Do we need to eat healthy food camping?
One of the challenges I have camping is that I suffer from discomfort when I go extended periods without eating vegetables.
Despite knowing that people can go months without eating vegetables regularly while remaining functionally healthy, I still have a hard time.
It is like a psychological atherosclerosis. And while I enjoy the process of roasting hot dogs, I have difficulty eating them without caramelized onions, hot peppers and lots of condiments.
You can imagine finding easy, non-perishable, camping food that will please both myself and my children is difficult (and yes, I realize that I am just as much of the problem as my children!)
So, acknowledging that it is perfectly okay to have a weekend of unbalanced meals, here are some ideas to improving nutritional quality or flavour of your camping meals:
• Meat, cheese, yogurt or other foods that need to be kept cold can be frozen beforehand to extend their shelf life.
For example, packaged lunch meats, sausages, or yogurt. They can then be kept in a cooler to thaw out.
• Wash, cut and pre-pack fruits and veggies in ziplock bags. This provides a ready-made alternative to the bag of chips.
• Beaten eggs can be frozen in a ziplock bag and taken to make scrambled eggs or an omelette. Hard boiled eggs can also be frozen for a meal or snack.
• Individual oatmeal packets can be an easy breakfast. Adding nuts, seeds, dried fruit or skim milk powder can make them more satiating.
• A quick-cooking alternative to minute rice could be whole wheat couscous or bulgur.
• Try pre-made green curry paste, with a can of coconut milk and whatever veggies and protein you have on hand. Tofu or chickpeas are a more food safe protein choice for longer trips.
• Bring a bottle of your favourite hot sauce to add to canned chilis, pork and beans or your child’s favourite box of mac and cheese.
-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.