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Family Camping: Fun Food

Meal-by-meal tips to please the whole family

At home, mealtime rules are carved in stone: Finish your broccoli, drink your milk, easy on the snacks. In the woods, however, you have a rare chance to loosen up. Here’s how to use food as a great motivator for all ages.

Breakfast Bring an Outback Oven (backpackerspantry.com) and cook up some gooey cinnamon rolls or banana bread. Or jazz up instant-oatmeal packets with yogurt-covered raisins or scavenged blueberries.

Lunch Keep it simple with PB&J on bagels or pita, or cheese-and-salami sandwiches. Add water to dehydrated hummus mix and dip tortilla wedges. Slice up an apple or orange.

Dinner Is there a kid alive who doesn’t go nuts for a bowl of steamy mac ‘n’ cheese? Make perennial kid favorites–cheese quesadillas or pepperoni pizza–in your Outback Oven. Or try our Pizza-in-a-Bowl recipe (top right).

Dessert Make a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in the Outback Oven–the-slice-and-bake logs from the dairy aisle work great. And remember: It’s not a camping trip without s’mores (see ideas at right).

Snacks (read: bribes) can make or break your trip. Some tried-and-true favorites:

  • fruit snacks or leathers

  • gorp with a high candy-to-fruit-and-nut ratio
  • fan pops, push-up pops, ring pops, bubblegum tape, or anything novel
  • cheese sticks

Beverages Some kids get bored with water, so spike their H2O with a sweet drink mix. Bring cocoa packets (bonus points for mini-marshmallows) to serve at breakfast and dinner.

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