We just got back from our annual camping trip with friends. We had a lot of fun swimming in the lake, playing with frogs, and watching the annual Perseids meteor shower. Our family has always loved going camping. Both of my kids always slept better as babies in the great outdoors then they did at home. Two years ago, when Jaron started on the diet, we had to make a decision to continue camping or wait until (hopefully) he would come off the diet. The diet is time consuming and you need just the right ingredients to make it work, so taking it to the great outdoors seemed like a daunting task. Jaron loves to camp so we decided it give it a try.
It turned out that most of the hard work was done before and things went very smoothly once we were in the great outdoors. Here are the steps we take when going camping.
- Choose a campsite that fits the needs of your keto-kid: If your kid is still having seizures, pick a campground that is flat and doesn’t have a lot of uneven ground so if he falls there aren’t a lot of obstacles for him to hit. You also want to consider what kind of amenities your campground has. You can go rustic with just a water pump or a place with showers. We have camped at both and I must say it is easier to have a place with running water for washing keto dishes. If you have a camper (we tent camp) this may not be an issue.
- Choose your menu: We choose meals that can be put on a plate with minimal to no weighing involved. Meals we have taken camping are:
- -Muffins (Christy has several good ones to choose from on this website)
- -Macadamia nut and cheese crackers (found in The Keto Cookbook by Dawn Marie Martenz)
- -Pizza (also found in The Keto Cookbook)
- -Hot dogs, fruit, macadamia nuts, and ranch/mayo dipping sauce
- Prep your food before you leave: If you have a camper you may not need to do this because you have a sink and counter space to make the meals. We tent camp and pulling out all ingredients and utensils to make a meal on an uneven picnic table (if there is even a picnic table) and then having to wash all the dishes seems exhausting and a waste of a good camping trip. So I choose to make my meals ahead of time. I spend a long 4-6 hours before we go camping putting together all the
meals. That’s enough meals to last us 4-5 days. The prep time done before we leave makes feeding a keto kid in the woods stress free. When it is time to eat we just pull out a pre-made meal and lay it on a plate. The only weighing we do while camping is the heavy whipping cream Jaron needs at breakfast and before bed to take his supplements.
- Experience Tip 1: Make the entire meal in one plastic container. Use silicone cups to separate the wet ingredients. Then make sure you lay them flat in your cooler so they don’t spill onto the dry food.
- Tip 2: We put our plastic containers in zip lock bags so they were extra protected from the melting ice water that could leak in and ruin a meal. This happened once. It made an unhappy keto kid.
- Tip 3: Make an extra day’s worth of food so you can focus on cleaning up the camping gear and getting back into the swing of things before having to keto cook again.
If you are considering taking your kid camping, I hope this post helps you make that dream possible.