If you’re looking to expand the options you make for your kids and these 12 easy options work for little and big kids both. Plus: Tips on how to help toddlers learn to chew sandwiches!

sandwiches for kids in grid

Sandwiches for Kids

There’s nothing wrong with a classic, simple peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter) and jelly or turkey sandwich, but if you’re looking for other options or simple ways to change those up, these ideas will help.

All of these can be served to little and big kids—younger kids may need some adjustments made—and each is a simple lunch idea for kids.

How to Make a Sandwich for Kids

A regular sandwich can be a complicated mix of textures for toddlers, so have patience while they learn to eat and chew and consider ways to make it easier for them to eat their lunch. Here are some tips to consider.

  • Think deconstructing the elements, dicing the sandwich up small, making sure the bread is thin, soft, and easy to chew, and offering a drink so they have enough moisture in their mouth.
  • You can use whole grain bread (like Dave’s Killer Bread, Food for Life, bakery fresh whole grain bread, or homemade bread), whole grain rolls, pita bread, flatbread, lavash, or tortillas.
  • I try to use whole grains when possible, though your kids may prefer white flour and find those products easier to chew (as they tend to be softer). Try a few different options to see what works best for your kids and feel free to mix it up each week to offer a range of nutrients and textures.
  • Add fresh fruit, an applesauce pouch, canned fruit cup (in 100% juice), easy veggies for lunch, milk, and/or water to any lunch to round it out.

TIP: Adjust portions as indicated by the hunger of your own unique child. There’s no one right portion size!

homemade-uncrustable-in-lunchboxEasy Sandwich Recipes

1. Make-Ahead Uncrustables

If your kids love pb&j (or sunflower seed butter and jelly), you can make a few ahead, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and stash in a freezer bag in the freezer to quickly pull out and pack in a lunchbox. To serve at home, simply let sit out at room temperature for about an hour—or take it out of the freezer in the morning and it will be perfect come lunch. Read the full info on Homemade Uncrustables here, with more options for fillings!

2. Crispy Chicken Club

Bake up frozen chicken tenders (store bought from a brand like Applegate or homemade) and place onto lollipop sticks with bread cubes and lettuce for a fun (and still easy) take on a chicken club.

hummus-and-cheese-roll-up-lunch3. Hummus Roll Ups

Spread a thin layer of hummus on a whole grain or flour tortilla (corn is likely not a good option since they tend to crumble more easily). Add a slice of cheese if you’d like. Roll up and slice into spirals. You can add lettuce or shredded cheese if you prefer.

4. Sunbutter and Banana Roll Ups

Spread a thin layer of sunflower seed butter on a whole grain or flour tortilla. Place a banana on one side and roll up. Slice into spirals and serve. Add some jam if your kids prefer additional sweetness.

sandwich-lunch-with-crackers5. Chia Jam and Sunbutter

Spread whole grain bread with Chia Jam (which is lower in sugar and packed with healthy fats) and sunbutter for a nut-safe option to classic pb&j. I like this since it’s filling, naturally sweet and flavorful.

6. Jam Sandwich

My kids go through phases of not liking nut butter but they always love jam. And sometimes a jam sandwich hits the mark. Add some protein in the form of milk or cheese to round out the meal.

kids-blue-plate-with-sandwich,-corn,-applesauce7. Spinach Grilled Cheese

Upgrade classic grilled cheese with this iron-packed version that makes green food fun. Add a side of applesauce and easy veggies for lunch.

TIP: Find the full recipe here.

veggie-grilled-cheese-on-plate

8. Veggie Grilled Cheese

Spread a thin layer of sweet potato puree on bread as you assemble a grilled cheese for a hint of natural sweetness and vitamins.

TIP: Find the full recipe here.

turkey-sandwich-on-plate

9. Deconstructed Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

Little kids may not be able to bite and chew an assembled turkey sandwich (there are a lot of textures in there!), but you can simply dice the components up and serve them side by side. Easy peasy!

10. Deconstructed Ham Sandwich

The same thing as above applies with ham (or ham and cheese). Add some mustard, mayo, or even guacamole for dipping if you’d like.

avocado egg salad on pink plate

11. Avocado Egg Salad

Packed with healthy fats and protein, this version of egg salad uses avocado instead of mayo. Pair it with whole grain bread and fruit for a simple kids lunch. See below for the full recipe.

12. Hard-Cooked Egg Pita

Cut a whole grain pita in half and add sliced hard cooked eggs (or egg salad!). Add shredded lettuce or carrots if desired. As an assembled sandwich, this is better for other kids. Served deconstructed, it can work for one year olds too.

What kind of jam is best?

Really it’s up to you, but if you’re looking for a lower sugar option, you’ll need to read the label if buying one from the store. I prefer to avoid artificial sweetener and look for jams that are made mostly with fruit. Smuckers has one that’s sweetened with honey which has good flavor. Apple butter is often free from added sugars and has great flavor. You can also make chia jam in a short amount of time without a lot of added sugar too.

What kind of lunch meat is best for kids?

I prefer to find lower sodium and nitrate-free lunch meat if possible from brands like Organic Valley or Applegate. Or the store brands at Trader Joes and Whole Foods are nice options too. Or meat that’s been roasted in house in a store. For younger kids, dice or cut the lunchmeat into smaller pieces to make sure it’s easy to chew.

