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Give Your Next Camping Trip a Nutrition Makeover | May 27, 2009

Memorial Day marks the beginning of camping season. For most, visions of camping include foods like hot dogs, chips, pop, and s’mores. . .m’mm my favorite. Even though our activity level usually increases on camping trips, our nutritional intake suffers. Camping really requires its own set of nutrition rules! Here are some suggestions to help you give your next camping trip a nutrition make over.
Hotdogs- choose brands with less than 150 calories, 450 mg sodium and 4 gms saturated fat.
Chips-Choose baked potato chips, pretzels and baked tortilla chips.
Dips—use light sour cream dips or salsa
Pop-Choose diet soda, flavored waters, sparkling waters, sport drinks or diet ices teas
Beer-Switch to ‘light’ to provide half the calories of regular beer
S’mores—there is no substitute for s’mores!!
Healthy camping cuisine just requires a little planning. First, unless you are able to keep foods at the correct temperature, avoid foods that need refrigeration. Don’t forget to stock up on canned, packaged, and dried foods that won’t spoil, to supplement fresh foods

Foods with No Refrigeration Required:
  • Bring plenty of fresh, canned and dried produce—carrot sticks, celery sticks, apples, melons
  • Trail mixes, granola bars, Chex mixes, nuts, cereal bars.
  • Low-fat jerky
  • Breads and crackers
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Dry cereal or oatmeal 
  • Canned tuna

Foods Requiring Refrigeration:
  • Frozen 100% juice boxes are not only nutritious, but can also act like ice blocks to keep the cooler cold
  • Frozen bags of vegetables can also be used like ice in coolers and can enhance your grilled meals.
  • Yogurt in tubes can be frozen for a great, tasty, cold treat
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese sticks, yogurt
  • Meats/fish/chicken
  • Condiments

For hiking, try some of these items that can be easily packed:
  • Fruit-the kind with hard skins work the best
  • Carrots, celery and sugar peas
  • Granola bars or breakfast bars
  • Homemade trail mix—combine nuts, cereals, raisins, craisins, chocolate chips or M&Ms, dried fruit, pretzels and anything else that sounds good into sandwich bags
  • Water, water, water
Back to the s’mores. . . How about adding a little peanut butter on top of the chocolate to boost the protein content or better yet, add some sliced bananas? I guess even s’mores can undergo a make over.