5 Kid-Approved Lunches That Are Ready in a Flash

From one busy parent, to another.

July 02, 2020

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Toaster Oven Pita Pizzas beauty, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

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I don’t know about you but when it comes to parenting, I’ll take all the extra support I can get. Whether it’s a family member offering free babysitting so that my husband and I can take a night off or a text from one of my friends sharing boredom-busting crafts and game ideas — I’m all ears.

The same is true when it comes to cooking for my kiddo. Although she’s older and we eat a lot of the same meals, we generally go in different directions at lunchtime. As good of an eater as she is, there’s just no way I’m going to get her to eat a green salad or grain bowl almost every day for lunch.

That’s why I’m constantly checking the Food Network Kitchen app for new recipes and classes. The chefs on the app are my culinary support system when it comes to quick, kid-friendly meals! From recipes that Jet Tila makes for his little ones to delicious dishes developed by the chefs in the Food Network test kitchen — I always find something that makes mealtime a little easier.

Need to expand your culinary community and find more kid-approved recipes? These 5 classes (all of which have the stamp of approval from my 9-year-old) will get you started.

Toaster Oven Pita Pizzas (pictured above)

My daughter will never say no to pizza for lunch. She loves making her own, topping it with everything from pepperoni to itsy, bitsy broccoli florets. But, kneading dough and preheating the oven takes time. Now, thanks to Jet Tila’s easy toaster oven method, pizza is one lunch that I can make on the weekdays — his version is ready in just 20 minutes.

20-Minute Mac and Cheese beauty, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

You won’t believe how easy it is to make creamy, stovetop macaroni and cheese from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to whip up a homemade cheese sauce — which means you can make it while the pasta boils. Once you drain your pasta just stir everything together and serve.

This is one of my daughter’s favorite recipes. She’s a huge fan of breakfast-for-lunch (or dinner), plus this is one of the recipes that she and I cook together. Each time she masters a task or demonstrates that she’s ready to learn a new skill, I let her make more of the recipe on her own. This is a great recipe for a quick lunch and for teaching little ones the fundamentals of cooking.

Beverly Weidner's Corn and Mushroom Ramen Bowls, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Lauren Volo

Lauren Volo

I love a good shortcut and this upgraded ramen noodle bowl is exactly that. The recipe comes together quickly thanks to packets of ramen noodles but is still loaded with fresh ingredients and wholesome veggies.

Beverly Weidner's Turkey Lunch Wrap, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Lauren Volo

Lauren Volo

Turkey, tortillas and red bell pepper are all on my daughter's list of favorite ingredients so I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that it would be a win. She loves spreading the hummus around the tortilla and choosing different ingredients to fill up these super speedy wraps. And I love having an extra set of hands to help with the meal prep!

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