12 Sandwiches Your Kids Won’t Swap in the Lunch Room

Stock your kids’ lunchboxes with these tasty, clever sandwiches to ensure they don’t trade in your homemade meal for someone else’s dessert.

When you ship your little ones off to school with well-stocked lunchboxes, the last thing you want to worry about is whether they’re trading in those painstakingly crafted meals for someone else’s puddings. Start the new school year right by making better-than-basic sandwiches that kids will be proud to tote and eager to chow down on come lunchtime. They can even help make some of the recipes — lessening your burden, and ensuring they aren’t subsisting on a boxed meal from some other mom’s pantry.

Your little athlete will love these bite-size, football-shaped sandwiches filled with pastrami and a cheesy-pepper mixture. You might want to toss some extra finger sandwiches into the lunchbox — his fellow linebackers might intercept a few.

JeffMauro_AllAmericanDownHomePatrioticMeatloafSandwich_H

JeffMauro_AllAmericanDownHomePatrioticMeatloafSandwich_H

Chef Name: Jeff Mauro Full Recipe Name: All-American Down-Home Patriotic Meatloaf Sandwich Talent Recipe: Jeff Mauro’s All-American Down-Home Patriotic Meatloaf Sandwich, as seen on Sandwich King FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: Sandwich King Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Make Jeff Mauro’s meatloaf for dinner, then slice leftovers for stellar next-day sandwiches. (Everyone knows that meatloaf tastes better as leftovers, after all.) Pickles and crispy onions make for irresistible toppings, though it can be hard to keep those onions crispy till lunchtime. Include a small handful of potato chips in a plastic bag for kids to add an indulgent layer.

Sometimes you shouldn’t mess with a classic, as is the case with this stacked turkey-and-bacon sandwich. If the toothpick-bound layers are too cumbersome for your little one’s mouth, make them single-decker by adding in an extra slice of bread.

Giada De Laurentii's Rolled Chicken Sandwich with Arugula and Parsley Aioli as seen on Cooking Channel's Everyday Italian

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This sophisticated sandwich is disguised as an ordinary chicken wrap. Let kids sneak a taste of the garlic, chive and anchovy-spiked aioli (protein-enriched thanks to yogurt, in addition to mayo), and they’ll be craving lunch hour all morning long.

SHOW: The Pioneer Woman EPISODE: Paige and Friend

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

The Pioneer Woman’s “sushi” nestles turkey, carrots, cucumber and cream cheese into tidy little rolls that are as fun to eat as they are pretty to gaze upon.

Tyler Florence's Tuna Everything Bagel As Seen On Food Network's Tyler's Ultimate

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Fresh herbs and briny capers give the tuna salad filling in this bagel sandwich outside-the-lunchbox flavor your little ones will have a hard time passing up. To ensure the bagel doesn’t get soggy, pack the tuna in a resealable container and enclose a plastic spoon with lunch to allow for easy cafeteria assembly.

Food Network Kitchen's Curried Chicken Salad on Apple Rounds For Bunless/Breadless Sandwiches As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The cored apple slices that surround this sandwich’s chicken salad are so cute, sweet and crunchy, kids won’t even notice this recipe is missing sliced bread. And pecans and raisins add enough welcome sweetness that little diners will never realize how healthy this lunch actually is.

Horseradish- and lemon-zest-spiked mayo and vinegar-marinated onions up the ante in what would be an ordinary deli meat sandwich. Jeff calls for the scooped-out rolls to be freshly broiled before serving; we suggest lightly toasting to give them some crunch that will last the several hours until lunchtime.

Tyler Florence's Egg Salad Sandwich with Avocado And Watercress As Seen On Food Network's How To Boil Water

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Egg salad can get a little “again, Ma?!” But Tyler Florence offers this solution that’s sure to rescue the deli salad from trade-in (or worse, the trash). Avocado slices add extra-creamy flavor, watercress provides crunch and mustard in the salad dressing adds just the kick kids didn’t know they were missing.

FN_Chicken-Salad-Wrap

FN_Chicken-Salad-Wrap

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Turn last night’s roast chicken dinner into this colorful, crunchy, sweet chicken salad wrap that’s like a Waldorf salad’s cousin. Walnuts, cranberries and chestnuts are welcome additions to the classic mixture; broccoli sprouts add interesting earthy flavor and texture to the wrap before the meat is added.

FNK_KidsCanMakeTurkeyAndBasilCreamCheesePinwheelSandwiches_H

FNK_KidsCanMakeTurkeyAndBasilCreamCheesePinwheelSandwiches_H

Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Kids Can Make: Roasted Turkey and Basil Cream Cheese Pinwheel Sandwiches Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Network Kitchen’s Kids Can Make: Roasted Turkey and Basil Cream Cheese Pinwheel Sandwiches, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These colorful pinwheels can be made in the morning and kept chilled for an easy lunch or afternoon snack. Little kids can help you prep by washing and spinning dry the lettuce; big kids can layer the ingredients and roll up the sandwiches.

Food Network Kitchens recipe for a quick and easy taco lunch to go.

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©Copyright 2012 Jackie Alpers - All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, Copyright 2012 Jackie Alpers - All rights reserved

Turn lunch into taco time by packing this clever bento box of tasty toppings. Though only some might consider a taco a sandwich, we think the roast beef meat base makes these tacos a definitive fit, and little ones will love the DIY assembly aspect.

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