School is out for summer, and everywhere parents are scrambling to plan vacations, summer camps, swim lessons and play dates. Figuring out the noon meal is something you might just not have time to do every day. Good news! We’ve got you covered with these 10 super easy lunches that kids will love.
Parmesan baked fish nuggets
Fish sticks get a tasty facelift with these Parmesan baked fish nuggets from Rasa Malaysia. Deep fried freezer-aisle fish sticks are bland and soggy, but with these little nuggets of cod, even the pickiest of eaters will come running.
The recipe is simple — it only uses a few ingredients, and comes together in 20 minutes. Bite-sized pieces of cod are coated in egg wash, dipped in Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, and then baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with ketchup or tartar sauce.
Kids will love these cheesy baked fish nuggets, and you will love that they are healthier than many of the processed and fried options from the grocery store.
Cheesy ramen noodles
If your kids love macaroni and cheese like ours do, then this is the recipe to try. Cheesy ramen noodles from Chocolate Covered Katie are a combination of Japanese and American favorites. Japanese ramen covered in a cheesy sauce is a delicious and comforting lunch for kids and adults.
This recipe uses silken tofu and nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese for the cheese sauce. We love that this recipe ups the nutritional value of both original inspirations — the kids will love that noodles are covered in cheese. The sauce is combined and then heated through with the cooked noodles. Another great thing about this recipe is ramen noodles cook significantly faster than pasta. Talk about your easy mac!
Easy burrito bowl
For the busiest of summers, turn to these easy burrito bowls from Budget Bytes. This is a great meal-prep option for the hectic weeks of running from camp to camp. Simply cook the beef or turkey with taco seasoning, then add your other choices. It’s super handy to have all these veggies and meat cooked and ready for assembly.
This is perfect for those hungry teens who just want to eat all day: load them up with hearty protein, and fibrous beans, lettuce, add cheese and corn for flavor, salsa for spice and chips for crunch. This meal is like a taco bar in that kids can build their own meal, at their own time. This lunch also is perfect for teaching kids how to make their own lunches, which may be on your to-do list for this summer.
Pepperoni pizza quesadilla
Pepperoni pizza is an American staple. But sometimes you want the pizza without the calories, or you want the pizza but you don’t want to leave the house, or you just want the pizza. Whatever your motive, if you want pizza, have a go at these pepperoni pizza quesadillas from Divas Can Cook.
Tortillas are stuffed with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni for an easy everyday pizza fix. If pepperoni isn’t your filling of choice, go crazy with the ham and pineapple for a Hawaiian pizza quesadilla. You and your kids are limited only by your imagination, so if you want pizza this summer, heat up your skillet and make some easy pizza quesadillas.
Homemade ham and cheese pockets
If hot pockets have a place of nostalgia in your hearts, then you must make this next recipe. Homemade ham and cheese pockets from Sally’s Baking Addiction are a healthy option for that lunchtime favorite.This recipe takes a bit of prep, but isn’t difficult. For a short cut, use pre-made refrigerated pizza dough from the health store. If you do go the from-scratch route, the flavor is well worth the work.
Real ingredients give way to over processed meat, cheese and bread. It’s perfect for when you may be working, and the kids at home need to eat. Whole foods are so much better for kids’ growing bodies, and these homemade ham and cheese pockets are full of nutrition and taste good, too.
Chicken caesar wraps
Weekday lunch does not get any simpler than a chicken caesar wrap from Lil Luna. Wrapping a salad in a tortilla is an ingenious way to have a healthy lunch on the go. When we’re rushing from activity to activity, it’s so nice to have a grab-and-go option for lunch so we’re not tempted to hit the nearest drive-thru, and this chicken Caesar wrap is our new go-to.
Cooked chicken, Caesar dressing, croutons, bacon and romaine lettuce are rolled in your favorite tortilla, and bam! Lunch is done! This is a great option for using up leftover chicken. We love prepping our lunches ahead of time for easy decisions during the week; make up a few of these and wrap in foil or paper towels to have as lunch all week. Give this healthy and easy chicken caesar wrap a try!
Avocado chicken salad
We are always trying to get the kids to try new things. Avocado tops the list of foods we wish our kids would try. Surely, if tried, they would come to love the creamy and mild flavor of this popular fruit. Putting this next recipe —avocado chicken salad from Simply Recipes — on the rotation might make this a reality. Of course this isn’t just an ordinary chicken salad.
The cooked chicken is mixed with sweet apple, crunchy celery, red onion, cilantro or parsley, and lime juice, then creamy avocado is the “mayonnaise” base for this otherwise traditional chicken salad. With avocado as the binder, each bite is meaty, slightly sweet and creamy. You can make up a batch of this to eat on throughout the week, and you can even wrap it up in a tortilla for another on-the-go option for you and the kids. Here’s hoping they’re up for something new!
Cheesy pepperoni pizza sticks
Pizza never gets old. This recipe for cheesy pepperoni pizza sticks from I Wash You Dry will be the summer lunchtime hit. Not only will kids be excited to have another version of pizza, they’ll want to help make them.
This recipe calls for refrigerated pizza dough, string cheese, and pepperoni. Divide the dough into ten equal servings, then flatten them out. Lay out some pepperoni slices, and top them with the mozzarella string cheese, then roll the dough up around the fillings. The final step is to brush with melted butter (everything tastes better with melted butter on it, right?), garlic powder, and dried parsley. Bake for about 10 minutes, and serve with prepared marinara sauce for dipping. Snack or meal, these pizza sticks please everyone.
Mini corn dog muffins
Kids love bite-sized meals. We love when we don’t have to spend precious time cutting everything into pieces. These mini corn dog muffins from Hip2Save are a win-win for parents and kids alike. A simple yet delicious cornbread is poured into a mini muffin tin and then a bite-sized portion of hot dog is placed in the middle. The cornbread bakes around the hot dog for the perfect summer kids’ lunch.
Make up a bunch over the weekend and you have an easy meal to reheat quickly for those busy days. We love the idea of serving these mini corn dog muffins for the endless kids’ swim parties. This quick meal will make a splash with kids of all ages.
Turkey roll-ups with cranberry cream cheese
One of the best loved party platters is the cranberry cream cheese turkey roll-ups from Costco. Perfectly doughy tortillas are wrapped around delicious turkey lunch meat with tart-sweet cranberry cream cheese oozing out. They are a fan favorite, but did you realize you can make them at home?
With this recipe for turkey roll-ups with cranberry cream cheese from Culinary Hill, lunch will always taste like a party. Kids love the pinwheel look of these wraps, and you’ll love that you have an easy weekday lunch for the summer. The key to the recipe is the cranberry cream cheese. Would you believe it’s simply whole cranberry sauce mixed with softened cream cheese? We can’t believe how easy it is to re-create this deliciousness at home. We hope you’ll love it as much as we do.