A lot of people are short on both time and money. If you have children, you might want to feed them something that is easy and not too expensive but also something that will bring a smile to their faces. I would much rather feed the kids something from the following instead of hitting up a local fast food place. Save time and money by checking out these ideas.
Kid-Friendly Quick, Easy, CHEAP Meal Ideas
Most regular pizza is pretty unhealthy, but you can easily make a more wholesome pita pizza at home. The ingredients do not cost too much in this favorite among kids. Simply take a piece of pita bread (or even tortillas) and add pizza sauce and cheese to the top. You can buy huge jars of tomato sauce, a five pound bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, and pitas or tortillas from Costco or inexpensive retailers like Aldi to save even more money.
If you want to make it healthier or more interesting, you can add toppings to your pizza such as vegetables. Simply stick it in the oven, toaster oven, or even just the microwave for a quick meal your children will love. I like to pre-toast the bread for a few minutes and then add the toppings and continue cooking so that the crust is crispier and won’t get soggy.
An alternative to this is to make the kids a pizza wrap. You can buy whatever brand of wrap you want, place the pizza sauce, cheese and whatever extra ingredients your kids like into it and microwave it for a minute. Roll it up for a delicious, hand-held and kid-friendly meal.
Quesadilla & Burritos
A lot of kids love quesadillas. You can buy tortillas in whatever size you’d like. Simply place the tortilla in a pan on medium heat and add whatever ingredients you want such as cheese, meat, or vegetables. After a few minutes you can just fold it over and the kids have a yummy Mexican meal.
Alternatively, if you’re making several, you can throw a second tortilla on top of the cheese, meat, and veggies. When the first side starts to brown and your cheese starts to melt, flip the quesadilla until the other side is done. I like to cut into pieces with a pizza cutter for the perfect-sized finger food.
Another idea along these same lines is that you can make burritos by just mixing the ingredients right into a flour tortilla. These can be very inexpensive depending on what ingredients you use. I like to utilize leftover cooked meats and vegetables in ours.
It seems like almost everyone loves pasta. This costs very little, with many places selling pasta for a dollar or two a pound. You can add in a tomato sauce from a jar, and you are set. Little ones may find it easier to eat the ziti or bowtie shaped pasta. Meat is optional, as well as any veggies you may want to add in. I know a lot of moms that sneak in pureed veggies to the sauce to make it a very healthy meal.
If you want it to seem fancier, you can add sauce and mozzarella cheese to it and then bake it into a baked ziti or spaghetti. Be sure to keep an eye on it so the noodles don’t dry out or burn and get crunchy. I like to cover in foil while baking until about 5-10 minutes to the end and uncover so the cheese gets all melty and gooey.
Another option with pasta is to simply make the noodles and toss it with some melted butter! I like to sprinkle in some garlic powder and top with parmesan cheese. It is incredibly easy and so tasty. When I’m making this, I really prefer to use my Kerrygold butter, but in a pinch, any butter will do the job just fine.
Of course, you can also whip up your own alfredo sauce and enjoy your pasta that way. That’s a family favorite with all of my kids! If we have some chicken in the freezer, I will grill up and chop it into pieces to add in to the dish.
What are your favorite kid-friendly meal ideas?
With clever planning you can make simple meals that are both inexpensive and delicious.