Back-to-school lunch and snack recipes for under a $1

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You can pay upwards of $3 a day for your kids to buy lunch at school.

But according to Houston Moms Blog co-owner Meagan Clanahan, you can pack a lunch for under $1 a day.

"Buy bulk cheese, nitrate-free turkey and ham meat. Slice it up yourself. It doesn't take any time," Clanahan said.

Add some fruit and yogurt, and you're done.

You can also create a healthy twist on the lunchable for your kids.

"This is my play on the pizza lunchables that everybody loves. I like to take these mini bagel bites, pizza sauce in the middle and some mozzarella cheese and homemade blueberry muffins," Clanahan explained.

Another way to pack this lunch is using the same pizza ingredients.

"We used the same bagel bites, and just put some pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, put them in the oven about 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes," Clanahan said.

She suggests always adding fruit that you know your kids will eat and not toss out. Clanahan also recommends a nice twist on your everyday sandwich.

"Your store brand name tortillas, put store brand name cream cheese, and turkey so repurposing for that and wrap up a little cucumber and wrap it like a sushi roll," she said.

Clanahan also loves the YUMBOX. It's a leak proof and dishwasher safe Bento lunch box container. You can find it on Amazon for $20 - $30.

Need some snack help?

Trail mix and monster energy balls are simple and easy to make and your children will love them.

Clanahan makes homemade trail mix because buying straight from the store can get expensive.

"I bought a box of cereal -- cinnamon Chex -- mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips," Clanahan said.

Mix these three ingredients together and you have a fun s'mores-style trail mix your kids will eat up.

Another perfect snack for the picky eaters are monster energy balls.

"They think they're getting sweets. It is actually a monster energy ball. It has really good stuff in it. Super delicious for that extra energy burst they need to get through the school day," Clanahan said.

All you need for this recipe is peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, raisins, flax seeds and honey. Mix it all up and roll into a ball. Refrigerate them for 20 minutes and they are ready to eat!

EMBED More News Videos

Help the kids stay energized with this recipe for monster energy balls.


S'mores Snack Mix

4 cups Cinnamon Chex Cereal
1.5 cups Mini Marshmallows
1 cup Chocolate chips
Simply mix in a plastic bag and store.

Monster Energy Balls

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup peanut butter may also sub for other nut butters like sunflower or almond if your school is peanut free
1/2 cup mini M&Ms or small chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
** can also add up to 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed and/or 1 tbsp chia seeds
Place in bowl and mix well until the ingredients are combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, roll into golf ball size. Once all are rolled, place in the fridge for two hours to allow the oats to soften. Then they are ready to eat! Store in a Ziploc bag in the the fridge for up to five days.

Turkey Wraps
8 tortillas
1 8 oz container of spreadable cream cheese (plain or garden veggie works great; could also use hummus)
Nitrate-free turkey slices from the deli
Thinly sliced cucumber
Spread approximately 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of cream cheese on your wrap/tortilla. Layer turkey then cucumber. Roll tightly and then cut each wrap in half and then each half in half, making four even pieces.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.