kid making pizza with dad

How to make your kids lunch for less than £1

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

It might seem impossible to find healthy home-cooked food that costs under £1 per portion, but we’ve got some recipes that deliver. Check out these tasty lunch ideas that your child and your bank balance will love.

Granted - getting children to eat healthy food can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. Worry not - we’ve put together a list of nutritious meals that you can make for less than £1 per portion. We’ve tried to make sure these recipes provide a decent portion, whilst keeping the cost down. 

When working out costs we used current prices from Asda and didn’t include store cupboard staples such as oil, black pepper, and herbs. 

Jacket potato with tuna or beans 

A simple jacket potato is a great source of potassium and low in fat. Add a topping and a small side salad for a cheap and balanced meal. Serve beans instead of tuna for a veggie option. 

  • white potato 
  • 4 tbsp tinned tuna or half a can of baked beans 
  • 1 tbsp tinned sweetcorn 
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Method: Pierce the potato with a fork and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. You could give it a few minutes in the microwave before you put it in the oven, to soften it up. Once cooked, cut it open and fill - or scoop the flesh out, mix it with the fillings, then return to the jacket.  

Cost per portion: 72.5p with tuna, or 25p with beans 
The list: Baking potato 10.5p, 4 tbsp tuna 58p or half a can of baked beans 14.5p, 1 tbsp sweetcorn 2p, 1 tbsp mayonnaise 2p  

Fish cakes 

A good source of protein, these fish cakes are simple and quick to make with just four ingredients. 

  • 1 potato 
  • 2 tbsp tinned tuna 
  • 1 spring onion 
  • 1 carrot or portion of cucumber 

Method: Cook the potato and then scoop out the flesh. Using a fork, mix it with the tuna and chopped spring onion, and then lightly fry until cooked through and browned each side. Serve the fish cakes with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks or some baked beans. 
Cost for three fishcakes: 47.5p plus side 
1 potato 10.5p, 2 tbsp tinned tuna 29p, 1 spring onion 8p 

Pasta salad 

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates and mixed with the right ingredients is an affordable and healthy meal. 

  • 50g pasta of your choice 
  • olive oil 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes 
  • portion of chopped cucumber 
  • spinach leaves 
  • quarter of a cube of feta cheese 

Method: Cook the pasta in boiling water and let it cool. Then mix the pasta with some olive oil, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and spinach. Crumble over some feta cheese and finish with some black pepper and/or dried herbs. Pasta dishes are great because not only are they cheap to make but you can adjust the ingredients to suit your child’s taste. 

Cost per portion: 62.5p 
50g pasta 4.5p, 5 cherry tomatoes 15p, cucumber portion 10p, spinach leaves 8p, cube feta cheese 25p 

Egg-fried rice 

This dish has all the good stuff – protein, fats and carbs, as well as nutrients from the veg. 

  • 300g basmati rice, cooked and cooled 
  • 4 spring onions 
  • 1 red pepper 
  • 1 broccoli head 
  • 175g frozen peas 
  • 3 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 

Method: Heat a little oil in a pan or Wok, and stir fry the chopped onions and pepper. Add the chopped broccoli (and some garlic if you like) along with a little water to let the broccoli cook. Simmer until the water has evaporated and the broccoli almost cooked. Then stir in the cooked rice and peas and cook for three to four minutes. Add the eggs and soy sauce and stir until eggs are just set. Serves 4. 

Cost per portion: 49p 
300g basmati rice 39p, 4 spring onions 32p, 1 red pepper 30p, broccoli 50p, peas 11p, 3 eggs 33.75p 

Homemade pizza 

For this one, you can get the kids involved and they’ll love eating their creations. Pizza is a fun and cheap crowd-pleaserTry out different toppings to suit you and your kids. 

  • 25g self-raising flour 
  • 25ml water 
  • 125g tomato passata 
  • 125g ball of mozzarella - or cheese of your choice 
  • slice of ham 
  • 2 mushrooms 

Method: Mix the flour and water together, with a pinch of salt. When a dough forms, knead for a while and then roll out onto a floured surface. Make any shape you like, that’s part of the fun. Spread the passata on the top and then any toppings you like. Cook in the oven for about fifteen minutes but keep an eye on it. 
Cost per portion: 86.97p 
25g self-raising flour 8.17p, 125g passata 8.3p, 125g mozzarella 43p, ham slice 17.5p, 2 mushrooms 10p 
To save even more cash on your food bill, read here to see if going veggie can help you cut costs.  

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

kid making pizza with dad kid making pizza with dad