20 Budget-Friendly Summer Lunch Ideas for Kids

As the sun shines and school vacations begin, we understand the importance of providing nutritious and tasty meals that won’t break the bank. It always seems like kids eat more in the summer when they are home then when at school, doesn’t it? That’s why we wanted to come up with a list of cheap lunch ideas for kids!

20 summer lunch recipes for kids, budget friendly. 3 of the recipes shown - corndogs on a plate ready to serve, 3 mini pizzas on a plate ready to eat and dill tuna salad in cucumber boats on a plate ready to eat.

If you are struggling to find something your kids like or just tired of making the same lunches, you will love these recipes. There is a variety of recipes so I am sure there is something your kids will love.

chicken salad prepared and in a bowl over lettuce ready to eat. Crackers in the background to go with the chicken salad.
Easy Canned Chicken Salad
This chicken salad by Caramel and Cashews is a simple and delicious way to make a healthy chicken salad with canned chicken! No cooking required and it is quick to make. Serve it on crackers, on a salad or as a sandwich.
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A cucumber cut in half with some of the inside scooped out. Dill tuna salad inside the center of the cucumber halves.
Dill Tuna Salad Cucumber Boats
Dill tuna salad cucumber boats by Served From Scratch are a great lunch idea for kids! They are really easy to make and are a delicious twist on a classic lunch favorite. Add a little fun and dill pickle flavor to your tuna salad with this healthy gluten free lunch.
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4 homemade uncrustables stack on a plate with another leaning on them after a bite was taken out to show the peanut butter and jelly inside.
How to Make Healthy Homemade Uncrustables
These homemade Uncrustables by Simply Well Balanced are the perfect cheap lunch idea for kids! They are easy to make at home and kids love Uncrustables. You can make these ahead of time and freeze them so they are ready when your kids want them.
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Pancakes stacked on a plate with maple syrup being poured over top.
Apple Pancakes Made with Yogurt
Pancakes are something most kids enjoy any time of the day. These apple pancakes are a delicious lunch idea for your kids. They are easy to make, full of flavor and made from scratch. You can make these pancakes ahead of time and freeze them too so they will be ready when you want to serve them – just heat and serve!
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Easy Pepperoni Pizza Muffins Kids Can Make
Easy Pepperoni Pizza Muffins Kids Can Make
These easy pepperoni pizza muffins by Saving Talents are the ultimate cheap lunch idea for kids! They only take a few minutes to put together for the oven and your kids will love helping you prep them. Simple and delicious!
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School lunch cheese snacks. Dough with slices of mozzarella cheese on it ready to roll up into a stick and cheese sticks in a serving dish after cooking ready to serve.
Homemade School Lunch Cheese Sticks Recipe
These cheese sticks by Faith Filled Food For Moms are really easy to make with just 3 ingredients, making them a great cheap lunch idea for kids! They are easy to make so the kids will feel good about helping you make lunch and they will love eating them too.
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Breakfast casserole just out of the oven and being served
Easy Breakfast Casserole with Sausage
Our easy breakfast casserole with sausage is a great lunch for kids. It is easy to customize to your liking with different vegetables that your kids love. Have it as a breakfast, lunch or even dinner (we do breakfast for dinner sometimes!)
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Corn dogs on a serving tray with mustard and ketchup in small prep bowls for dipping.
Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe (Better than the Fair)
Do your kids love corn dogs? Then they will love these homemade corn dogs by Herbs & Flour! They are so easy to make and taste way better then the store bought ones. They are browned to perfection with the perfect amount of sweetness, they are our favorite way to make corn dogs.
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3 zucchini fritters stacked on a plate topped with sour cream and fresh parsley as a garnish.
Easy Zucchini And Corn Fritters
These Easy Zucchini Corn Fritters by The Yummy Bowl are crispy, cheesy, super flavorful and a great healthy lunch idea for kids. They are loaded with zucchini, corn, bell peppers, and seasonings and served with sour cream and green onions. Easy to make and delicious!
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Air fryer cauliflower on a plate after cooking ready to eat.
Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower
This Air fryer Frozen Cauliflower recipe by Ambitious Foodie is a really easy cheap lunch or snack idea for the kids this summer! It is delicious with a few simple spices and cooked in the air fryer so it won't heat up the house. It's a delicious side dish too.
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Pinwheel sandwiches stacked on a plate with a dipping sauce in a small prep bowl on the side.
Pinwheel Sandwiches
Pinwheel sandwiches by Amanda's Cookin' are an easy and fun summer lunch idea for kids. They will love helping you make them and then enjoy eating them too! These sandwiches are also great if your children have friends over for the day too.
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Large bowl of chicken macaroni salad ready to serve.
Chicken Macaroni Salad (Easy and Delicious)
Chicken Macaroni Salad by Maple + Mango is a cross between a creamy pasta salad and a chicken salad in one delicious dish. It is easy to make and a great summer lunch idea for kids! Many kids love macaroni salad and they will absolutely love this chicken macaroni salad.
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Soft potato taco topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cheese and sour cream.
Easy Crispy Potato Tacos
These easy crispy potato tacos by Dancing in the Rain are a vegetarian taco recipe that the whole family will love! They have crispy fried potatoes, cheese, tomatoes and other great toppings making them a great lunch idea for kids. They are easy to make and delicious.
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6 cucumber and cream cheese rolls on a serving plate ready to be served.
Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich Rolls (with Lavash Bread)
Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich rolls by Christina's Cucina are a really easy but delicious lunch idea that your kids will love! Your children can help you make these for lunch and then they will love eating them too. They are a cheap meal made with just 3 ingredients.
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3 squash mini pizzas with melted cheese on top on a serving plate ready to serve.
Butternut Squash Mini Pizzas
These butternut squash mini pizzas by Fluxing Well are a delicious gluten free and low carb way to enjoy a pizza for lunch! They are easy to make and are the perfect lunch idea for your kids. You can also use eggplant or zucchini for these mini pizzas.
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strawberry shake being poured out of the smoothie cup and into a drinking glass.
High Protein Strawberry Cottage Cheese Smoothie
Smoothies are always a great lunch or breakfast idea for kids and this high protein strawberry cottage cheese smoothie by Life Around The Table will be their favorite! They are delicious and taste like a strawberry cheesecake, but they are healthy with no processed sugars.
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chicken minestrone soup in a white serving bowl ready to be eaten.
Chicken Minestrone Soup
Chicken minestrone soup by The Food Blog is a delicious lunch idea that your kids will love! It has the perfect combination of chicken, noodles, veggies and seasonings. The leftovers taste as good as the day you make it so this is a perfect lunch for a couple days.
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lemon pepper chicken wings in a serving dish with lemon slices served as a garnish.
Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
These lemon pepper chicken wings by Low Carb Spark are perfectly juicy and crispy, your kids will love them! They are easy to make in the oven and are the perfect snack or lunch idea for kids in the summer.
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3 mini pizzas on a plate with a side of salad ready to serve.
Frozen Mini Pizza in Air Fryer (English Muffin Pizzas)
Easy to make, these frozen mini pizzas in the air fryer by Summer Yule are delicious and the perfect lunch idea! You prep them ahead of time and put them in the freezer. These mini pizzas are an easy lunch on a busy summer day and taste better then store bought frozen pizzas.
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Gnocchi on a spoon after being spooned out of the frying pan.
Crispy Pan Fried Gnocchi
This crispy pan fried gnocchi by The Littlest Crumb is a quick and easy lunch idea that takes only about 20 minutes to make. They are topped with a light garlic butter parmesan sauce that is delicious and your kids will love!
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I hope your kids love these summer lunch ideas! Many of the recipes we picked out have only a few simple ingredients keeping them budget friendly. It can get expensive feeding kids in the summer!

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