Tips for Making the Best Sandwiches for Kids

  • Consider deconstructing elements to make sandwiches easier to eat.
  • Be sure to offer a drink so they have enough moisture in their mouth.
  • You can use whole grain bread (like Dave’s Killer Bread, Food for Life, bakery fresh whole grain bread, or homemade bread), whole grain rolls, pita bread, flatbread, lavash, or tortillas.
  • I try to use whole grains when possible, though your kids may prefer white flour and find those products easier to chew (as they tend to be softer).
  • Try a few different bread options to see what works best for your kids .
  • Mix up sandwiches each week to offer a range of nutrients and textures if your kids like that.
  • Try foods at home before you pack it in a lunchbox for daycare, preschool, or school.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post and the ideas, especially if you h ave a sandwich idea to share!

sandwiches for kids in grid

12 Best Easy Sandwiches for Kids

Below is the recipe for the Avocado Egg Salad, with the other ideas in the Notes section for easy reference. Add fresh fruit, an applesauce pouch, canned fruit cup (in 100% juice), easy veggies for lunch, milk, and/or water to any lunch to round it out.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course lunch
Calories 276kcal
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 medium avocado (about ½ cup)
  • salt, sesame seeds, or Everything Bagel Seasoning to taste
  • 1 slice bread

Instructions

  • Peel the eggs and roughly chop. Add to a small bowl and scoop out the avocado. Mash with a fork to create the texture of classic egg salad.
  • Sprinkle with salt if desired and stir. Add sesame seeds or Everything Bagel Seasoning if desired.
  • Serve alongside bread cubes, spread onto bread sticks, or spread into a sandwich.
  • If making ahead, stir in about a tablespoon of lemon juice to help prevent the avocado from browning.

Notes

  • Crispy Chicken Club: Bake up frozen chicken tenders (store bought from a brand like Applegate or homemade) and place onto lollipop sticks with bread cubes and lettuce for a fun (and still easy) take on a chicken club.
  • Make-Ahead Pb&J: If your kids love pb&j (or sunflower seed butter and jelly), you can make a few ahead, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and stash in a freezer bag in the freezer to quickly pull out and pack in a lunchbox.
  • Hummus Roll Ups: Spread a thin layer of hummus on a whole grain or flour tortilla (corn is likely not a good option since they tend to crumble more easily). Add a slice of cheese if you'd like. Roll up and slice into spirals. You can add lettuce or shredded cheese if you prefer.
  • Sunbutter and Banana Roll Ups: Spread a thin layer of sunflower seed butter on a whole grain or flour tortilla. Place a banana on one side and roll up. Slice into spirals and serve. Add some jam if your kids prefer additional sweetness.
  • Chia Jam and Sunbutter: Spread whole grain bread with Chia Jam (which is lower in sugar and packed with healthy fats) and sunbutter.
  • Jam Sandwich: Sometimes a jam sandwich hits the mark. Add some protein in the form of milk or cheese to round out the meal.
  • Spinach Grilled Cheese: Upgrade classic grilled cheese with this iron-packed version that makes green food fun. Add a side of applesauce and easy veggies for lunch. Find the full recipe here.
  • Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese: Spread a thin layer of sweet potato puree on bread as you assemble a grilled cheese for extra nutrition.
  • Deconstructed Turkey and Cheese Sandwich: Simply dice the components up and serve them side by side. Easy peasy!
  • Deconstructed Ham Sandwich: The same thing as above applies with ham. Add some mustard, mayo, or even guacamole for dipping if you'd like.
  • Hard-Cooked Egg Pita: Halve a whole grain pita and add sliced hard cooked eggs (or egg salad!). Add shredded lettuce or carrots if desired. 

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 187mg, Sodium: 142mg, Potassium: 576mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 407IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you, this article is great and helpful, i want share another article about healthy food in this website

  2. Hi everyone. My son is 14 months old and I’m childcare in a classroom setting. I’m having trouble finding easy things he can feed himself. He loves all fruits, crackers etc but I’m worried he will choke on it. Any ideas would be so helpful.

  3. Hey Amy, love this post, so many good ideas! I have a question about deli meats like turkey and ham. My son hates meat and I keep trying to give him chicken breast or stewed beef with no success. Deli meat seems like such an easy way to sneak in meat into a sandwich, its brilliant. I wanted to know what your opinion is on deli meats, as I’ve been avoiding them because of what Ive heard over the years, sodium, preservatives, etc, but I trust your site so much, and wanted to know what you think and if you have any brand suggestions.

    Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Hi- We buy it occasionally since I agree that it’s an easy food to have in the mix and it’s easy to eat. I look for low-sodium options and nitrate-free when possible, but I also think that it’s okay if it’s just normal turkey and you don’t serve it all the time. (I buy it twice a month usually, so the kids have it maybe 3-4 times a month…it can be expensive so this works for us on many fronts.) I usually buy Organic Valley, Applegate or the kind from Trader Joes. I hope that helps!

      1. That makes sense. Thanks so much for replying so quickly! I think I will give it a go. Fingers crossed that this boy will actually eat some meat for once.

        Have a good one!

  4. Thank you for the ideas! For the sweet potato grilled cheese, do you recommend steamed then blended sweet potato or roasted? Thanks!

    1. You could do either but roasted usually has more flavor (though that may not be the goal depending on the child:)