Ultralight meals for Kids
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Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Ultralight meals for Kids on 03/06/2013 14:48:30 MST Print View

Ok taking kids on first extended trip 4-5 days and this has stretched my dining choices since we typically do overnighters.

Please share Ideas for snacks and meals for kids ages 4-11.

Plan on cold or hot breakfasts
Cold lunch with short break or eating on the move
Hot meal in the evening


Thanks for the help!

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Kids' Meals on 03/06/2013 18:52:05 MST Print View

Ha, seeing as I take my FOUR kids out several times a year, I know a little bit on this subject.

"Plan on cold or hot breakfasts
Cold lunch with short break or eating on the move
Hot meal in the evening"

MY kids are happy with flavored oatmeal and PackIt Gourmet fruit smoothies for breakfast.

For cold lunches, candy bars are popular, and they like various wraps too.

For a hot dinner, that's where their tastes diverge. Mac 'n' Cheese is a universal winner, but you can't do that for 4-5 nights in a row. Other pasta dishes go over well....PackIt Gourmet and Hawk Vittles have some that they really like. We usually pack in some hot dogs for the first night too. Kids generally favor simpler dishes and flavors than us adults.

I have found that my kids aren't big on only having water to drink, so we bring lots of G packets, etc. My 16 year-old is starting to express interest in the contents of my flask too :o

Whatever you choose, make sure that you MAKE them eat regularly. My kids often just don't feel hungry, and they'll bonk if they don't eat.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Feeding youngun's on 03/06/2013 20:09:08 MST Print View

Thanks for the insight. I have looked a t Hawk's so seems like I'm on the right track.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Don't forget Desserts! on 03/07/2013 09:44:11 MST Print View

I forgot to mention that kids LOVE desserts, whether you bring the fixin' for smores, just some marshmellows to roast, or something fancier like an instant pudding or cheesecake mix.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Kids' Meals on 03/07/2013 10:29:03 MST Print View

normal dry cereal in ziplocks with presmeasured powdered milk/nido

peanut butter or Nutella on Sandwich Thins, cheese/pepperoni, fig newtons, pringles, pb filled prezels, trail mix, nutty bars. maybe toss some apples in for a fresh snack.

pasta sides are my go to dinners and can probably find 3-4 different kinds your kids like. I like to add French fried onions in afterword for flavor and crunch.

i'm also not a fan of plain water.. MIO, gatorade packets, crystal light etc 1 packet per liter is enough for me (not sure how people do 1 packet for 16oz)

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Also on 03/07/2013 10:42:09 MST Print View

Agreed with all advice mentioned. Some other things to consider, "Power pills" (skittles) for extra miles... I dole them out on breaks. Freeze dried ice cream, pop tarts, beef jerky, hot chocolate, oatmeal, salami and hard cheese, bagels with minimus pb and j packets, also... my kids adore the shelf stored dehydrated refried beans. Take some taco bell packets, tortillas, refried beans (rehydrate fast!) and a cheddar baby bell cheese in the wax wrapper and you're in for some stargazing music! lol. Seriously can't discount the value of those. Plus dehydrated strawberries with a touch of sugar on them....... And I do a mean pulled pork from the crock pot to the dehydrator which comes back fantastic for tortillas...............

Hope this helps! It's so much better viewing the fun through their eyes........ And we also love the crystal light, or gatorade supplements.

Ed

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Fruit Loops on 03/07/2013 12:40:37 MST Print View

I bring fruit loops as a terrbibly unhealthy breakfast for kids with powdered milk. We dont have any of the sugared cereal at home so it becomes a camping treat. They are bulky but reasonably good for Calories per ounce so if you have the space whatever sugared cereal they like is an option for breakfast.

For snacks my kids don't like nuts that make up most of my snacks but love dried fruit. Suppers my kids are good and will eat most pasta and rice dishes. So using various toppings and sauces works pretty good.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Thanks! on 03/07/2013 14:48:43 MST Print View

All great ideas thanks for all of the feedback and I will definitely try out these suggestions.
I was curious about the dehydrated pulled pork? Just cook up in crock pot then move to dehydrator? Sounds to easy…
Instructions?

Definitely going to use some"power pills" with my four year old! Heck with four kids, my wife and my mom and dad in tow I will need some!

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
lol on 03/07/2013 20:24:51 MST Print View

I know the feeling. I have 7 and we're quite a scene moving along the trail. Its amazing how the 4 year,old can perceive a skittle as something magical. I do croc pot to cooling to dehydrator sheet and it works fab. Takes about 20 in a cozy to rehydrte. Great in tortillas.

Edited by YetiEddie on 03/08/2013 20:29:55 MST.

Dylan Fish
(Dylanthropist)

Locale: Moon
woow. on 03/13/2013 01:11:09 MDT Print View

Such healthy "meals" guys....

http://www.transparencynow.com/mental-illness-overview.htm

Think before you feed. Certain foods may make your kids smile, and keep hiking, but they could have adverse effects on their future mental health. I would know, I grew up on those foods, and im reaping the consequences now.


http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/quick_healthy_meals_with_an_ultralight_cook_kit#.UUAk7xyjSME

http://kitchen-rag.blogspot.com/2012/09/healthy-backpacking-food-photo-essay.html

http://nature.thecompass.com/gmcburlington/news/0501food.html

Edited by Dylanthropist on 03/13/2013 01:21:39 MDT.

