OUTDOOR COOKING FOR KIDS

by / Saturday, 07 September 2013 / Published in Blog

Outdoor cooking is a fun event for people of all ages. But, when you get the kids involved, it can tend to be an exciting activity which will keep them busy and teach them responsibility. The fresh air is advantageous for all, and can prove to be a productive activity to keep children busy, expose them to fresh air, and teach them some responsibility. While it’s essential that an adult supervise all cooking activities the children participate in, you should allow the kids to engage as much as possible in the total experience.

Kids enjoy outdoor cooking for the fun of it all and don’t require fancy recipes in order to enjoy themselves. It’s ok to stick with the basics, but a little tweaking won’t hurt anyone. Instead of sugary cereals for breakfast, try allowing them to create their own. Trail mix and granola is super easy to accomplish with a little imagination. Dried fruits, toasted coconut, cashews, almonds or peanuts could be incorporated with soy milk, or a non-fat yogurt. Or, if eggs happen to be a favorite, crack them open in muffin pans with low-fat cheese and lean ham and place then over the fire for a bit to have a more hearty meal. The whole point is to take pleasure in family time with each other, and keep the stored energy for activities such as climbing, hiking or swimming. No sugar rushes are allowed here, or needed.

 And, as far as desserts, why not skip lunch, and offer them a “sweet” midday treat? Apple pie on a stick could easily be made by skewering an apple over the fire until the peel tends to get soft, then roll it in cinnamon and a sugar substitute. Voila! They will love being part of taking the chance as chef when it comes to flawless snacks like this. Even a little campfire popcorn could boost their energy and provide some fiber into their diet by simply adding a drop of olive oil and popcorn kernels into the center of some tin foil. Just tie a small string around the package attached to a long stock, and shake over a few hot coals. Instead of butter and salt, season with parmesan cheese, nutmeg, or a different spices to awaken their palette

Dinner could include numerous healthy opportunities for the kids, too. Tin foil meals are easy, and the children love getting involved in the preparation because they get to use their creative thought and artistry. Chicken, beef or fish could be sliced or diced, and kept chilled beforehand, and the rest is just adding their most wanted vegetable and/or flavor. Meat always stays on the bottom of the tin foil packet, top with seasoning, and simply add potatoes, carrots, string beans, or just about anything else you can fit into a sealed Ziploc bag prior to your arrival into the great outdoors.

 What’s most exciting, is that the possibilities are endless. Kids love being involved and get a kick out of being in charge of what they want to nibble on. Whether it be a snack, or a full-blown meal, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have their say as to what they consume. Just remember, always keep safety first.  Keep them away from the heat of the fire, and assist them if they must use sharp knives to prepare any food. It’s all about fun and offering healthy substitutes which they can relish.

Image credit: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo

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