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Breakfast. Snack. Lunch. Snack. Snack. Dinner. Dessert. Snack.
Does it ever STOP? I know kids are growing but dang! Having kids home all day is rough on the grocery budget. Providing three big, healthy meals a day isn’t for the faint of heart. Instead, we opt for a hearty breakfast, quick and easy lunch and big dinner.
But quick and easy lunch ideas tend to get old. You can only eat so many sandwiches before you are ready to stab yourself in the eye with a butter knife.
So what’s an exhausted mama to do when the kiddos want lunch? Grab our main dish, then add healthy sides and desserts!
First things first. There’s no point in making another meal when you’ve got perfectly good food already prepared in your fridge. Wasted food is wasted money. Use up those leftovers before they turn into science experiments!
Toss cooked pasta, tomato sauce, ground beef and some Italian seasonings together for an easy lunch that tastes much like spaghetti.
Ever since we started making Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce, this has been our go-to lunch idea. For a fresh spin on the recipe, try serving it over noodles instead of on a bun!
Use eggs and breadcrumbs to hold your meatballs together while they bake. Serve them with ketchup and mustard, BBQ sauce or marinara.
Pizza Roll Up
Turn a can of crescent rolls into yummy pizza roll ups in just a few minutes. Add pepperoni and cheese to crescent rolls and bake. Serve with heated pizza sauce.
Quesadillas are both kid and mom-approved! Chicken, beef, cheese and beans are favorites but sly moms across the world know you can sneak in extra veggies without hearing complaints!
Ham, cheese, turkey, avacado, chicken strips, onions, mushrooms, the list goes on and on. You name it, it can be put in a wrap! Drizzle with your favorite dressing, roll and EAT! It’s really that easy! Try adding leftovers to wraps for a fun new meal. (Spaghetti wrap, anyone? How about a chili wrap? You never know, it might be your new favorite meal!)
Lots of kids despise salad but by adding fresh fruit to your salad, it gives it a whole new kick. Strawberries, cantaloup, blueberries or chunks of peaches added to a green salad add an unexpected twist that you’ll fall in love with!
Meat & Cheese Kabob
Alternate deli meat, cubes of cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables on a skewer for a quick and easy lunch that will make the kids squeal.
Backyard burgers aren’t just for dinner. Throw them on the grill or opt to cook them indoors. Either way, they’re hard to beat!
Noodles, veggies and thinly sliced veggies make this yummy lunch a favorite for all. Pre-packaged stir fry veggies make it even easier to dump and cook, without a ton of clean up.
Pig in a Blanket
This childhood favorite is still as fun as you remember as kids. All you need is a package of hotdogs and a can of crescent rolls. Wrap them, bake them and eat them. Easy peasy!
Cheese, meat and sauces turn an ordinary pile of chips into a scrumptious lunch. For an extra healthy version, skip the chips and use veggie sticks instead.
A can of beans, some ground beef and chili seasoning can make a fast lunch that’s healthy and satisfying. Serve with crackers or jazz it up with Fritos!
The perfect solution for an extra salad is to serve them up as a taco salad. Just add taco meat, sour cream and salsa for a completely new taste.
Mac & Cheese Delight
Macaroni and Cheese is a childhood fave. Stir in chunks of meat for a hearty meal that is easy to whip up and light on the wallet. Chunks of ham, hotdogs, turkey, chicken or meatballs all work well!
When you add in the fun stuff, like chunks of ham, cheese, broccoli and sour cream, baked potatoes can become an entire healthy meal!
Sides and Snacks
Veggie Sticks with Ranch
Cheese and Crackers
Apples and Peanut Butter
Nutella and Bananas
Jello with fresh fruit
Almonds, Cashews or Peanuts
No time to cook? Take sandwiches to another level by tossing the bread and adding a fun twist instead:
Use a sandwich maker to turn up the taste! These handy gadgets take an ordinary sandwich and make them even yummier!
Buy mini buns and serve them up. The kiddos are sure to love them!
By simply toasting your bread, you give your sandwich a whole new flavor.
Instead of using bread, make it a sub. Add lots of varieties to choose from and serve it in an assembly line fashion.
Roll It, Wrap it!
Throw any sandwich makings into a wrap or a tortilla and instantly change the flavor. A favorite around here is a peanut butter and jelly banana wrap!
Grab a package of Pita Pockets and stuff them with whatever you wish! We love to fry lunch meat with onions and peppers and top with ranch but the possibilities are endless!
Need EVEN quicker options?
Try making a large batch of one of these yummies on Sunday and eating them all week! They pair with pretty much anything and are cheap, easy and healthy.
Just because you need a quick and easy meal everyday doesn’t mean you should be stuck eating sandwiches day after day! Church it up with one of our 50 great ideas!