Having a sandwich for lunch is so common that we tend to get in a rut when it comes to our choices. Ham and cheese, turkey, and/or peanut butter and jelly are staples for a reason—they taste good! One of my personal favorites is unsalted peanut butter with sliced banana and a drizzle of honey on sprouted grain bread. Sometimes I even skip the bread and just put my sandwich fillings like turkey and cheese in a large lettuce leaf for a lower carbohydrate “Turkey Wrap”.
A sandwich can be a quick, portable, nutritious meal if thought out properly. The first suggestion I would make, however, is to check the nutrition facts label of your usual breads and wraps. Grains are the foundation of a healthy sandwich, and as the foundation, they should provide your body with the appropriate nutrients. Some may be high calorie and/or not the nutrient powerhouses we expect them to be.
In honor of National Sandwich Day on November 3rd, spend a little time this month to “up your game” when it comes to improving your sandwich choices. This can be accomplished by incorporating some of the following suggestions:
- To add crunch and nutrition, try sliced red pepper, onions, snow peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, dill pickles, kimchi, apple or other fruit slices
- Instead of high calorie spreads, try hummus, salsa, light mayo, flavored mustards or a small avocado smashed
- For the protein source, use water packed tuna or chicken, nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew), diced or sliced hard boiled eggs, or leftovers like fried eggs, burgers, meatloaf, sliced chicken breast, and beans (whole or mashed)
- And for holding it all together, think outside the box with low calorie wraps, corn tortillas, flatbreads, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, pita, naan or large lettuce leaves
Did you know you can freeze sandwiches? This makes prep time even easier. Just grab and go in the morning and enjoy!
Written by: Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, email@example.com