Sandwiches are a great way to encourage your child to eat healthy foods. This article should give you some ideas for healthy & practical sandwich fillers for your child’s lunchbox!
Apple and Cheese
This may sound like an unlikely combination – but give it a chance, it works! Grate an apple and some cheese into a bowl and mix them together. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the mixture to stop the apple turning brown. Add to your chosen bread/wrap.
Apples are full of antioxidants which can help to protect against disease. They are also a good source of fibre, and are most healthy when left unpeeled.
Chicken with Peppers and Pesto
Slice up some leftover roast chicken and mix with a small teaspoon of ready-made green or red pesto. Chop up some thin slices of pepper (any colour). Add both to your chosen bread/wrap.
Red peppers have three times more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is really good for fighting infections and maintaining healthy bones, teeth and gums.
Banana and Peanut Butter
Peel a ripe banana and cut it either into circles or long slices. Spread some peanut butter over your bread of choice, add the chopped banana and you’re done.
Bananas are a really good source of vitamin B6. This vitamin is important for the health of your immune system, nervous system and red blood cells.
Cheese and Onion
Slice or spread your child’s favourite type of cheese onto a slice of bread/wrap/bagel/bap etc. Chop an onion into thin rings or slices and place on top of the cheese. For a tasty twist, you can fry up the onion beforehand in a little olive oil – you could do this the night before and store in the fridge.
Onions contain phenols and flavonoids. These have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. The stronger tasting onions in particular (such as shallots) are known to have even greater effects.
Mackerel and Lettuce
Drain a tin of mackerel and flake it into a bowl with some mayonnaise and greek yoghurt. Mix it up. Spread it onto your chosen bread and top with some fresh lettuce.
Mackerel is both healthy and delicious. It is extremely high in omega-3, containing twice as much per unit weight than salmon.
Some fillings taste good in almost any sandwich. These include vegetables like lettuce, onion, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes. Hummus, (a spread made from chickpeas) can be a great alternative to mayonnaise or butter and is really easy to make.
Don’t be afraid to try some of your own creations. Be inventive with things you already have in the fridge and cupboards rather than make unnecessary shopping trips. You might even come up with a new classic filling! Try different combinations of cheese, veg (fresh, grilled, pickled), eggs, potato salad, cold meats, peanut-butter, banana, hummus, mayonnaise, pesto, chutney & fish.
- Plan your sandwich fillings for the week ahead – make up a few fillers, pop them in tupperware and store them in the fridge for use later in the week
- If you’re doing a Sunday roast, cook extra meat and store in the fridge as a cost effective way of varying the lunchbox menu
- Try to get the kids involved – children who help to prepare their own food will often be more willing to try out new things
- If you’re pushed for time in the mornings, prepare the sandwiches the night before
Fillings to Avoid
Avoid chocolate spreads and jams – they aren’t very filling and aren’t a healthy option. A portion of Nutella, for example, contains over 55% sugar.
Be sure to let us know if you have any favourite sandwich recipes – we’d love to hear about them – just make a comment below!