Healthy Camping Foods

MEDIA SEGMENT: IAND Media Spokesperson Erin Good on KCCI News 8

Summer is the time to get out the camping gear and head outdoors. In addition to the hot dogs and s’mores, consider packing some of the following choices to balance out meals and snacks.

  • Fruits and veggies – Sturdier fresh produce that holds up well includes apples, carrots, snap peas, and oranges. Dried fruit also makes a great snack.

  • Whole grains – Popcorn is a whole grain and is an easy snack to take along. For cereal bars, check the nutrition label and choose those made with whole grain and that have a lower sugar content.

  • Dairy – If you have adequate refrigeration, hard cheeses, cheese sticks, and yogurt tubes are much easier to pack than a carton of milk.

Hot Dogs and Food Safety The same general food safety guidelines apply to hot dogs as to all perishable foods: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. When you buy hot dogs, refrigerate or freeze them promptly. Never leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or higher.

Although hot dogs are fully cooked, those at higher risk for food borne illness – including pregnant women, preschoolers, older adults, and anyone with a weakened immune system – should reheat hot dogs until steaming hot because of the risk of listeriosis.

Listeria monocytogenes is the bacteria that causes listeriosis:

  • Found in: hot dogs, luncheon meat, cold cuts, soft cheese, and unpasteurized milk.

  • Symptoms: fever, chills, headaches, backache, upset stomach, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. It may also cause miscarriages.

  • Call your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. If you have Listeriosis, your provider can treat you.

Chili Popcorn


  • 4 cups popped corn

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • Dash garlic powder


  1. Mix popcorn and butter in a bowl.

  2. Mix seasonings thoroughly and sprinkle over popcorn. Mix well or shake in a clean bag.

  3. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 (1 cup per serving)

Nutrition information (per serving): 60 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 7.5mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 7g total carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein

Recipe courtesy of USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Eat Smart. Play Hard.™

Resources: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA:

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