During my recent camping trip, I was presented with the challenge of eating nutritionally-balanced meals without having the convenience of refrigeration or even a cooler.
Here is a list of foods organized by food group that require no refrigeration and yet adequately meet nutritional needs.
- Fresh fruit- Think easy to wash and keeps at room temperature (Apples, bananas, grapes, tangerines, tomatoes, avocados).
- Dried fruit- Avoid added sugars and oil by looking at nutrition labels.
- Snap peas
- Dried vegetables- One-quarter cup of dried veggies is equivalent to one serving of fresh.
- Bread (whole wheat, pita, multi-grain)
- Pre-popped popcorn
- Instant oatmeal
- Cereal cups
- Energy Bars- Aim for bars with at least 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein and fewer than 170 calories.
- Nut butters (single squeeze packets like Justin’s or Jif to-go containers)
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, soy)
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) - Store them in a small container—like an Altoids tin—when you’re on the go. Besides preventing spilling inside your bag, they provide portion control.
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Hummus- individually packaged portions.
- Cheese- individually packaged portions. Most can be stored outside of the fridge for a limited amount of time.
- Milk boxes (Horizon Organic)
- Tomato and avocado sandwich on whole wheat bread or bagel
- Nut butter and banana sandwich on pita bread
- Pretzels with hummus
- Canned salmon or tuna on whole wheat crackers
- Apple or banana with nut butter
Keep this list in mind when planning your camping or road trip this summer so that you can eat well wherever you go.