As parents, one of the things we need to think about when our kids head back to school is what food to pack in their little lunchboxes. We’re all looking for lunches that are healthy and tasty but also easy on the budget. With that in mind, here are some meal prep ideas that will help you give them a nutritious and delicious lunch at an affordable price.
1. Pie-maker 2-minute noodle veggie frittatas
Think of this one as veggies in disguise. Sure, they may not be too keen on the green stuff, but every kid loves 2-minute noodles, and these beautiful frittatas will easily sustain their daily energy needs. And the best news is - that it’s super quick and easy to prepare this delicious and easy lunch if you have a pie maker. Even if you don’t, you can try cooking them in muffin tins in the oven – it’s a no-fuss and simple lunch idea that’s sure to be a winner. Get the full recipe here - you can add as many veggie varieties as you want.
2. Cheese and bacon puffs
Kids adore this lunchbox idea, so make sure you prepare some extras for after school treats. After all, who doesn’t love cheese? And the bacon makes it even better! Combine with a few other ingredients including onions, corn, shallots, and egg, then drop tablespoons of the mixture onto an oven tray and bake for about 20 minutes - and you’ve got a sure hit right there. Here’s the full recipe. These freeze well too, so this is a great make-ahead lunchbox treat.
3. Beef and vegetable sausage rolls
This recipe is another great kid’s meal prep idea that you should prepare a double batch of - since they also freeze well. Great for busy days as all you need to do is pop them in the oven to cook, then let them cool before putting them in those lunchboxes. They’re full of protein from the beef and, of course, all the nutrition they need from the vegetables. You can get the kids involved to help you with the preparation. Follow the instructions here.
4. Japanese rice balls
The beauty of this lunchbox idea is that you can use whatever left-over ingredients are in your fridge, so that’s a potential savings for you right there. They’re easy, delicious, and healthy with the combination of carbs and protein to keep up with the kids’ active lifestyle at school. They’re also cute and colourful little balls that the little ones are sure to love. Find the recipe here.
5. Mini lasagne cups
Do your kids love pasta, but you find it time-consuming to prepare? If that’s the case, then this one is definitely for you! It's an easy lunch you can make in batches and keep some in the freezer for the days you might be extra busy. With only five ingredients including a Bolognese sauce, lasagne sheets, egg, parmesan cheese, and tasty cheese, your kids will get a low cost, tasty meal with short prep time. Here's the full recipe.
6. Easy fried rice
This lunchbox idea is especially great if you have an insulated food jar so the kids can eat it warm. And they surely can make use of the carbohydrates from the rice for that much-needed energy boost at school. You can even experiment with what to include in the ingredients, so throw in any veggies and meat you have in the fridge. Here’s the easiest recipe we recommend.
7. Banana muffins
This is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas, by turning them into tasty and healthy banana muffins without much fuss. Pop them into your kids’ lunchbox as a tasty treat to enjoy with the rest of their easy lunch ideas from above - and you can expect those lunch boxes to be empty when they return home from school. See the full recipe here.
8. Crispy tuna potato cake
Don’t forget to include some omega-3 fatty acids in your kids’ lunchbox from time to time. This recipe adds some healthy fish to their diet and it’s also a super easy meal prep option since most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. Make sure to cook some extras for you and the rest of the family too. Here’s the recipe.
9. Super easy pizza scrolls
You know your kids love pizza, but you probably don’t always have the time (or the inclination) to make them. Well, here’s a recipe for some super easy pizza scrolls that puts you in control of exactly what nutrition they are getting at school (and a little indulgence from time to time doesn’t hurt!). Forget the dough preparation. Use some puff pastry to avoid the fuss, and it’s cheaper, too. Here’s the full recipe.
10. Lunch box rice noodle salad
As the name suggests, this salad recipe is perfect for lunchboxes. It’s also a welcome alternative to the usual sandwiches your kids might be tired of eating at school. And, of course, it’s full of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and noodles. With the hint of Asian taste, it’s a hit for both the kids and adults in the family. Check out the recipe here.
Complete your kids’ lunchbox
Don’t forget to complete the kids’ lunchbox with a piece of fruit, and a bottle of water.
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