If you haven't seen Sylina Lunches before, you're missing out- following her lunches on instagram and in a few different facebook groups is so inspirational. I decided to work up the courage to ask the queen of the awesome lunch to do us a guest post for the #cleanupurlunchbox series....and she did! With a video and it's so incredibly amazing. And I'm a little star struck, so I'll hand over the blog so she can share with you some seriously fun lunch ideas!
Are you getting tired of the same old sandwich for lunch?
Sandwiches used to be a staple in every bagged lunch but that has now changed. The NPD Group – National Eating Trends shows that the inclusion of sandwiches in school lunches has dropped significantly. Does that mean that sandwiches are bad or that we shouldn’t be packing them in our children’s lunches? NO! We’re just running out of sandwich ideas, and instead of packing another boring sandwich, we just avoid sandwich bread altogether. That doesn’t need to be the case!
Here are 10 easy ways to use sandwich bread to change a plain sandwich into something new, fun and delicious!
1. Regular Sandwich
There’s nothing wrong with packing a good old fashion sandwich! Sometimes just changing what you put in your sandwich is enough to spruce up your lunch.
Here are some possible sandwich fillings to get you inspired:
– cream cheese
– nut or sun butters
– pureed avocado
– salad dressings
– tomato sauce
– bell peppers
– shredded carrots
– spinach/leafty greens
– deli meats
– leftover meats or fish
– meat patties or balls
– smoked salmon
– try adding seeds like chia seeds, sesame seeds, shredded nuts or coconut on top of any spreads.
– try a sweet sandwich instead of a savoury one by adding fruits like strawberries or bananas and some cinnamon or honey.
2. Sandwich Cutouts
Another fun way to dress up your sandwich is by cutting them into cute shapes. This can be easily done with a cookie cutter, the open side of a glass or mug, a specialty sandwich cutter or just a plain old knife. For best results, cut the bread first then continue to cut and place the other sandwich fillings. This will allow you to save the outer cutout of the sandwich bread for the next fun sandwich bread idea below!
3. Cutout with egg in the middle
Nobody likes to waste food! Using the cutouts from your sandwich shapes is an easy way to reuse those leftover pieces and transform them into another delicious lunch for the week. Place the cutout onto a buttered pan over medium heat, crack an egg into the middle and top with any leftover cheese or meats. Let it cook until the bread is crispy then turn off the heat and cover it with a lid to finish cooking. Another option is to place it on a baking sheet and bake/toast it in the oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes or until the sandwich bread is crispy and the egg is set.
Most kids don’t like eating the crust on sandwich breads. If this is the case for your child, uncrustables are a great option. Proceed with the steps for making a sandwich cutout as outlined in #2, then simply using a fork pinch all around the outside edge of the sandwich. If you didn’t use any sandwich spread, you may want to lightly wet the inside edges to create a better seal. When finished, serve it as is or toast it up for a nice “pizza pocket” effect!
Add some tomato sauce or salsa and cheese to your sandwich bread and voila you’ve got yourself a fast and easy pizza lunch! Just toast it up until the cheese is melted and be sure to let it cool completely before packing into your lunchbox – this will keep it crispy for lunch time.
6. Rolls (sushi)
Even if your child isn’t a fan of the traditional Japanese sushi – this fun twist transforms it into something new and delicious. With a thinly rolled out piece of bread, add some sandwich spread with any sandwich fillings, then roll them up. You can leave them as a long roll or cut them into smaller bite sized pieces. Make these savoury or sweet! Some popular sweet options can be cream cheese with some jam or fruit or peanut butter with banana – yummy!
7. Muffin Cups
Muffin cups are a great way to use up any leftover from the week. Roll out a piece of bread, cut off the crusts then while making small folds – shape the bread into a muffin cup. You can toast them as is then add topping or add your favourite toppings or leftovers then toast them up.
Cutting food into small bite sized pieces then putting them on a stick may sound simple – but this change in presentation really does give a fun spin on a regular sandwich. For most kids and even adults – eating food off of a stick is just fun! If you add some dipping sauce to your lunch – it also makes it easy to dip too!
9. French Toast Sticks
You usually can’t go wrong with breakfast for lunch! Mix up an egg with salt and milk then dip your strips of sandwich bread into the mixture and give them a quick fry over the stove. Add some maple syrup and you’re good to go!
Every kid loves crackers! This is also a fun one to get the kids to cut out the shapes themselves. You can give them a quick toast over the oven or on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. until crispy. For added flavour, just lightly coat with butter and dust with parmesan cheese or any seasoning your child likes.
With those 10 quick ideas, you won’t find yourself dreading another sandwich again! Mix it up and the next time you have any leftover sandwich bread you’ll know just what to do with it.