Carry on camping without the burned sausages and ultra processed food - Nutrition

Camping doesn’t have to mean a diet of burnt sausages and ultra processed food, say Jane McClenaghan

A multi-generation family sitting and eating outdoors by car, caravan holiday trip.
It might be hard to avoid the barbecue during a camping trip, but it doesn't have to involve burned sausages... (Halfpoint/Getty Images)

Hitting the road and travelling light, there is nothing like getting back to nature and sleeping under the stars – or at least under canvas or in the comfort of a camper van.

There is more to camp food than noodles and hot dogs. It doesn’t have to mean a diet of burnt sausages and ultra processed food.

It makes more sense to eat healthy, wholefood than packaged processed junk when we are on an adventure in the great outdoors - better for us and better for the planet. Not only is it healthier (and tastier), but there is a lot less plastic, rubbish and food waste.

If you are packing up your tent, or hitting the road in your camper van, I have some easy and healthy ideas that don’t need too much prep, cooking or washing up, but that are packed with flavour and nutrition to make sure you come back from your camping trip feeling well fed and nourished.


Shake up your wake up and eat something different on your next camping trip. Enjoy the time to have a more leisurely breakfast with some of these healthy options:

  • Bircher muesli – this is another name for overnight oats. Before you hit the road, pack a jar with a mixture of oats, and any nuts and seeds you like. Then simply pop a portion into a bowl or jar with a lid, add some grated apple or any of your favourite fruit and cover with milk overnight. The next morning you will have a creamy, tasty and healthy breakfast to enjoy.
  • Eggs are always a favourite breakfast, but to mix things up a bit, how about some French toast with strawberries and Greek yoghurt?
  • Smoky beans.
  • Peaches and cottage cheese on toast – quick, easy, tasty and packed with protein and slow-release carbs to fuel your morning adventures.
  • Greek yoghurt and summer berries with low sugar granola – a no fuss, simple and healthy breakfast.
  • Wraps are always a favourite, but if you are on a mission to eat fewer ultra processed foods, then check the ingredients label. You are looking for as few ingredients as possible. I like Piadina flatbreads – flour, olive oil and salt are the only ingredients in this one.
  • Salad jars – layer up with pasta, rice or couscous, a salad dressing, some shredded, chopped, sliced and diced veggies and top with your favourite protein, or serve with some barbecue leftovers.
  • A picnic lunch of raw veg sticks, falafels, houmous, cheese and pitta pockets, wraps or oatcakes works well.


If you need fuel for hiking and biking, there are plenty of healthy snack options for your outdoor adventure.

  • Trail mix – little packs of nuts, seeds and dried fruit are handy and easy to carry.
  • Nairn’s fruit and seed oat biscuits come in little packs of three - perfect for a snack on the trails.
  • Fruit and seed bars – Nakd and Graze make decent ones, or make a batch of your own favourite flapjack recipe.
  • Fruit is nature’s perfect snack food, of course.

It wouldn’t be a camping trip without a barbecue or two.

Spark up the grill and pile on the veggies. You can grill just about any vegetable. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Sweet potato – wrap in foil and put straight on the coals, or cut into rounds and pop it on the grill.
  • Aubergine and courgette – as soon as they come off the grill, put them into a bowl and mix with a handful of chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and one clove or raw garlic, grated or finely chopped. Add some salt and pepper and you are good to go.
  • Veggie kebabs with red onion, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, peppers and halloumi.

…and for your protein:

  • For a veggie option, you can’t beat halloumi on the grill.
  • Marinate chicken with lemon, herbs, olive oil and garlic.
  • Steak simply cooked with garlic and seasoning.
  • Fish makes for a healthy barbecue – cook with plenty of herbs and serve with a squeeze of lemon - delicious.