Green Thumb
(greenthumb)
Not necessarily to start an argument, but... on 03/13/2013 07:19:04 MDT Print View

I grew up on these foods and am not obese, maladjusted, or mentally ill.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Not necessarily to start an argument, but... on 03/13/2013 08:15:39 MDT Print View

I agree.. i didn't see any suggestion that were that out of line. it's not like anyone was saying to feed them a cup of sugar mixed with butter.. for 4 days backpacking and burning a crapload of calories not a whole lot is going to affect a kid with a normal metabolism.

but do stay on your high horse where we can't smell you. thnx

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Not necessarily to start an argument, but... on 03/13/2013 09:18:05 MDT Print View

I go by the 90/10 argument. I feed my kids a healthy diet at home (it is a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes), while hiking they can have some junk food. Granted, their junk food isn't the same as most kids (no dyes) but ya know...a little is fine.
It is different if one lives on a cheap cold cereal-McNugget-candy diet 24/7, I can bet most of the kids of parents here don't do that though :-)

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Taking it back on 03/13/2013 11:34:46 MDT Print View

I'm sorry the thread got nasty however just like life our diets are about good choices.
My "menu" for the kids is based on good choices. Oatmeal nuts and fruit with other special items that they would not have at home such as a
Snack size Snicker bar and a Honey Stinger waffle. Since this is my first big trip with all of my kids I'm not taking broccoli or lentils or beans.
Thru the summer with more mileage and more experience I'm sure our trail diet will improve.

I know some of you have kids,some as many as 7, but for those who don't you haven't lived until you try hiking with kids!
It's a major under taking just getting ready and if that Snicker bar makes it a special hike then it goes in the bag!

I'm sure they will be fine.

I hike with my kids I pray with my kids and I will ask God to change that snickers into Brussel sprouts. Now every one is happy!

Thanks for all the help and or critism seems that's what this site is all about! Growing your skills.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Taking it back on 03/13/2013 16:05:57 MDT Print View

Lol.....yeah, I'd love to hear out of my 3 kids:
"Gee, Mom! Do we have any more roasted cauliflower??" Said no kid ever.....in my house ;-)

Although I have to watch my toddler, he will eat fruit till he gets sick - and he loves the squeeze pouches of it.

Dylan Fish
(Dylanthropist)

Locale: Moon
:p on 03/13/2013 19:46:00 MDT Print View

Real foods make strong people. Of course yall know that, and I know that its hard to feed em healthy things all the time. But some "foods" that were mentioned made me cringe. I just feel that a healthy diet is extra important when kids are young and active on a backpacking trip.

Didnt mean to offend anyone, just giving my opinion:)

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: :p on 03/14/2013 08:44:53 MDT Print View

could you give an example of what made you cringe? just trying to see what freaked you out for a 4 day trip with plenty of calories being used.

you'd probably fall over if you knew what i ate on my Long Trail thru hike...

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: :p on 03/14/2013 11:01:28 MDT Print View

This is apropos as I'm gathering supplies for an 8-day hike with my 14yo in two weeks. Yesterday, I went shopping specifically for the CANDY supplies... very important! :D We always take these particular gummy bears that I can only find in one store here in Ann Arbor, plus *dark* chocolate covered raisins and Scharffen Berger dark chocolate bars.

When my son was younger, he pretty much lived on peanut butter, Cheerios, jerky and MH Lasagna on the trail. We had "difficulties" with powdered milk, so breakfast was clumps of Cheerios glued together with peanut butter. Kids don't seem to need variety as much as adults; mine was perfectly happy eating the same breakfast, lunch and dinner 3-4 days in a row if it was something he liked.

The dinners that have worked the best for him usually involve some sort of noodles/pasta and that's still the case. We also gravitate toward soupy/wet meals; I think we like the extra hydration. Our favorites are pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup with rice noodles and beef chunks), chicken soup/stew with big egg noodles and vegies, udon (thick Japanese noodles in soup) and ramen. He also likes Italian-style pasta dishes, like the lasagne, spaghetti with sausage. I'm going to try to put together a carbonara/alredo pasta this year with shelf-stable bacon, chicken and asparagus. For ingredients, I dehydrate my own sauces, noodles, rice, vegetables, herbs and purchase freeze dried meats and some tricky ingredients like diced potatoes.

For lunch, he still likes jerky, peanut butter. I dehydrate crunchy salads and also take tuna fish, cheese. This year, because my son has become a non-stop eating machine, we're going to take a few extra quick dinners that he can have for lunch.

Breakfasts will be oatmeal and rice, rotating through maybe 3 different dishes. We also always take powdered Tang. It's the only time we drink Tang but, for some reason, we love it for breakfast on the trail.

Neither of us are big snackers. We always end up hiking out with leftover trailmix and such. We stopped taking granola bars or Cliff bars because we never ate them. I think we both think they're all too dry. We drink straight water while hiking but for "happy hour", he likes lemonade.

Up until this year, my son's food averaged 1LB per day packed. This year, I've allocated 1.5LB per day.