Menu Hack: Sandwiches, Wraps and Rolls

With a little planning, sandwiches, rolls and wraps can be highly nutritious and fun for kids to eat.

Offer Simple Fillings

Limit the menu to a realistic number of sandwich choices to offer each day depending on the equipment and staffing situation. Some larger canteens may be able to offer up to 10 fillings, while smaller canteens may not. Remember to take note of sales and any student feedback.

Offer some sample fillings for fussy eaters, for example, yeast extract, hummus, avocado, banana wrapped in a slice of bread etc.

Preparation

Here are some simple steps to help you produce nutritious and appealing sandwiches, wraps and rolls:

  • Use fresh bread and prepare sandwich fillings each day to preserve nutrients.
  • Make sandwich fillings before making the sandwiches, to stop the bread from drying out.
  • Once made, place damp clean cloths on top of the stack of sandwiches to keep them fresh.
  • Wrap as soon as possible in clear food wrap, with the filling showing.
  • Use labels or signs to help kids choose what they want to eat.

How To Make Healthier Options:

Bread

  • Choose whole grain or wholemeal types. These contain higher fibre and nutritional values than plain white.
  • Select rolls of different shapes (long, round, seeded, or French stick), rēwena, fa' apāpā, pita breads, tortilla bread, foccacia, panini, rye, bagels, baps.
  • Create sandwiches in different sizes and shapes e.g. triple-decker for older students or four triangles for smaller appetites.

Spreads

  • Spread margarine thinly, allowing about one pottle for every three loaves of bread.
  • Use alternatives to margarine. You could try peanut butter, mashed avocado, or low-fat spreadable cheeses, such as cream cheese, cottage, ricotta or quark.
  • Try small amounts of pickle, chutney, pesto, vegetable-based dips or hummus for extra variety.

Sauces

These can contain hidden amounts of fat, salt and sugar.

  • Look for low-salt sauce and low-sugar, low-salt tomato sauce.
  • Use ready-made sauces in small amounts.
  • Vegetable-based sauces (e.g. tomato) are usually healthier choices than creamy sauces (e.g tartare sauce).

Reproduced with the permission of the Heart Foundation