It’s a lunchtime institution, with a whopping 11.5 billion sandwiches eaten in the UK every single year. Quick and easy to make and with a filling to suit everyone, the humble sandwich is popular with children and adults alike. To mark National Sandwich Week from Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th May 2017, we give you a tempting menu of delicious and healthy kids’ sandwich ideas.
Join the production line
Sandwich making is the ideal ‘cooking’ activity for kids. You can get them involved in buttering the bread, choosing the fillings and putting the whole thing together for a tasty and healthy lunch. The results are instant, you’ll boost their confidence with decision making, and unlike a more involved cookery session you’ll have minimal washing up to do afterwards.
- Put out a few bowls or plates of prepared fillings such as cucumber slices, grated cheese, ham and grated carrot.
- Don’t limit yourself to butter – offer exciting alternatives like hummus, peanut butter, cheese spread and guacamole.
- Let children have a go at buttering the bread themselves. It’ll give them a sense of achievement, and will help to develop their fine motor skills.
- Offer a healthy side dish to garnish the plate, such as vegetable sticks or fruit slices.
Inject some variety
Are you fed up with making the same boring sandwich every day? Small children are often creatures of habit, but you can encourage them to vary their diet by offering attractively presented alternatives to their daily favourite.
- Different types of bread can make things a bit more exciting. Choose from baguettes, wraps, bagels, sandwich thins, pitta or rolls to jazz up a sandwich lunch.
- Pinwheel sandwiches look great on a plate. Use thinly sliced bread or a wrap, then spread with the dip or butter of your choice. You could include spinach leaves for an injection of colour. Roll up the bread, then cut into circular slices and arrange on the plate.
- Toasted sandwiches can be more appealing to children who prefer a hot lunch.
- Try colourful fillings that will look enticing. You could make a rainbow sandwich using lots of different colours – what about tomato (or tomato puree), grated carrot, sweetcorn, lettuce and grated beetroot?
- Fun presentation ideas can help make lunch more appealing. Use biscuit cutters to create handy bite-sized sandwiches in a variety of shapes.
With a little ingenuity, the sandwich is the perfect vehicle for introducing extra salad, vegetables and even fruit into your little one’s daily diet. Try these healthy kids’ sandwich ideas to up their fruit and veg intake:
- Ditch the butter or margarine and replace with pureed avocado for a creamy and tasty filling.
- Hummus, made with chickpeas, can count towards your child’s 5-a-day. There are lots of different varieties that include other veg too, like red pepper and onion.
- Try adding apple slices or dried fruit to a cream cheese sandwich for an irresistible healthy treat.
- Grating vegetables often makes them taste very different. Sweet, grated carrot with hummus is a popular choice with many pre-schoolers.
- Why not grow your own? Cress is a quick and easy first growing project, and will be super-tasty when added to an egg sandwich.