Whether the kids are at school or at home, one thing remains true: they need to have lunch!
Sometimes trying to figure out what to give the kids for lunch can be a frustrating task. I know I find myself resorting to easy to grab and go lunches. Of course, I enjoy the convenience, but my children would probably appreciate more of a variety.
I personally picked out some of the most practical and budget-friendly lunch ideas, cooked them up, and sent them off to school with my son for his approval.
Since I have found myself on the hunt for new lunches, I have come up with a list of easy to make ideas, no cookie cutters, or bento boxes needed.
Five Kid Approved & Budget-Friendly Lunch Ideas
1. Corn Dog Muffins:
For kids that love corn dogs, these are a great, easy to make, fun-sized lunch.
Using only hot dogs and corn muffin mix, this is a great budget-friendly lunch that can also be frozen and saved for later.
Yield 7 muffins
One box Jiffy corn muffin mix (or make your own)
Two hot dogs cut in 1-inch slices
Mix up a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix. Divide batter into a muffin pan. Add hot dog slices. Bake following directions on Jiffy box.
2. Mini Pizza Bagels
Most kids love pizza and putting it on a mini bagel is definitely a fun way to enjoy it! This lunch is also great because it can be made ahead and customized with any toppings your child loves. My favorite part about this lunch idea was that I purchased the mini bagels in a 10 pack, more than enough needed for the mini pizzas, so I had plenty left over for other lunch ideas and even breakfast!
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Favorite Pizza toppings
Pre-heat oven to 325. Slice mini bagels in half and spread pizza sauce on each once. Cover each pizza with cheese and any other toppings. Bake in the oven just until cheese is melted.
Pasta is a super budget-friendly and versatile lunch that is easy and quick to make! I don’t know how many times I have made way too much pasta for dinner! Instead of just throwing it away, cooked pasta can be stored in the fridge and easily mixed with any sauce or extra add-ins for a great lunch. Mix up a quick spaghetti, yummy mac and cheese, or get creative with a pasta salad.
Spice up your child’s lunch with some quesadillas! This is a terrific lunch option for those picky eaters or it can be customized with your child’s favorites.
Soft Flour Tortillas
Optional: Protien (Chicken, beef, beans) Vegetables (tomatoes, onions, olives, etc.) Sauce (hot sauce, sour cream, etc.)
Cover half of the tortilla with cheese and toppings of your choice. Fold over other half of tortilla to cover toppings. Heat tortilla on the stovetop or in oven until cheese is melted. Cut into triangles and serve with sauces on the side.
Breakfast for lunch is always a good idea! My kids would eat pancakes for every meal if I let them! Pancakes are another budget-friendly idea that can be made ahead of time. They can easily be made with a store brought box of pancake mix or some made from scratch mix. Top the pancakes off with some sweet syrup, fresh fruit, granola, or another favorite topping! Serve them up with some breakfast meats or yogurt and you have a simple kid-approved lunch!