According to Bianca Tromp, a FUTURELIFE® dietician, you can start 2023 smart by getting a head start on school lunches. How? By making and freezing your sandwiches before school even begins.
“Sandwiches are a staple in the school lunch box, mostly because of their versatility and convenience. Freezing sandwiches, however, offers several additional benefits, including saving time and money. In addition, if special attention is paid to the ingredients, they can be super-healthy too!” she says.
Bianca adds that sandwiches freeze surprisingly well, provided you steer clear of tomato, boiled egg, fresh vegetables, and most salad ingredients (such as lettuce, cucumber, and onion).
“Ingredients such as cheese, nut butters, cold meats, and jams work best when making sandwiches that are going to live in the freezer,” she says.
To get the best results, Bianca offers the following additional tips:
- Use fresh bread
Ensure that you store the sandwich in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag (remove as much air as possible), to keep it from drawing moisture from the freezer.
- Place the sandwiches on a flat surface in the freezer.
- Remove and thaw them the morning before school.
- Remember to write what is in the sandwich on the bag or container.
If you would like fresh elements such tomato or lettuce on your sandwich, add these the morning before putting the sandwich in the lunch box.
Here are five easy-to-make, healthy sandwich recipes:
Serves: 1 person for 5 days
These ingredients make five different sandwiches that can be frozen and removed from the freezer the morning before school. By break time, your child will have a delicious fresh thawed sandwich. You can make more if you want them to last for two weeks.
- 10 slices high-protein brown bread
- Savoury spread like Marmite or Bovril
- Margarine (not melted!)
- 4 slices low-fat white cheese
- Unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
- Leftover chicken, shredded
- Leftover cooked minced meat
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
1. SAVOURY SPREAD AND CHEESE SANDWICH
Take two slices of the high-protein brown bread and spread the one side with your favourite savoury spread and the other with margarine. Place the two slices of cheese on the buttered side. Close the sandwich, cut it in half, and you are done. Serve with yoghurt and a fruit.
2. EGG AND CHICKEN SANDWICH
Break one large egg in a cup with one tablespoon milk. Whisk until combined. Pour the egg mixture into a hot pan as if you were making an omelette or a pancake. Flip when golden on the one side. Cook for one minute on the other side. Place on a chopping board and cut a square the size of a slice of bread. Spread margarine on both slices of bread. Place the egg square and shredded leftover chicken in between the slices of bread. Close the sandwich, cut it in half, and you are done. Serve with a fruit.
3. PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
This one is quick and easy. Spread the peanut butter on one of the slices of bread. Close the sandwich, cut it in half, and you are done. Serve with fresh fruit.
4. MINCED MEAT AND CHEESE SANDWICH
Spread margarine on both slices of bread and spread. Place the minced meat on the one slice of toast and top with a slice of white cheese. Close the sandwich, cut it in half, and you are done. Serve with cut-up tomato and cucumber.
5. FRENCH TOAST SANDWICH
Mix one large egg with two tablespoons of milk in a shallow bowl. Place the one slice of bread into the bowl to absorb some of the egg mixture. Flip it to soak the other side. Repeat with the other slice of bread. Heat a non-stick pan for frying the French toast. Pan-fry for approximately two minutes on each side, or until golden brown. This can work as an even higher protein base for any of the above-mentioned fillings, or just fill the sandwich with a slice of cheese and freeze. Serve with a banana.