Top 20 Pandemic Survival {Quick and Easy} Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

One of the most surprising things about having kids at home all the time is the mind-boggling effort it takes to come up with EASY lunch ideas. I see lots of healthy and pretty options online, but those often require too many steps and more ingredients than I usually have on hand these days. After making lunch for what feels like the 2,475th day in a row, I just want some ideas of the chicken nugget and fish sticks variety.

Top 20 Pandemic Survival {Quick and Easy} Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

So, I made a list of almost three weeks’ worth of super easy/non-fancy/not-necessarily-healthy lunch ideas that you will not be putting on Instagram. But, it’ll feed your kids, and quick!

  1. Chicken Nuggets:: A classic, so I have to include it.
  2. Fish Sticks:: Runner-up to #1
  3. Cheese and Pepperoni Quesadillas:: Heat up tortillas in a skillet or pancake pan and add shredded cheese and small round pepperoni pieces on top. Cover with another heated tortilla. Flip once everything starts melting together and the tortillas start browning. Cut into “slices” and serve.
  4. Homemade “Lunchables”:: Assemble a plate with deli meat like pepperoni/cut-up ham, crackers of any kind, sliced cheddar cheese, cup or tube of yogurt, and some grapes.
  5. Eggs with Toasted Bagels:: I use the food processor to grind up the leafy tops I’ve saved from beets and radishes to add into eggs for an omelet. Yes, the kids can see the green in the eggs so I’m not hiding anything. They really can’t taste the difference and now they’ve eaten vegetables.
  6. Hot Dogs and Corn on the Cob:: We typically grill the hot dogs but if my husband is not available to do it, I will cut the hot dog length wise to open it up and pan fry it on both sides. Snap the corn in half and boil it for a few minutes. Half of a corn cob is somehow more fun than an entire one. 
  7. Biscuits and Eggs:: We love Bisquick around here because it’s so easy to use. One of my favorite recipes is to make biscuits as directed and add handfuls of bacon crumbles {the huge bag from Costco is a staple} and shredded cheese into the mix before we bake it. Scramble some eggs and serve alongside.Top 20 Pandemic Survival {Quick and Easy} Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas
  8. Avocado & Crusty Bread with Egg:: This is my posh one because I make the bread from scratch. It’s easier than it sounds. I use a 4-ingredient recipe, let the dough rise for two hours, and then put half of the dough in a loaf pan to bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. {I don’t follow the instructions listed in the recipe because I don’t own a fancy-pants baking stone.} The other option is to throw toast on a plate or make some Bisquick biscuits. Slice the avocados, sprinkle some salt, add a hunk of crusty bread and some hard-boiled or fried eggs to complete the meal.
  9. Breakfast Sausage and Waffles:: I usually make lots of extra Bisquick waffles on the weekend and freeze them. Then I can just pop my frozen waffles in the toaster during the week for breakfast or in this case, for lunch. Cook a package of breakfast sausage in the frying pan and you’re done.
  10. Frozen Dumplings:: These are usually best pan-fried but it takes longer and you have to stand there to cook and watch it. When I really feel pinched, I just boil them and no one objects. It comes with a packet of sauce and since the dumplings include carb, protein, and veggie—it’s a complete meal in itself.
  11. Mac and Cheese with B&B {that’s Bacon and Broccoli}:: Make some Mac and Cheese, add in a handful of the trusty bacon crumbles and heat up some frozen broccoli to go with it.
  12. Kids Fried Rice:: I typically use leftover cooked rice from dinner but if you don’t have any just use the instant kind. Make some scrambled eggs in the pan, add the cooked rice, toss in a handful of frozen peas, cut up some ham into small pieces and throw it in there, add soy sauce and salt to taste. Stir and cook for a few minutes until peas are cooked through.
  13. Baked Potatoes:: And by baked I usually mean microwaved. It’s faster, especially when I’m using the small red potatoes. While it’s still steaming hot, open up the potatoes in the middle and add a bunch of shredded cheese and those famous bacon crumbles on top. The heat should melt the cheese nicely. 
  14. Sausage Rolls & Tator Tots—Our favorite Auntie Schubert’s sausage rolls bake in the oven for about an hour from frozen, faster if thawed first. Frozen does take a while but I love that I can throw it in there, set the timer, and do something else. Same with our crowd favorite frozen Tator Tots.
  15. Meatball Sandwiches:: Place the cooked meatballs {Costco carries a giant bag of really good frozen meatballs} on toasted hot dog buns. Add some pasta sauce to the meatballs if you’d like. 
  16. Pizza:: Anything resembling pizza is acceptable. I have placed a mound of pizza bites along with some broccoli in front of my kids and called it lunch.
  17. PB & J:: I haven’t served this for actual lunch before {only as a hearty snack} but it’s a good standby for when there is absolutely nothing else.
  18. Pasta Salad:: Get you some fun pasta shapes like spirals, bow ties, or Texaroni from our beloved HEB, frozen peas and carrots, canned drained chickpeas, and cut-up ham. Cook the pasta and veggies, toss it all together, and drench it in ranch. We like Caesar dressing too.
  19. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:: The kids are not big fans of this but sometimes I’m the one that craves it. Put a bit of butter in a frying pan, then add slices of bread to toast and soak up the butter. Use a slice of cheese to hold the two pieces of bread together. Smash down with spatula and cut into the requisite triangles. 
  20. Picnic Food Lunch:: Ours often includes pretzels/tortilla chips/crackers, cheese stick/shredded cheese/slices of a cheese block, raisins, boiled eggs, deli pepperoni, and bananas. Do it up and serve it on a picnic blanket in the house!Top 20 Pandemic Survival {Quick and Easy} Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

To help balance out any of these lunch ideas, add a few sticks of carrots or cucumbers and dressing on the side. Or serve easy-to-prep fruit like grapes or mandarin oranges.

You may not be showing off these lunches on social media, but hopefully you will fill some hungry bellies. That is, until dinner.

{If you have any other quick and simple kid-friendly lunch ideas, share them in the comments!}

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