My first in this series introduced homemade sandwich bread ideas. This post will focus on what goes inside those sandwiches. We must move beyond the idea of deli meats which are really not necessary at all and very, very expensive, usually twice the cost per pound of using leftover meats which I will discuss here.
I admit that I do buy Applegate uncured meats on occasion but because of cost have needed to look beyond deli meats for school lunch sandwiches (which my boys prefer over any other lunch idea except maybe hot soup in a thermos). Here are some of the foods that I use to make school lunches:
- Cold pulled pork with fresh sliced onions
- Sliced pork roast, roast beef, chicken breast, chicken cutlets, turkey breast
- Chicken, turkey or tuna salad — either no mayo recipe or organic mayo
- Uncured deli meats
- Cheese and veggies
- Any leftover meat sliced or chopped
- Butter (I use organic butter in place of mayonnaise a lot)
- Organic, non-GMO mayonnaise
- Organic mustard
- Homemade organic whole grain mustard
- Organic ketchup, barbeque sauce, wing sauce
- Sharp or mild cheddar
- Monterrey Jack or Colby
- Cream cheese
- Goat cheese
- Whatever cheese your kids love — just not American which isn’t really cheese
- Organic Lettuce: baby, Romaine, butter
- Sliced onions, red or yellow
- Sliced bell peppers, orange, red, yellow or green
- Sliced avocado
- Sliced olives
- Sliced cucumbers
The idea is to think outside the box. Ask your kids what they would like on their sandwiches. It took me a few months to figure out what my kids love on their sandwiches: sliced onions (both), sliced peppers (one — but I put them on the other child’s sandwiches and ask him to eat them because they are high in vitamin C), lettuce (one loves the lettuce, the other tolerates it but does eat it). I consider the veggies I put on my kids’ sandwiches a full serving. I then typically add sliced cucumbers, carrots, apples, or whatever we have on hand as a crunchy accompaniment. They have very little time to eat at school so we have narrowed it down to a sandwich and fruit. When we are out of fruit that I can put in their lunches (I always have frozen organic berries in the freezer that don’t travel well to school but are enjoyed at home) I include carrot or cucumber sticks.
Again, ask your kids what they like. You need them on board with the healthy lunch plan, and including them in the planning stage and asking how they liked a certain new creation involves them. I make a big deal about teaching my kids the nutritional value of the foods I feed them. They love that. We have had a lot of chronic illness in our family, and diet is one way that we are healing our bodies. Everyone wins and my kids are invested in the entire process.
Next post I will discuss school lunch additions: snacks, desserts, etc. Stay tuned . . .