Quick and Easy Meals and Lunchbox Fillers for Camping With Toddlers

campfire stew

While you don’t want to spend your entire camping trip in front of the camp stove, you also won’t want your kids to eat dry cereal and sandwiches every day when you’re camping!

With these super easy, super quick to make, (mainly) healthy camping meals for toddlers, you and your kids will feel full and happy.

The following meals are mainly vegan as Andrew and I are vegan, Evan is allergic to dairy and nuts and Joni is allergic to eggs so it’s just easier to mostly cook vegan!

5 easy camping breakfasts

1. Chocolate banana milkshake overnight oats

These overnight oats will entice even the fussiest toddlers to tuck into breakfast. Plus, you can make them the night before so they’re great for early starts.

What you’ll need for two kids portions:

  • 1 cup porridge oats
  • 3/4 cup of milk (we use oat milk as Evan is allergic to dairy)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Mix everything together in a bowl or tub and store over night in the fridge or cool box. If you don’t have a fridge or cool box then don’t worry – these oats can be ready to eat in an hour.

2. Cinnamon and raisin overnight oats

What you’ll need for two kids portions:

  • 1 cup porridge oats
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • small handful of raisins

Mix it all together and store overnight in the fridge or cool box, alternatively, these oats can be ready to eat in an hour so let the kids have a run around first thing in the morning before their breakfasts are ready.

3. Fruity breakfast bagels

Bagels are ideal for camping as they’re super filling, versatile and can be toasted over the campfire or eaten as they are.

With this recipe, we put lots of peanut butter or cream cheese on the bagels and then popped fruit such as kiwi, strawberries, banana and blueberries on top.

As Evan is allergic to both cream cheese and peanut butter, he was happy having mashed banana on his (and of course, his favourite, Marmite!)

4. Four ingredient vegan pancakes

What you’ll need for two kids portions:

  • oil for frying
  • 1 medium mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3.5 tbsp water for 15 mins
  • splash of oat milk

Once you’ve soaked the chia seeds in the water for 15 minutes they’ll have a gloopy consistency that’s perfect for binding other ingredients together. Once the chia seeds are ready, add these to the mashed banana and oats and give everything all a stir. Gradually add the oat milk until the mixture has a batter-like consistency.

Warm some oil in a pan (we use coconut oil) and fry them, flipping part way through. Serve with bananas, blueberries, strawberries or anything else you like!

A top tip is to make a lot of mini pancakes, rather than going for large ones, as they can be very tricky to flip if they’re too big.

5. Mini muffin vegan breakfast pizzas

Even Evan, the fussiest eater ever, loves pizza so what better way to start the day on camp than with muffin pizzas?

What you’ll need for two kids portions:

  • two sliced English muffins
  • a handful of cheese (we use vegan cheese for Evan)
  • vegan Quorn ham slices chopped into little squares
  • tomato sauce
  • Italian herbs

Start by warming a tiny bit of oil in a pan. Add the muffins to the man and lightly toast on both sides. Spread tomato sauce over the muffin slices and sprinkle on some dried Italian herbs. Pop the ham on and cover with vegan cheese (we find grated mozzarella is the best vegan cheese for melting). Pop the top on the muffin and warm in the pan until the cheese melts in the middle.


Lunchbox meals perfect for camping and hiking with kids

When we’re camping we tend to eat sandwiches and wraps for dinner as we’re usually out and about. Below are some our favourite packed lunches that can be easily made on the campsite. If you want to pack some snacks as well read our guide What are the best camping snacks for toddlers?

Sandwich fillings

What’s easier than a sandwich or a wrap when you’re camping? Below are some of our go-to fillings:

  • cheese and sweetcorn (either regular or vegan cheese)
  • cheese and ham (we normally just use vegan ham)
  • cheese and marmite
  • peanut butter and sliced banana
  • honey and banana (or maple syrup for a vegan option)
  • sliced (or mashed) boiled egg and avocado
  • chicken slices and avocado (again we use vegan chicken slices)

Alternatives to sandwiches

  • pasta salad (our kids love cold pasta with sweetcorn but add sliced olives, baby tomatoes or anything else your kids will eat to make it a little more exciting)
  • crackers, ham/chicken slices, cheese slices and sliced grapes (kids will love building their own lunches!)
  • shop bought sausage rolls (Evan like the vegan Linda McCartney ones so we cook a couple of these before we set off)
  • fruit, ham cubes and cheese on sticks (like the 80’s bits-on-sticks classic but for kids!)
  • nachos made from tortillas that have been cut into triangles and lightly toasted in a frying pan – serve with cheese and tomato salsa (just chop some tomatoes up and stir in a sprinkle of ground garlic and dried coriander)

Lunch box fillers

  • chopped carrot, peppers, celery and cucumber sticks
  • corn on the cob (either roasted in tin foil or boiled on the campfire the night before)
  • grilled pineapple sticks (chop a pineapple into sticks, pop them on a griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes each side)
  • popcorn
  • crisps
  • raisins
  • rice cakes

6 Easy Campsite Teas for Toddlers

1. Vegan mac’n’cheese with sneaky courgettes

Andrew has mastered the perfect non-cheese cheesy sauce which is delicious in vegan mac’n’cheese.

What you’ll need for four portions:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 medium courgettes, peeled and grated
  • 3 1/2 cups of macaroni
  • grated vegan cheese for the topping

Pre-mix the cheese sauce at home buy mixing the following ingredients together and popping the sauce in a sealed container.

  • 200ml soya milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp pectin syrup (we use Certo Pectin)
  • 8 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp American mustard

The sauce will keep for up to three days provided it’s refrigerated and it won’t thicken until cooked.

Start by cooking the macaroni as per the packet instructions. While the pasta is boiling, heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion and garlic powder, heat for a couple of minutes before adding the courgette, then cook for a few more minutes until the courgette is super soft.

Once the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the pan with the onion, courgette and garlic powder. Mix everything thoroughly then add the pre-made vegan cheese sauce. The sauce will thicken as it heats through and once the sauce is nice and thick, take off the heat and service with a grated vegan cheese topping.

2. Pan pizzas

These pizzas are easy to make, filling and a big hit wither everyone in our tent.

What you’ll need for four portions (Andrew and I have one pizza each and the kids share the third):

  • 3 flat breads
  • shop-bought pizza sauce or pesto (or make your own if you’re feeling creative!)
  • cheese or vegan cheese
  • toppings of your choice (we ususally go with sweetcorn, mushroom and tomatos)
  • sprinkle of Italian herbs

Layer up the flatbreads with the toppings and either cook in a frying pan until the cheese melts or roll the flatbread up, wrap in tin foil and pop it on the campfire coals. The toppings will be super hot so make sure you cool them down before your kids eat them!

3. Vegan chilli

This chilli is a one pot wonder and many of the ingredients come from a tin, so you can make it without lugging about lots of fresh veggies and worrying about them going off. The only fresh ingredients you need are the carrot and onion.

What you’ll need for four adult portions 9you can make a huge chilli using the ingredients below and store any left overs in your cool box):

  • olive oil for frying the onion and carrot
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large carrot chopped into small chunks
  • spices – 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree (a great ingredient to take camping as it can also form the base of yummy pasta sauces too!)
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin red lentils
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn
  • 350ml of stock made with one veggie stock cube

All you need to do is fry the onion in the oil for a couple of minutes, then add the carrot and continue to fry until they’re both soft. Add the spices and fry for a couple more minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and stock. Stir well.

Drained the tinned lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas and sweetcorn and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips, wraps or chunks of bread.

4. Campfire chips

Campfire chips are super easy to make and turn a burger in a bun into a hearty meal to fill your toddlers’ tummies.

Simply peel and chop as many potatoes as you want into chips. Coat the inside of a large piece of tin foil with olive oil or non-stick spray, sprinkle with a little seasoning and close the tinfoil (use about one large baking potato for each tinfoil ‘packet’ to make sure the fries cook evenly). Pop the tinfoil packets on the fire for about 45mins. The foil will be extremely hot when you remove them so wear oven gloves and leave to cool before serving.

Serve with beans, melted cheese or grilled shop-bought veggie burgers.

5. Sausage and mash

The perfect comfort food after a day of exploring, this sausage and mash is super easy to make and you can add your own favourite herbs to the mash to jazz it up.

All you need to do to serve four people is peel and chop about four large potatoes and boil these over the camp stove in water with a pinch of salt. Once the potato is cooked, drain it and mash with a dollop of butter and a splash of milk or dairy-free alternatives.

In the meantime, fry the vegan sausages in a large frying pan or grill over the campfire – check the packet instructions for how long this will take, but it should be around 15-20 minutes.

Vegan or veggie sausages will keep in a sealed cool box for about 24-36 hours, depending on the amount of ice in the box and the temperature outside.

6. Bacon and bean stew

A one pot wonder that’s delicious, filling and simple enough to satisfy even the fussiest eaters.

What you’ll need for four portions:

  • a packet of vegan bacon (such as Cheatin)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tins baked beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

All you need to do is chop up a packet of vegan bacon into small strips (you can use frozen vegan bacon) and one large onion and fry these in a large pot with a splash of olive oil and teaspoon of garlic power. Once the onions are soft, add two tins of bakes beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

Bring everything to the boil, stirring regularly, and reduce the heat and let simmer until the beans are cooked.

Serve with tortillas or chunky bread.



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