Healthy lunches are a great way to make sure your child has the energy they need to tackle the second part of their school day and perform to the best of their abilities.
However, trying to get kids to eat what you pack them in their school lunches can be difficult, even at the best of times. Sometimes you need to change it up to make sure your kid doesn’t get bored and gets enough to eat.
Here are eleven ideas for school lunch sandwiches to help inspire you and keep your kids happy and healthy at lunch.
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly
There is no way a list about school lunch sandwiches wouldn’t feature this kid’s favorite. Not only do most kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, thanks to all-natural peanut butter and no sugar added jelly, but they also can be pretty healthy.
And if you are worried about nut allergies and not exposing kids to anything which could harm them, try almond butter. Not only is it a great source of healthy omega fatty acids, but it also doesn’t cause a reaction in those with nut allergies.
If your child’s school doesn’t allow any nuts, most will allow sunbutter, which is made from sunflower seeds.
2. Ham and Cheese
Another kid favorite is the classic ham and cheese sandwich. However, to make it a little healthier, substitute turkey ham for pork ham and use a mayo alternative like avocado or hummus as a spread. Also, add some veggies like lettuce and tomatoes to make sure they are getting a little extra vitamin boost while you are at it.
3. Tuna Wrap With Cheese
This is a fun take on another school lunch classic. Instead of your typical white bread, why not grab a tortilla, some lettuce, add a little apple to the tuna fish, and a pre-sliced piece of cheddar and roll it all up into a tasty, crunchy wrap your kids will love.
And, if you want to make it a little tangy and healthier switch the mayo with Greek yogurt. They are the same consistency, but Greek yogurt has way fewer calories plus tons of calcium.
4. Egg Salad on Whole Grain Bread
This sandwich is a great way to not only get your kid to eat their lunch but also to encourage healthy brain development. Mix it up with a little tzatziki or Greek yogurt to give it a little extra flavor. Or maybe add a tiny bit of paprika to make it a deviled egg sandwich.
5. Club Sandwich
This diner staple can also be a fantastic choice to make sure older kids get enough to eat. Packed with turkey, bacon, cheese, and a heaping of lettuce and tomatoes, there is bound to be enough to keep growing bodies satisfied.
If you don’t have time in the morning to fry up the bacon, switch it out for ham. Also, use avocado instead of mayo to keep it on the healthier side.
6. The Hammer
This hero, or sub depending on where you are, is packed to the brim. Consisting of turkey, ham, some kind of cheese, and pickles served on a whole-grain roll, it will smash your little one’s midday hunger like a hammer (see what we did there?).
One word of advice, keep the pickles separate if you are sending it in a lunch box. You don’t want the bread to get soggy.
7. Chicken and Broccoli Pockets
These tasty wraps are a nice break from a regular chicken sandwich. Take chopped chicken, broccoli, and cheddar cheese and fill a small flour tortilla with the mixture. Pop them in the oven and then cook them until they are golden and crispy.
The best part is, these are great warm or cold. Just don’t forget the dipping sauce or some guacamole to help make each bite a bit more flavorful.
8. Cheddar and Apple Sandwich
There is a reason why we love a slice of cheddar cheese with apple pie; something about the sweet and salty makes our mouths water. This sandwich takes that flavor combination and runs with it.
Spread whole-grain mustard on multi-grain bread and add the apples and cheddar. Now, feel free to use whatever apples you choose, but we think this sandwich tastes the best with slightly sweet ones like fuji or pink ladies to really bring out the saltiness of the cheddar.
9. Mini Fried Chicken Sliders
What kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets? This fun and easy twist on a slider lets them eat them in a new way.
Just cook the nuggets or strips according to the directions, pop them in a dinner roll, add some Parmesan cheese, a little marinara, and be prepared to be the best parent in the world. However, if you are packing these in a lunch, be sure to keep the sauce separate so it doesn’t sog up the bread.
10. Salami, Roasted Peppers, and Cheese
Another new twist on an old favorite. Simply cut a baguette in half, spread some Dijon mustard on it, add the salami or, if your kid is adventurous, prosciutto, cheese, and roasted peppers and you’re done. It is super simple and the peppers keep it from being too run of the mill.
11. Apple PB&J
Swap the bread for apple slices and use almond butter instead of peanut butter and you have a healthy, nut-free version of a childhood classic. Plus, we all know how tasty peanut butter and apples are together.
Fun Twists On School Lunch Sandwiches
There are so many great options for school lunch sandwiches. Don’t be afraid to play around and look for ways to shake up old standards. Your kids will thank you for it
For more ideas on school lunches and how healthy food helps kids learn, take a look at our blog.