My kids were supposed to start school today and last night I was prepared and began prepping their lunches for the week. Too bad it’s a snow day here because of the fridge temperatures and wind chills. Oh, well I am prepared for the rest of the week! One of the things I started to do was brainstorm ways to spice up their lunches and not make them so boring. You know the same old sandwich day after day? I wanted to start the New Year off with some new lunch ideas and change things up! My kids eat a lot of sandwiches because I pack all of their lunches and they can be picky. So here is what I came up with for the New Year to help add variety to their lunch boxes, 20 sandwich ideas to help the kids (an mom too) shake the brown bag blues.
1. Tuna salad on white bread is standard, but try it on toast with shredded carrots for crunch (and Vitamin A!).
2. Almond butter with sliced banana packs a protein punch, but tastes like dessert.
3. Another alternative to plastic-wrapped cheese is grilled Monterey Jack with thinly sliced pear.
4. Grilled Swiss with avocado and sour cream. Yes, sour cream. If you can find alfalfa sprouts, they are great stuffed in here, too. Make sure you wash your alfalfa sprouts and if your kids don’t like sour cream try cream cheese!
6. Ham with apple butter. Very autumnal and very tasty.
7. Leftover turkey on cranberry nut bread. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to try this one. This is even good rolled up in a tortilla!
8. Leftover steak with fresh spinach leaves, fresh mozzarella and chipotle mayo.
9. Hummus, tomato and diced cucumbers rolled up in a lavash (flat bread) or stuffed in a pita. I’ve even made these on those mini slices of bread or with crackers and they’re delicious!
10. Fresh mozzarella and raspberry jam panini. Mmmm. Warm and melty. Sweet and salty.
11. Ham on a blueberry muffin. Kids love this.
12. Leftover grilled chicken on a biscuit with American cheese, mayo and pickle.
13. Ham salad on an apple cinnamon muffin.
14. Roast beef and tomato on leftover garlic bread. Why not. It really is a good way to use up the bread and tastes amazing!
15. Banana bread with Nutella. Warning: Nutella, a hazelnut-chocolate spread, is addictive. You may just eat the entire jar with a spoon.
16. Fill a wrap or a pita with ham and homemade pineapple salsa or sliced pineapple.
17. Give turkey lunch meat a new lease on life with cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers on a toasted bagel.
18. Sliced tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella on a whole wheat English muffin with olive oil.
19. Leftover beef or chicken stir fry rolled up in a wrap with lettuce and mayo.
20. Leftover chicken with pesto on a bakery roll will make anyone want to brown bag it.
Don’t forget that grilled sandwiches and paninis taste just as good cold. You can even freeze them and make them ahead of time, which makes life much easier! Anyone that is perpetually packing their lunch for budget-conscious or health-conscious reasons needs a little shake up now and then.
How do you shake the brown bag blues?