Camping with a baby is a lot of fun! But you might be wondering, how do you feed a baby while camping? In this post were going to explore how to pack for camping with a baby as well as simple meal ideas and tips!
We are avid campers – spending almost every weekend throughout the summer and multi day trips throughout the year is our idea of a perfect summer vacation.
Camping with kids and babies comes with many challenges, if you’re new to camping with kids you may be feeling overwhelmed. Those feelings are valid!
Baby Led Weaning While Camping: How to?
Before you begin to think about what you need to feed a baby when camping think about where you are going:
· Will you have access to a fridge?
· Do you plan on eating meals at restaurants?
· How long will you be there?
· Will you be grocery shopping every few days?
· How long can your cooler store ice?
We took a 17 day camping/road trip this summer, during this time we tent camped and were moving camps every few nights! That meant we were living out of our van and our cooler and resupplying at small groceries stores along the way - often the selection wasn't the best and we didn't have the time or resources to prepare special meals for my then 8-month-old to eat.
We learnt a lot on this trip and have adapted through trial and error on many trips since to find the best foods, resupply tricks and foods to avoid while camping with a baby.
Here's what worked for us:
1. Plan meals you know your baby or toddler likes.
Camping in a new environment isn’t the best time to introduce entirely new foods and meals. Sticking to a few favourite meals you eat regularly at home is a great way to ensure they are getting adequate nutrition!
Meals that don’t require any extra preparation will save your sanity! Preparing as many meals as we can at home prior to our trip that we can simply reheat gives time to play and provide care babies and toddlers need on camping trips.
What meals can I feed a baby while camping?
5 of our favourite premade camp suppers are:
2. Beef and Broccoli
3. Dutch oven Mac and Cheese
4. Veggie bowls on quinoa
5. Black bean fajitas
We prep these meals at home by cutting all necessary vegetables, herbs and cheese, proportioning necessary spices and having ready-to-go snacks.
Cooking meals such as chilli and beef and broccoli to freeze and utilize as ice packs in our cooler provide are a great camping with a baby hack!
The possibilities are virtually endless here on what you could make ahead of time, as long as it freezes well its safe to bring along on your next trip to save time! Get creative and trial a few of your family favourite home recipes in the freezer then reheat on the stove top at home to see what works and what doesn’t.
2. Don’t be afraid to meal prep your snacks in advance!
My kids love fresh fruit and berries – berries don’t keep long in a cooler but rinsing them at home and dividing them into reusable containers with a paper towel at the bottom will extend your fruit.
Substituting berries for stone fruits like peaches, avocados and other longer lasting fruit like kiwi, grapes, bananas and cherries!
Cheerios we’re an easy addition that don’t make much mess! Hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese to go cups and mini yogurts are awesome too!
10 of our Favourite Baby Led Weaning Snacks While Camping:
1. Hard Boiled Eggs
2. Fruit/Veggie Squeeze Pouches
3. Made Good Granola Bars
5. Cheese Sticks
6. Easy to mash foods: bananas, avocados, toast with peanut butter
7. Grated Carrot
8. Cottage Cheese to-go cups
9. Apple Chips
3. Consider Added Nutrition.
Pack something like hemp hearts or ground flax in a small container to roll slippery food in to make it easier for them to hold onto! Hemp hearts, chia seeds or ground flax are an excellent way to add nutrition to your babies meals without compromising taste.
Spending your days and nights outside draws extra energy. Be sure to offer water as needed and plenty of snacks to keep baby happy, hydrated and healthy!
*If your baby is breastfeeding assure you drink an extra water as needed to keep milk supply up. If formula feeding be sure to pack clean water and formula for bottle preparation. *
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Remember that food before one is just for fun and toddlers go through phases of minimal consumption vs consuming their entire body weight in food in a single day.
Continue to offer food to your kids at regular meals times, you may find they are more interested in trying what you are eating or simply playing with their food. Keep up with hydration and remember that babies under one will receive all the nutrients they need from your milk or formula.
Camping with a Baby Hacks – Baby led weaning while Camping
· Make sure you have somewhere safe for baby to sit! This travel highchair from @orzbow attaches right onto the picnic table, is super secure and gives Walter a safe place to sit to explore his food!
· Pack more clothing than you think you need: babies get messy when they eat! Add camping and it doubles the mess. Pack 3-4 extra outfits than you think you need to keep up with laundry.
· Offer dry-er snacks. To cut down on mess and changing your baby or toddler as often try to offer snacks that make little to no mess. Cherrios, cheese sticks, veggie straws, granola bars are all great options to keep mess down.
Consider Build a Camping Pantry – Including Gear for Camping with a Baby
We like to bring food for 5 days and then go to the store for the next 5 days however all the prep and planning work is done beforehand! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry its not as daunting as it sounds! Take a deep breath and remember I have been there too, you’ve got this.
We have a bin filled with supplies for our camp kitchen we have accumulated after many years of trial and error. There are a few essentials we can’t go without listed below:
· Camp Stove + Propane
· Cookware + Dishware
· Cast Iron Dutch Oven
· Dish soap
· Dish cloths + drying towel
· Silicone mat or oven mitt
· Baby Camp Highchair
· Baby plate that sticks to the table
· Baby spoon
Some food we always bring camping no matter what:
· Marshmallows… honestly an essential ;)
· Salt and Pepper
· Ketchup, mustard and relish
· A loaf of bread
· Peanut Butter and Jam
· Ramen Noodles
· Canned Chilli
· Lots of snacks!
To Finalize: Baby Led Weaning While Camping
Remember that camping and parenting is all a mix of trial and error. Do your research and take the points that resonate with you the most. Camping with a baby comes with its own set of challenges but meals don’t have to be one of those challenges!
Get outside and discover something new! You might just fall in love with camping like we did!
As always thank you for reading and let me know if you have any questions.