Camping is a wonderful time to explore and learn, this extends to starting down the path of cooking too.
This list of ten recipes is easy enough to be cooked and enjoyed by the whole family, yet tasty enough to spark the flame of interest in them to cook bigger and better meals in the future.
It helps with eating too, as generally, I’ve found kids are more likely to eat anything they make, and certainly stuff that wouldn’t get eaten if you served it to them.
Involving the kids in the cooking process also means that they are being entertained while helping so you are not dividing your attention between preparing food and trying the track where they are and if they are possibly up to mischief.
Table of Contents
1. Grilled Ham and Pineapple Kebab
Ham and Pineapple are two ingredients that can be eaten raw, meaning even if the ‘cooking’ side of the meal goes a little askew they can still be eaten.
The threading of the skewers includes many of the motor development skills that are gained from similar activities like making necklaces or playing with lego. So the experience is more than just about cooking.
BBQ Grilled KebabGrilled Ham and Pineapple Kebabs Recipe
2. Campfire Chocolate Bananas
Nothing draws the attention of a child like a campfire. This banana recipe can be quickly prepared, cooked, and eaten making it ideal for a shorter attention span.
It also gives some ‘choice’ on whether you want chocolate, marshmallows, or both. The cooking is also a choice as it can be eaten anywhere from raw to completely mushy which happens after a long time in the fire.
Simple cooking in the campfire also gives a practical option to teach some fire safety while interacting with it rather than just being told to keep away.
CampfireCampfire Chocolate Bananas Recipe
3. Ham and Cheese Toastie
Toasted ham and cheese sandwiches are easy to make as snacks or dinner using the old-school pie iron.
It is a popular request paired with canned tomato soup which creates a complete meal with minimal hassle for the whole family.
Supervision is required, depending on the age of the child, to make sure there are no accidental burns getting them out of the pie iron.
Pie IronHam and Cheese Toastie Recipe
4. Chocolate and Cheery Dump Cake
Dump cakes are very popular among American boy and girl scouts as they learn the basic cooking techniques involved in using a dump oven.
Having cooked many of these, for many children, the chocolate cherry combination is by far the most popular. As the name suggests the ingredients are literally dumped into the Dutch oven, so not much skill is needed.
Using a paper liner helps with clean-up. Also, if you have a gluten-free person within the group swap out for a gluten-free packet mix so all can enjoy.
Dutch Oven DessertChocolate and Cherry Dump Cake Recipe
5. Vanilla Cookie S’more
Smore’s are always a favorite around the campfire but kids can be easily bored so why not try different combinations of cookies, chocolate, and marshmallows.
Chocolate chip cookies also are a different idea, see Bush Cooking’s full range of s’mores here.
CampfireVanilla Cookie Smore Recipe
6. Corned Beef Stew
Perfect for a family meal, each person can take an element from peeling the vegetables to slicing them. Carrots were a common vegetable we used to teach/learn basic knife skills.
For some reason the method of opening the corned beef can is popular, so make sure everyone is watching otherwise there could be tears. If letting them give it a go make sure you have a pair of pliers around in case the opener breaks (yes, learned this one from experience).
Dutch Oven One Pot MealsCorned Beef Stew Recipe
7. Beef in a Biscuit
Very similar to ‘pigs in a blanket’ this version uses beef rather than pork sausages in a biscuit dough rather than puff pastry. My kids fixed this name, apparently getting things right is important.
Teaching using coals rather than a flame is taught quickly with this recipe. Even if you don’t verbally teach it, a few black outsides and raw dough on the inside will soon work it out.
Cooked on a marshmallow stick it is every person for themself.
CampfireBeef in a Biscuit Recipe
8. Chocolate Orange Cake
Memories of having to make these for lunch on hikes as a girl still fill me with thoughts of the craziness of the adult leaders. Why would you light a fire at lunch just to put it out and continue on your way? And no, they never actually worked out, yum raw cake dough. (Yep – I was that child)
This modernized recipe I created is far more successful and suggests making it at a campsite for a dessert when you have established fire coals and time to let it cook through.
CampfireChocolate Orange Cake Recipe
9. Dutch Oven Soda Bread
Bread is a tricky thing to make but when you go old-school back to soda versions rather than yeast or sourdough it becomes so easy a child can make it.
The simple needing process is just like using playdough so can easily be delegated.
The cooking using charcoal is set by counting the briquettes above and below, counting practice for a real-life need? sounds like an educational moment to me.
Dutch Oven BakingDutch Oven Soda Bread Recipe
10. Campfire Pizza Rolls
Every kid loves pizza, so this is an easy-to-make camping version in a roll then cooked in the campfire’s coals.
The photo is of a ‘supreme’ pizza but by working together to lay out a variety of ingredients everyone can build and cook a pizza that they like. Make sure all the ingredients can be eaten raw and it takes the pressure off the cooking process.
Don’t stress about putting the roll in the coals, it actually looks ok. It will burn if you put the pizza roll over a hot flame.
CampfireCampfire Pizza Rolls Recipe