August is National Sandwich Month and a great time to start thinking about back-to-school routines. One of those routines is packing lunch boxes and at the cornerstone of every lunch box is a sandwich. In fact, a survey done by the consumer research group NPD Group found that 74% of all bagged lunches for school include a sandwich.
Sandwiches are popular in lunchboxes for good reasons. A sandwich is convenient, versatile and can provide good quality nutrition. The bases of a healthy sandwich should be whole grain and lean protein. Adding healthy toppings is another way to sneak in more nutrition. Start with these basics, add a little creativity and willingness to try new combinations and your kids will be packing (and eating) a nutrient-filled and tasty lunch!
Pack-a-Better Sandwich Recipes
Flatout flatbreads +peanut butter + granola + diced apples
Veggie Ribbon Sandwich
Whole-grain sandwich thin + 1 tbsp. light cream cheese + sliced carrot ribbons + 1 slice deli turkey. tip: Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber, carrots and zucchini into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.
Hy-Vee waffle pretzel + cheese slice + veggies (carrots, cucumber, broccoli, peppers)
Open Face Bagel Thin
Whole-grain mini bagel half + 1 wedge strawberry Laughing Cow cream cheese spread + dried cranberries or sliced strawberries
Spread mustard on slice of deli turkey + wrap around sesame breadstick or mozzarella cheese stick.
Thread onto bamboo skewer or pretzel stick: cubed whole-grain bread + deli meat + spinach or lettuce leaf + grape tomato + cheese cube + olive.
Whole-grain bread + sunflower seed butter + banana slices
Tip: Use cookie cutters to make shapes in the bread.
Banana Hot Dog
Ingredients: Whole grain hot dog bun + nut butter + half a banana + strawberry jam (ketchup) + chopped kiwi (relish) + pureed papaya (mustard)
Instructions: 1. Spread a whole-grain hot dog bun with nut butter, and top with banana. 2. Top with strawberry puree/jam, kiwi and papaya for banana hot dog toppings.
View the entire August HealthyBites newsletter