“It’s time for the kids to go back to school, and the pat lunch routine to start up again,” says Jamie Oliver in his latest Instagram post. Ain’t that the truth! Trying to pack healthy lunches five days a week without boring our kids’ taste buds is a real challenge. Luckily, Oliver is gifting parents with some new recipes for, as he calls it, “the humble sandwich.”
“I’m going to help you make them more delicious and more nutritious,” Oliver says in the Instagram video. “These fillings are super simple to make and it’s going to help you get more of the good stuff into your kids.” Sounds perfect!
First up is a cheese sandwich, a fave of many little ones, but Oliver ups both the flavor and the nutrients by adding grated green apple or pear. Sounds so yummy! Simple spread light mayo or yogurt on whole grain bread, sprinkle on grated cheddar (or another hard cheese), and top with the crunchy fruit. Oliver’s pro tip: Squeeze a little lemon juice on the apple or pear to stop it from going brown. We love how this sandwich sneaks a little more fruit into the lunch box without just tossing in an apple.
Next up, Oliver shows us how to prepare a tuna roll, “which is a great way of getting oily fish into a kid’s diet.” This is important because fish like tuna boast lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for optimal body and brain function — which every child needs during the long school day. In OIiver’s recipe, canned tuna is mixed with light mayo and yogurt as well as veggies, such as sweetcorn (canned or frozen), cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, cress or peas. Sneaking in more nutrients once again! Serve the tuna-and-veggie filling between two halves of a whole grain roll, and the resulting sammie is “nutritious and packed full of flavor,” Oliver says.
Finally, Oliver offers up a chicken wrap: “It’s a great way to use up any of those Sunday roast leftovers,” he says. A tablespoon of yogurt or light mayo, some (nut-free) pesto and crunchy veggies all come together with the chicken to make a delicious filling. For the veggies, you can use whatever your kid prefers (or will tolerate), from shredded iceberg lettuce to grated carrot or sliced tomatoes. Tuck it all inside a whole grain tortilla or wrap shell to add in extra fiber.
Ah, thanks, Jamie! The contents for three out of five days of lunch boxes are handled, and that’s a big relief that makes school mornings way easier. Now, can you help get our kids to the bus stop on time?
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below: