Kids love snacks. Healthy, quick snacks can be the best way to fill hungry toddlers’ tummies so they can continue to explore and play before their next camp meal.
So what are the best camping snacks for toddlers? Energy-filled snacks that are healthy, filling and easy to transport including apples, bananas, wraps, pasta and trail mix. Pack versatile ingredients like these and you can easily make quick and filling snacks at the campsite.
Preparing food for camping can be fun, especially if you let your kids help make the snacks in advance. But it’s a good idea to take some key, versatile ingredients that you can throw together to make tasty snacks on the go. Read on to find out what to pack.
5 must-pack ingredients for making quick and easy camping snacks for toddlers
For instant apple wedges when you arrive on-site, cut the apples up before you set off, pop them in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and pour pineapple juice over them. The acidity of the pineapple juice will stop the apples from browning during your journey.
When you get to camp, you can smother the apple wedges in peanut butter. For something sweeter you could add raisins or banana chips, or even chocolate chips for an instant energy boost.
Wraps are super easy to transport and the smaller size wraps are ideal for children. Simply pop a dollop of peanut butter in the wrap add a banana, roll the wrap up around the banana and you have a taste, super quick snack, or even a breakfast. If your kids prefer, you could throw in some chopped strawberries instead, or as well as, a sliced banana.
For an instant savoury snack, or lunch, grate an apple onto a wrap, throw in some grated cheddar cheese and you have a healthy snack that takes seconds to make.
3. Trail mix
Dried fruit and nuts are a classic combination for keeping energy levels up in the outdoors. Better yet, trail mix can be used as the basis of granola – just add some pre-roasted oats (or roast them on your campfire) and a dash of honey or maple syrup, add milk and you’ve got a tasty breakfast too. Just remember to chop the nuts up very finely if younger toddlers are eating this.
Cook in advance and store in an airtight container and you’ll have a go-to energy-filled snack to hand. Use plain pasta as a basis and throw in grated cheese, a handful of tinned sweetcorn, chopped olives and/or or chopped cucumber and you’ve an instant pasta salad.
Cooking pasta on a gas stove or campfire is quick and easy too. The only downside with pasta is that unless it’s kept in the fridge, it won’t last very long, especially if you’re camping in warm weather. You could cook a pan full with breakfast, cool it down, store it in an air tight container and it will easily last the day as a go-to snack for your kids (provided they don’t eat it in one go!).
Or for an even easier snack solution, bring a couple of pasta pots designed specially for kids, just pour in hot water, wait a few minutes and then their tasty snack (or meal!) is ready.
The ultimate toddler food, bananas make a delicious snack not eerie own but if you want your kids to have an extra special treat then let them help make banana boats.
Simply slice down the middle of a banana, being careful not to slice through to the other side and leave about 2cm unsliced at each end to create a pocket. Fill the pocket with treats your kids will love – chopped fruit, marshmallows, chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, chocolate spread, nut butter, honey or maple syrup – any will work! Try to combine something that’ll melt with something that’ll taste crunchy for the best results.
Once you’re happy with your combination, wrap the bananas up in foil and pop them on the campfire grill for a few minutes until the inside is lovely and melty. Cool down and give them to your toddlers to devour.
If you’re in a rush and want an instant banana snack for your kids then try banana chips, (great for adding to trial mix too!), or dip the end of a banana in hot chocolate powder (add crushed nuts for extra protein), or cover banana slices in nut butter.
Pre-bought camping snacks for toddlers
Sometimes, you’re going to need to give your hungry toddlers a snack within seconds, my two toddlers get very hungry, very quickly and if they don’t get something to eat, they can get very angry! The best way to avoid a hunger-fuelled tantrum is to have something instant on hand to give them.
Try the following toddler snacks for an quick hunger-fix:
- rice cakes
- rice crackers
- banana chips
- vegetable crisps
- fruits of all kinds, but chopped grapes and strawberries are particular crowd-pleasers
- healthy biscuits (low sugar, savoury crackers work well)
- cheese sticks
- fruit bars (look for ones made of 100% fruit)
- pots of cereal that can be eaten without milk such as Cheerios
- smoothie cartons
- halved olives
- ham cubes
Once you’re settled in camp, you can combine many of the above to make tasty quick lunches or packed lunches on the go. apart from the salami, cheese and ham, the rest of the snacks should last for a few days or more, provide they’re stored in airtight containers, or their original packets, away from direct sunlight.
What snacks to avoid taking camping with toddlers
Now you know what take with you, it’s a good idea to think about what to avoid too. As a general rule, avoid any snack that’s too sloppy. Mealtimes are fine for beans, dips, salsas and porridge, but if you’re out and about and want your kids to stay relatively clean, then save these foods for the dinner table.
We personally don’t buy yoghurts as they’re packed in single use plastic. Evan is allergic to dairy too so he can’t have most yoghurts anyway. If you do want to take some with you, then bear in mind that they’ll need to be stored correctly and unless your toddler has particularly good spoon-skills, they’re one of the messiest foods you can give a child.
Try to avoid any foods that go off quickly without being stored in the fridge. A bit of salami, ham and cheese is fine, but don’t make up your entire snack selection from perishable foods. Most non-perishable foods not only last much longer but are easier to store, pack, carry and eat!
What are the best store-bought camping snacks for toddlers?
The key things to look for in store-bought camping snacks are food that’s non-perishable, small enough to store easily, healthy (or healthy enough) and that your kids will enjoy eating.
Always check for salt and sugar content in kids’ snacks and avoid anything that’s too sugary, salty or high in fat.
Don’t forget to pack some drinks as well, there’ll most likely be drinkable water on-site but it’s worth taking juice bottles or cartons as well for quick drinks on the go.
Below are all good options for store-bought toddler camping snacks:
- rice crackers or cakes
- toddler biscuits
- pure fruit bars
- veggie crisps
- dried fruit
- energy balls or bars
- coconut chips
- chickpea puffs
- roasted mixed beans and peas