Hy-vee at Midday: Summer Camping Food

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By Ashley Hinson

Summertime is coming! Memorial weekend is just the beginning! Think hikes, picnics or even camping trips. Susannah LeVon, RD, LD, MPH, Wilson Ave Hy-Vee registered dietitian will be giving tips and sharing ideas on supermarket foods you can take for meals when you take day trips or camping trips over the summer.

Some things to keep in mind as you scan the shelves looking for a portable meal:

1) Try to incorporate all the food groups to maintain your health. Find some proteins (to repair “overused” muscles), carbohydrates (to fuel your activity), calcium foods (to keep those bones strong) and fruits & vegetable (to keep your body running at its best!). If your trip involves more physical activity than usual, you might actually need more calories and more sodium than you eat normally.

2) Look for non-perishable forms of food that won’t spoil or give you food-borne illnesses. Packages that state “refrigerate after opening” should be used up in one meal. Do not save leftovers unless you have a refrigerator!

3) Look for convenient and easy-to prepare forms of food so you don’t spend the whole trip preparing meals, when you would rather go for a hike, paddle, swim or boat ride until the sun sets!



Some supermarket items I have used on successful family trips are:

Carbs:
Couscous – cooks very quickly
Instant brown rice - cooks very quickly
Thai Kitchen Stir Fry Rice Noodles
Instant oatmeal packets or quick oats
Hy-Vee Multigrain tortillas – don’t need refrigeration
Pancake Mixes that only need water added
Kashi Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars
Crunchmaster Multi-seed crackers
“Food Should Taste Good” Multigrain or Blue Corn Chips


Protein:
Nuts, seeds and pistachios
Hummus – see jars or individual packets in the HealthMarket
Almond Butter or Peanut Butter
Canned chili – 98% Fat-free turkey with beans
Vegetarian refried beans
Summer sausage, salami or pepperoni that state “refrigerate AFTER opening”
Pouches of tuna, chicken or salmon
Beef jerky


Calcium sources:
Instant dry, powdered milk
Boxes of soy or almond milk (refrigerate after opening)
Pudding snack packs – ones that don’t need refrigeration
Laughing Cow Cheese

Fruits and Vegetables:
Dried fruits and vegetables
Salsa
Spaghetti sauce
Applesauce
Canned corn, peas, spinach, zucchini, mixed greens
Pickles
Fruit spread (fruit is first ingredient, not some form of sweetener)
Canned pumpkin – don’t forget the can opener!)
Fresh apples, oranges and melons travel pretty well and are a great source of fluid as well!

So what kind of meals can you make with these?

Breakfast:
Oatmeal (with milk powder added before the hot water) PLUS dried fruit of choice
Pumpkin pancakes with applesauce

Lunches:
Hummus on crackers or fresh celery serve with a Kashi granola bar and fresh fruit
Almond butter and fruit spread on a wholegrain tortilla
Mix tuna or chicken salad with mayonnaise (small, new jar that you will discard after using this meal) and chopped pickles on tortillas or fresh rolls

Dinners:
Spaghetti (I use Angel Hair as it cooks faster) with jar of spaghetti sauce (when heat spaghetti sauce add canned spinach or greens and pieces of summer sausage)

Heat canned chili (or refried beans) with salsa and canned corn and serve over instant brown rice or blue corn chips (“walking taco”)

Prepare Thai stir fry noodles and add chicken (from pouch) and peanut sauce (jar from Asian section) serve with applesauce or fresh fruit
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