When you’re heading for a short overnight trip, it can be tempting to load up your pack with fresh food, and why not? It’s only for one night, and the extra weight is easily manageable. It all comes a little undone, though, when you factor in kids. Kids are generally not able to carry as much like you; I mean, that’s obvious, right! So here is a few ideas of food options that you can take and options that we have used on previous trips that my six-year-old and I have been on together. It will be a bit of a read, but hopefully, you find some great ideas for your trips!
Kids need snacks, and they work as a bribe; they can also help prevent a meltdown when the going gets a little more challenging for the little legs or when the weather gets a little tricky. One of the best things about snacks is that they are easy to carry and dish out; there are also many options depending on what flavours your little adventurer likes. A personal favourite on our trips are the Jelly Belly Sport Beans; these are packed full of near-instant energy and weigh next to nothing. You can add a little game into it with the colours of the beans themselves, green for “GO”, yellow for “LIGHTENING”, and red for “SUPER SPEED.” You’ll also want to think about some longer-lasting energy in the snacks; our go-to has been the Crafty Weka Bars, the have four unique flavours that kids love! Then there are the Clif Bar Chocolate & Peanut Butter Filled Bars, kids love the fact that these have Peanut Butter in them, and you will love that they are filled with energy and protein for them.
Lunches are pretty straightforward, we usually have a couple of extra snacks, and since we are only at the stage of shorter walks, this is great. But for the longer trips, wraps are a great choice. You can get wraps from the supermarket, lather them in Peanut Butter, and then roll them up for an energy-dense and easy-to-carry lunch. Of course, if peanut butter is not your thing, then any spread will work. If you like Marmite, then there is the thought that eating Marmite can repel mosquitoes; it’s worth a shot, if nothing else. The Back Country Cuisine Fruit Salad Fusion is a great way to add some fruit into lunchtime time also.
Now Dinner is the next meal to worry about, and this is where there might be the biggest challenge in getting food into your kids. Often the meals you buy are flavours that might be a bit strong for kids. Lyndal’s Ladle Nourishing Noodles are a great way to have a tasty and simple dinner. They are not your standard 2-minute noodles, and they have a load of goodness in them. We have found, though, that a dinner treat is a winner. After all, they have worked hard, so why not go with a reward. The favourites have been the Back Country Cuisine Chocolate Brownie Pudding and Apple Pie. Both were gone very fast! If you feel a little more adventurous, we will have a recipe coming soon using a few different ingredients. We will have Back Country Cuisine Instant Rice, Canterbury Biltong’s Original Biltong and Billy’s Cauliflower and Carrot’s, with a couple of pantry staples from home.
The last meal to think about is breakfast. This meal is an easy one, almost all kids love porridge, so the Absolute Wilderness Banana Porridge is a sure-fire winner. Another option is the Absolute Wilderness Boysenberries & Yoghurt or the Radix Nutrition Mixed Berry Breakfast. To save some money, it’s easy to use the instant porridge sachets from the supermarket. Just use water instead of milk, it may not be as creamy, but it sure is easy.
Finally, no matter what food you decide to take, you will be all good as long as your kids like it. Kids love food, and when you are out tramping, it’s a great time to give them some goodies as a treat for their hard work. Got any other food suggestions? Let us know!