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Old 03-02-2016, 11:07 PM   #1
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Smile Moms with Tots-Meal Planning-Need some help!

We're going on an extended trip with little ones. Need some help or direction with meal planning, please. I could not find a whole lot of information out there (Pinterest, Google search, etc) with much info.

Those of you that meal plan for long trips, could you please just point me in the right direction? I can't even figure out how to get started. I appreciate your help and am eternally grateful for information you can provide.

TIA!


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Old 03-02-2016, 11:59 PM   #2
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What do you eat at home? That is what we eat on the road. Pack for a few days, then shop for more food as needed...
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
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You didn't say ages. I started when dd was 3 1/2 yrs old. She is now 8. Some will prepare dishes in advance and reheat them when travelling. You can do hot dogs, grilled cheese, Mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, I've been known to do eggs, pancakes or French toast for dinner. Cereal, bagels etc are easy for breakfast. Usually pbj or lunchmeat sandwiches for lunch. I keep snacks, pretzels, gold fish, yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit etc. You can really cook what you want as long as you plan enough in advance to have the proper spices, ingredients etc. On longer trips we will eat some meals out too.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:51 AM   #4
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My daughters, now 11 and 8; soon to be 12 and 9; started camping when they were both 4 months old. We do extended trips - 3 to 4 months at a time, so we've been there.

We eat the same as if we were at home - not many meals out, lots of crockpot meals, that type of thing.

That being said, we also cook a lot outside and over the fire. We have a couple of pie irons and I will prepare the basics at home and put them in the freezer in baggies. Two pieces of bread, sloppy joe filling, a little cheese and then hold over the fire until toasted, warm and bubbly. We do pizza fillings inside the bread; canned biscuits with jelly. Make sure an adult holds the pie irons over the fire, but the toddler can help assemble their own food.

There are lots of ideas on pinterest. Just search campfire foods or toddler meals.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:30 AM   #5
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Our kids (now 5&6, started at 2&3) basically eat the same camping as they do at home:

Breakfast:

- Instant Oatmeal
- Cereal
- Toast
- Pancakes/French Toast

Lunch:

- Hot dogs
- Sandwiches (PB or Lunch Meats)
- Fruit
- Cheese Sticks
- Yogurt

Dinner:

- Burgers
- Pasta
- BBQ Chicken, Potatoes, vegs

Snacks:

- Fruit
- Cheese
- Crackers
- Microwave Popcorn (special treat!)

As far as meal planning, it depends on where we're going. If we're crossing a border, due to restrictions on what we can bring, we only make a high level plan and work out the details on the fly at whatever grocery store we stop at to get food.

If we're staying local, then I'll try to make a more detailed plan, but that's driven mostly by whatever's still in our fridge at home. (Example, if I still have green beans in the crisper, then green beans is what I plan on having with those pork chops I pulled out of the freezer that are starting to get freezer burnt.)





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Old 03-03-2016, 01:10 PM   #6
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To help with advance meals (and minimize freezer burn), I bring my Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer and bags, especially pint size. I make oatmeal in crockpot, cool it, and measure portions of one or two. I do the same for soups, chicken, chili, etc. Vacuum sealing saves so much space. I can carry about 10 days of meals frozen. I cook and bag on days when we stay a few days. That way travel days it takes little time to put a meal on the table. We did this system for over 4 months last summer. Works great.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thank you to everyone with all the great meal ideas and tips. This was able to get my wheels turning in the right direction.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:58 PM   #8
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RverAnn45, this is a wonderful tip. I didn't even think about that. And as I was reading your idea, I remembered we have a food sealer. You're right saves time and space. This is so helpful.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:02 PM   #9
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Kaadk, thank you for the great meal ideas. This trip is cross country with multiple stops. So, lots to think about how to prep and store. I like your thought about considering where you're going, etc. It reminded me to be thorough with the planning.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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Merrykalia, after I read your post I spent the last hour on Pinterest finding some meal ideas! Thank you for the tip. Somehow I missed those the first time around. . Thank you for the meal ideas and tips to prepare.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #11
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RverAnn45. I too thank you for your info. I was planning to do this for an extended trip for DH and I. I haven't tested it but am happy to hear it works as well as I thought it would.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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Asquared thank you for the meal ideas. Your idea about pancakes is great. You're exactly right. I can make a ton in advance, freeze and reheat on the road. You have lots of good tips!
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:12 PM   #13
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Any meal where the kids were involved in the making or cooking of always seemed to be a hit with our kids. Whether it be roasting hot dogs, making camper pizza pies, something in dutch oven, etc. Keeps them busy and keeps you from hearing "I'm hungry, when is dinner?". Sometimes my kids would eat the same thing just so they could make it.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:21 PM   #14
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We are making great use of the crockpot, and George Foreman grill, these 4 months in Florida. No house size fridge or freezer in the TT, so I shop weekly, with a meal plan in mind. There's a certain level of Pepsi consumption by DH that I have to plan for! Grilling outside has been limited by too many mosquitoes (Lake Okeechobee, unusually rainy weather). I wasn't sure about that til I arrived here. But its good to have a backup game plan if tge weather is not cooperating.

Crockpot cuts down on excess humidity in TT, but if I cook on stove top, we deal with it. Out west some fire bans mean no campfire, no dutch oven cooking over campfire. No s'mores either. We do eat out about once a week to give me a break. If I have too many leftovers, I share with the neighbors. Try to keep fresh fruit & simple veggies on hand for healthy snacking.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVN4FUN View Post
We're going on an extended trip with little ones.
But you're not going to the moon, are you? Plan and shop as you go. DW and I always have one supper and one breakfast on board at all times. Otherwise we shop local.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:30 PM   #16
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But you're not going to the moon, are you? Plan and shop as you go. DW and I always have one supper and one breakfast on board at all times. Otherwise we shop local.
It's different with kids, at least mine. Even just 2 days worth of meals and snacks can be a lot of food, and shopping on the fly takes a lot of time when you are on vacation. Getting and keeping the basics on hand for an extended time and then picking up a couple items here and there isn't a big deal. We try not to take our kids to the store!
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:26 PM   #17
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Our first born was in a bassinet when we took our first extended trip in a Class A. DW has prepared meals in advance and then freezes them. They will hold for many days in an adequate cooler. We enjoy the grill, but we also enjoys the ease of not having to do full preparations for several days. A lot of the campgrounds we have visited have had facilities to keep food frozen.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:21 PM   #18
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One of the greatest things I purchased while we were traveling in our 5th wheel, was a portable fridge/freezer. I put it in the bed of the truck and plugged it into a 12v outlet I installed. It was an 85qt, and while somewhat pricey, it did hold a lot of food either frozen or cold, as it would a temp from -8 to 55 degrees.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:04 PM   #19
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And don't forget the crockpot liners, life-saving. My go-to website is allrecipes.com, BTW
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:58 AM   #20
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And don't forget the crockpot liners, life-saving. My go-to website is allrecipes.com, BTW

OMG - I definitely agree here. After soaking and scraping the crockpot several times, I was sooooo happy to find these.


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