PB&J, ham and cheese, and tuna fish are all easy, simple options for kids’ lunches, but after a few weeks of the same old, your kids will probably bored or worse— come home without even having taken a bite. So if you’re looking for some creative and fun sandwich ideas for kids, the good news is that there are so many different ways to upgrade lunch and transform the ho-hum into a mouthwatering meal.
In this post, I’ll be covering:
- Tips for packing kids’ sandwiches.
- Children’s sandwich filling ideas.
- 7 sandwich ideas for kids for school and home.
TIPS FOR PACKING KIDS’ SANDWICHES
Whether you’re packing lunch for school or eating at home, making a sandwich is about the quickest and easiest option around. Here are some tips to keep in mind when packing kids’ sandwiches.
- Kids as young as kindergarten can help make their own sandwiches. Although it takes more time and can get messy, it’s a good idea to let your kids help. Studies show when kids are given a variety of options and feel in control of what they eat, they’re more likely to make healthy choices. Of course, you don’t want to offer an endless amount of options so make your life easier by offering two choices you deem acceptable like tuna or canned salmon, for example.
- Sandwiches actually lend themselves to a variety of vegetables which add fiber, flavor, and texture so try to get them in. Some good options include grated carrots or carrot chips, diced celery, slices of red, green, yellow and orange peppers, cucumber, and radishes.
- Instead of white bread which lacks fiber and can spike blood sugar levels, choose whole-grain bread which will satisfy your kids’ hunger, keep them feeling full, and balance their blood sugar.
- Use leftovers like chicken, steak, turkey, and vegetables as sandwich fillings.
- Depending on what you put in your kids’ sandwich, it might be soggy by lunchtime. To avoid this, toast the bread which dries it out.
If you’re packing warm ingredients like scrambled eggs or roasted vegetables, let them cool before putting them in the sandwich. You can also pack the sandwich components separately in a bento box and then let your kid assemble it at lunch time.
CHILDREN’S SANDWICH FILLING IDEAS
When it comes to sandwich ideas for kids, you can pack just about anything. Here are some to consider:
- Black bean dip
- Canned salmon
- Cream cheese
- Fruit: apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, figs
- Nut and seed butters
- Roast beef
- Roasted red pepper
- Salad greens
- Smashed peas
- Tuna fish
SANDWICH IDEAS FOR KIDS
Here are some easy sandwich ideas for kids that are packed with nutrition, full of flavor, and take minutes to pull together.
1. Southwestern Crispy Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo
Turkey and cheese is about as kid-friendly as they come, but these Southwestern Crispy Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo are anything but basic.
With all-natural turkey, Colby jack cheese, tomato, and a delicious chipotle mayo, this sandwich has a ton of texture, flavor, and gooey goodness your kids will love.
2. Honey Banana Grilled Cheese Sandwich
If you know Giada De Laurentiis’ style of cooking, you know she’s all about mascarpone cheese.
Years ago when I was writing for a parenting magazine, I received her cookbook, Giada’s Kitchen, and made her recipe for Panini With Chocolate and Cheese—it was as amazing as it sounds.
There is nothing better than the combination of sweet and salty so when I saw this recipe for Honey Banana Grilled Cheese, it reminded me of that panini recipe and I knew I had to include it in this list of sandwich ideas for kids.
Instead of plain ‘ol cheddar, this upgraded version of grilled cheese calls for decadent mascarpone cheese. With slices of banana and a drizzle of honey, it’s healthy and delicious and your kids will think you packed an extra special treat.
3. Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich
Most kids don’t get enough vegetables in their diets, despite guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that says kids should be eating them at every meal and snack.
The more you can get veggies in their lunches, the better and sandwiches are the perfect option to make it happen.
With creamy hummus and plenty of crunchy, colorful raw vegetables, this Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich is one of the best easy sandwich ideas for kids.
The reason I love this recipe in particular, is that it has a ton of variety which kids love, and it’s an opportunity to offer vegetables they accept—or even love— alongside new types.
Even if your kids don’t love the veggies you put in the sandwich, studies show the more exposure they have to new foods, the more likely they will be to at least try them.
Try switching up this sandwich with new vegetables, a different spread or mashed cooked peas, a different type of bread, or add seeds for extra fiber and an extra crunch—the possibilities are endless.
4. Gluten-Free Mini PB&J Waffle Sandwiches
When it comes to the best sandwich ideas for kids, PB&J is always a win yet these gluten-free Mini PB&J Waffle Sandwiches are much more fun and special.
With peanut flour and peanut butter, these sandwiches are packed with protein too. They only take 10 minutes to pull together— make a double batch and you’ll have enough for breakfast as well.
5. Simple Boiled Egg Sandwich
Eggs are superfoods for kids and a great option any time of the day.
This Simple Boiled Egg Sandwich is packed with protein and with onions and coriander, it’s bursting with flavor and yummy goodness.
6. Confetti Grilled Cheese With Tomato
There’s nothing like the delicious combination of grilled cheese and tomato, but this Confetti Grilled Cheese With Tomato also has green onion and dried basil, which makes it full of flavor and texture and so colorful.
It’s also kid-friendly, a bit fancy, and takes only 5 minutes to make.
7. Avocado Chutney Sandwich
With 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamins B5, B6, C, E, K, folate and potassium, plenty of fiber, and the healthy fats kids need, avocado is one of the healthiest foods for kids but at the same time, an unlikely sandwich filling.
Add lettuce, tomatoes, or your kid’s favorite vegetable and you have a healthy and delicious sandwich option.
Related: How To Prepare Avocado