35 Delicious Family Camping Dinners Kids Will Love

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The absolute best way to end off a day of camping is with a delicious dinner.  I’m wholeheartedly convinced that everything tastes better when cooked outside, so I’m a huge fan of making your family camping dinner really amazing.

campfire dinner with kids

At the same time, I’m a minimalist at heart, so the less work I have to do, the happier I am.  I’m all about making camping dinners for kids that don’t take a lot of kitchen supplies, or extra work on my end.  I’m also a HUGE FAN of camping meals that have a simple cleanup, so I can just chill and relax by the fire after dinner.  

While it may be tempting to just bring a package of hot dogs and buns and call it good, we’re going to show you some kid-friendly camping dinners that actually taste AMAZING, so that you’ll enjoy dinner while you’re camping too.

camping dinner ideas

Simplifying Family Camping Meals

Like I already mentioned, we like to keep things as simple as possible when we’re camping with kids.  The best way to do that is to do as much of the prep work at home as you can.  Here are some easy things that you can do to simplify your family camping dinners:

boys eating outside while camping
  • Cut up veggies at home.  I always chop up any veggies that I need in advance and just store them in a Ziploc in the cooler.  As an added bonus, they take up much less cooler space after being chopped!
  • Pre Cook Meats!  Whenever possible, I precook our meats before we leave home.  Not only does that help us get dinner ready faster, but it also means that I don’t have to worry about keeping our meat cold enough in the cooler to stay fresh.  The big exception to that is if we’re planning on grilling.  
  • Freeze meals at home.  To help your food stay as fresh as possible, you can always cook your meal at home and then freeze everything to bring with you.  This is a great way to keep food cool for several days and cut down on your prep work.  Think of it like prepping freezer meals, and then plan on cooking it in a dutch oven over coals, or in a skillet over your camp stove.  

Plan Camping Meals Based on Expiration Date

When you’re out camping, make a plan for when you’re going to eat your meals and go from there.  Plan on eating foods that will expire faster at the beginning of your camping trip.  If I’m planning on grilling steaks over the fire, we’ll eat those the first night, since they won’t last as long.  At the end of the trip, we’ll be eating pasta or quesadillas, since the ingredients can last so much longer without spoiling.  

Delicious camping dinners

Plan Camping Meals Around Your Activities

Once you have your camping meals sorted by expiration date, it’s time to factor in what other activities you plan to do while you’re camping with kids.  If you want to do a dutch oven chicken, know that it will take longer, so you should cook that on a day where you’ll be back at camp by mid-afternoon to start prepping your coals.  If you’re heading out for an early morning hike, it’s a day that’s much more suited to bagels on the go, than pancakes and bacon.  

Bring Along A Few Emergency Camping Meals

When camping with kids, we always advise parents to plan for the unexpected.  This applies to meals just as it does the weather.  We always take a few “emergency meals” on our camping trips with us, so that we’re prepared for the unknown.  Maybe we had a cooler malfunction (ahem, a kid leaving it open), a sudden desire to stay an extra night, or even a toddler tantrum at the meal that I prepared (yes, that’s an absolute emergency to save mom and dads sanity).

There are a few things that we always keep in our camp kitchen box for times like this, such as dehydrated soup mixes, and instant oatmeal.  When we’re packing our food, we always bring some extra bread and peanut butter for sandwiches, as well as a few extra boxes of granola bars for quick snacks too.

What Camping Dinners Are The Easiest To Make?

The easiest camping dinner is obviously hot dogs on a skewer, but there are plenty of other quick and simple camping dinners that actually taste great.  Here are some of our favorites:

Skewer Dinners Cooked Over A Campfire

Anything that you can roast on a stick falls into this category.  You can roast bread dough, for something simple, or if you want something with more flavor, opt for kabobs.  To keep things really simple, you can also opt for precooked chicken strips and let everyone warm theirs up over the campfire (this meal is sure to be a huge hit for the kids with the right dipping sauce). We’re also sharing some of our favorite camping recipes that can be cooked over a campfire below!

cooking over a campfire with kids

Foil Meals for Camping

Double wrap your dinner in foil and place it on the coals of the campfire.  The sky is the limit here, but we often opt for individual foil dinners filled with meat, veggies, and seasonings.  We’re sharing some of our favorite family-friendly foil dinners for camping below. 

Camping Dinners To Cook Over The Campfire

All of our favorite camping dinners that you can cook over the campfire in one place. While all of these dinners are amazing when cooked over the campfire, most of them can also be cooked on the stove or grill as well!

Foil Packet Camping Dinner Ideas

Foil packet dinners are one of the easiest foods that you can make on your family camping trip. Here are some of our favorite foil packet recipes for camping.

More Camping Dinner Recipe Ideas

The options are practically endless for delicious family friendly camping meals. Here are a few more of our favorite camping dinners kids will love.