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Quick and Easy Back-to-School Recipes Your Kids Will Love

Back-to-School season can be hard and stressful for most of us, and 2021 has surely added more items to add to your “back-to-school” checklist. When you’re done with all the shopping and have studied all the safety guidelines, there’s still one more thing to sort out before school starts - “what to make for breakfast and what to pack for lunch”
Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
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Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
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It’s that time of the year again. And while it sure feels a bit different this time, parents all across the country still have to go through the usual back-to-school preparation madness. Not to mention that 2021 has added quite a few items to your regular shopping and to-do lists. However, it will feel great to stop moonlighting as a homeschool teacher and get your kids reunited with their classmates and friends.

And no matter how unusual the 2021 back-to-school season might be, there’s always one thing you can plan ahead - meals! Putting together a list of quick weekday breakfasts and perfect school lunches (or updating it if you have one already) can alleviate some of the back-to-school stress and craziness.

To keep your household morning chaos to a minimum and never have your kids complain about their lunch, a perfect back-to-school recipe should fulfill certain criteria. We actually made a checklist to make it even easier.

Back-to-school Recipe Checklist:


  • Can be cooked or prepped ahead of time

  • Is freezer-friendly and easy to reheat

  • Can eat it on the go (for extra hectic “snooze fail” mornings)

  • Fits into a lunch box

  • Is quick and easy to cook (best if ready in under 30 minutes)

  • Contains healthy immune-boosting ingredients

  • Will satisfy a picky eater (your kid’s personal food preferences/allergies etc.)

Following this checklist that guarantees overall success with back-to-school meal planning, we have made you a list of 25 recipes for quick and easy back-to-school meals your kids will love that fit all of these requirements! Can you believe it?

Actually, you shouldn’t be so lucky. it’d be absolutely impossible for one dish to fulfill all of the criteria above, but these 25 recipes come pretty close! And it’s guaranteed your children will love them.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Pimento Egg Sandwich

SideChef

Is there a better and easier school lunch idea than a good old sandwich? These take your sandwich game to another level, so cheesy and flavorful! What’s even better, you can make the egg salad spread ahead of time and assemble them the next morning.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Make-Ahead Greek Chicken Bowls

SideChef

Healthy, delicious, and kid-friendly, these chicken bowls are an absolute winner. Prep everything and throw them together in a matter of minutes.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Italian Sub Pinwheels

SideChef

Easy to make and no-mess to eat Italian sub pinwheels make for a perfect lunch option! Full of zesty pepperoni, salty salami, crunchy pepperoncini.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Campbell's Kitchen

Mini bite-sized versions of everyone’s favorite meals are not only for your dinner parties. They are also perfect to pack in a lunch box or have on the go when you’re pressed on time. Plus kids love them!

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Mediterranean Chicken Wrap

Hapa Nom Nom

This is a foolproof way to sneak healthy veggies into your child’s lunch and be sure they eat it. This wrap is so delicious and full of flavor, it’s difficult to think of it as “healthy”.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Mini Frittata Cups with Mascarpone

Wishful Chef

The number of versatile breakfast bites you can make in your muffin tin is incredible! Most of those muffin-tin baked breakfasts are freezer-friendly and easy to put together as well.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Egg White Bites with Spinach

Happily Hughes

One more protein-packed, healthy, low-carb breakfast your whole family will enjoy. You can also pack it as a savory snack to add to lunch and be certain your kid is eating spinach daily.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Everything Breakfast Bombs

Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen

Sausage, egg, and cheese wrapped up in biscuits, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning… it’s gonna be hard to find anyone who won’t like this amazing no-mess grab-n-go breakfast.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Tater Tots

SideChef

Tater Tots are one of the top foods universally loved by children. Make your own homemade tots, freeze them and have them ready in just a few minutes whenever your kids ask for them. It’s way healthier than the store-bought ones.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Stuffed Crust Margherita Pizza

SideChef

Pizza is another meal most kids would love to have for lunch or dinner. This Margherita pizza is easy to make and perfect to square and pack for lunch. Its extra cheesy crust is another bonus.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Spaghetti Pie Muffins

Where Your Treasure Is

Making spaghetti into muffins is a fun variation that is also a wonderful way to have ready-made meals in the freezer. They can be warmed up in a jiffy and fit perfectly into a lunch box. Your kids will love these for an after-school snack as well.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Simple Sandwich Sushi

OnePotChef

Kids love meals that are fun! Rolled into a log and sliced, these cute, sushi-style sandwiches will keep everyone happy! You can’t beat a recipe that only calls for 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Korean Street Food Sandwich

Mrs. P's Kitchen

A popular breakfast sandwich from Korea will most likely become a popular breakfast sandwich for your kids and family as well. It’s absolutely delicious and full of veggie goodness!

EASYFISH-FREE

Grilled Peanut Butter & Apple Sandwich

The Simple Veganista

A nice healthy twist on the good old PB & J sandwich. This grilled peanut butter & apple sandwich includes plenty of protein, fiber, and other good nutritional values to keep your kids happy and healthy.

PEANUT-FREEFISH-FREE

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

Garlic & Zest

Granola bars are a perfect grab-n-go breakfast option or a great healthy snack. These are crispy, chewy, and taste like pumpkin spiced pie!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Bars

Vodka & Biscuits

Make these blueberry almond bars for a more fruity on-the-go snack. You can freeze these as well, and always having something healthy and delicious for your family to enjoy is so convenient!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Chocolate-Dipped Chewy Granola Bars

Live Eat Learn

If your kid is more of a chocolate flavor fan try these granola bars. They are done in 30 minutes and don’t need to be baked! Just stir, press, chill, and cut.

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

The Gourmandise School

Healthy blueberry muffin your kids will love! These taste amazing and are packed with nutritious immune-boosting ingredients like chia seeds.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Buttermilk Pancakes

Kim's Cravings

You probably have a recipe for buttermilk pancakes already, after all, it is one of the most beloved breakfasts. But just in case you don’t, try this recipe.

Buttermilk pancakes are also 100% freezer-friendly! Cook, chill and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. This breakfast prep hack will absolutely change your life!

You can have a pancake breakfast plated and served in 10 minutes!

Place your frozen pancakes on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for roughly 8 minutes.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

French Toast Nuggets

Nicko's Kitchen

Most children love French toast, and pretty much all love nuggets. Combine the two and make these french toast nuggets for your little ones!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

Compelled to Cook

An oldie but goldie potato cakes recipe. Mix leftover mashed potatoes with a few pantry items and give a quick pan-fry, and lunch is ready!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Pizzadilla

myharto

When your kids are asking for a pizza but you only have 5 minutes, this pizzadilla will solve your lunch packing dilemma. A crispy, cheese-stuffed quesadilla with classic pizza topping in the middle.

GLUTEN-FREEPEANUT-FREE

Homemade Sloppy Joes

In the Kitchen with Jonny

An American classic! Sloppy joes are popular with most children. They're a favorite in lunchrooms in schools all over the country. Can’t say these are mess-free, but they sure are delicious!

PEANUT-FREETREE NUT-FREE

Homestyle Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Lauren Holdcroft at SideChef

Make this Taco Bell Crunchwrap Copycat recipe when your kids are asking for fast food but you still want them to eat healthily. It is bound to become their favorite!

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Baked "Fried" Chicken Fingers

Healthy-ish

And here’s another solution for fast food craving family members. Golden, crispy, and succulent pseudo-fried chicken without any oily mess.

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