfaits
Pudding. For breakfast. Kids will love these fruity chia pudding parfaits that seem like dessert. And you’ll love that the chia seeds provide a ton of great nutrition to help fuel the day ahead.
Chia pudding needs about 24 hours to set and is quick to throw together, so make it before you hit the road for an easy-to-assemble breakfast during your camping trip. It should be easy enough for most kids to make this on their own with limited help.
- 2 cups whole milk (or alternative milk of your choice)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup nuts, toasted and chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, 0.5 teaspoon of cinnamon, vanilla extract, and honey until well combined. Whisk in the chia seeds.
- Cover and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the refrigerator, remove the cover, and whisk well to break up any large clumps of chia seeds forming.
- Re-cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. If you make this from home, move to a well-sealed container to transport in your cooler or RV fridge.
- To make the blueberry syrup, combine the sugar, 0.25 teaspoon of cinnamon, and frozen blueberries in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and let the mixture come to a heavy simmer. Simmer until the syrup has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let the blueberry syrup cool slightly.
- To assemble, let everyone build their own perfect parfait by layering chia pudding and blueberry syrup. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts.
Replace the blueberry syrup with your favorite jam, preserves, or fresh fruit.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Studded with shredded sweet potatoes, these pancakes pack a vitamin-rich punch while treating the kids to a mini-marshmallow surprise. Kids can help by shredding the potatoes or whisking the butter.
- 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 bag of mini marshmallows
- Maple syrup
- Whisk together the Bisquick, sugar, baking powder, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the grated sweet potato and chopped pecans. Toss to coat the sweet potato and pecans with the dry pancake mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour into the dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
- Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Add a pat of butter and spread it across the pan with a silicone brush or spatula.
- Scoop the pancakes onto the pan in about 0.25 cup servings. Use a spoon to slightly spread the pancakes into a rough circle. Scoop as many as will fit in your pan or skillet, allowing for some space between each one.
- Stud the uncooked side of each pancake with about 5 to 7 mini marshmallows. Cook the first side of each pancake until you see bubbling on the top and the bottoms are golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve in stacks of 2 to 3. Top with more mini marshmallows, butter, and maple syrup.
If you don’t have sweet potatoes, use 2 cups of shredded carrots instead of the sweet potato for a carrot (pan)cake twist.
Homemade Freezer Bag Ice Cream
Serves: 2 to 4
Part science experiment, part dessert, this homemade ice cream can be made to order while hanging out at your campsite with two key ingredients: salt and ice. Buy the ice at the campground store when you’re ready to make this recipe.
Mix the ice cream base before you hit the road. Store in an airtight container in your cooler or refrigerator. The shaking step on this recipe is a great way for kids to let out some extra energy.
- 1 cup of cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles (or mix-ins of your choice)
- 3 cups ice
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- 1 quart-sized zip-top freezer bag
- 1 gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until well combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into a quart-sized freezer bag and remove as much extra air as possible before sealing tightly.
- Add the ice and kosher salt to the gallon-sized freezer bag and shake to mix.
- Place the bag with the ice cream mixture into the gallon-sized bag, seal, and shake for about 10 to 15 minutes until the ice cream is frozen into a soft serve consistency.
- Carefully remove the ice cream from the ice bag and wipe down the outside of the smaller bag to remove excess salt water. Add the sprinkles and stir to combine.
This is truly a small-batch ice cream recipe, so for larger groups, have several batches churning at once.