The school year may be looking a little bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need lunch!
If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage healthy eating in your kids, or if you just need something to occupy their time for 20 minutes to an hour, Sandwich Sushi is an adorable and Pinterest worthy way to mix things up a little bit and get kids into the kitchen.
*Comparing yourself and real-world results to Pinterest or Instagram curated feeds can be self-destructive and feed negative thought patterns of success and self-worth. Additionally, these rolls and they can be as healthy or unhealthy as the foods you put into them.
However, if you are looking for something to do with kids and to have a bit of fun in the kitchen without any actual cooking, Sandwich Sushi is a fun and easy way to get started and a good way to transition younger kids into making their own lunches.
Kid Friendly Flavor Combinations
Cream Cheese & Fresh Fruit – an unusual combo for lunch, but really lovely for breakfast or a mid-morning snack.
Whole Grain Ham & Cheese – with or without mustard, pickles or other additional toppings on whole grain bread.
Turkey, Tomato & Cheese – a smear of mayonnaise to bind everything together on white bread or whole wheat if you’re feeling healthy.
Veggie Cream Cheese – this is probably the most similar to actual sushi. Vegetables like carrot, cucumber, bell peppers or avocados
“Salad” rolls – Tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. If it’s something your kid loves it can be rolled in bread or wraps with other fillings for added texture and variety.
The Elvis – Peanut Butter and Banana is a classic combination straight from the kind of rock and roll himself, and also makes a great snack.
How to Make Sandwich Sushi Rolls
Step 1: Select your Wrapper
Whether this is classic white bread, whole wheat, a spinach wrap, or something else altogether, pick your wrapper and cut it into a rough square of the desired size by removing crusts or trimming the edges. If your bread is really fluffy, you can roll it out lightly with a rolling pin or big can of soup to make it slightly flatter and easier to roll up later.
*Don’t throw out trimmings, freeze bread scraps and save to make your own homemade croutons or breadcrumbs at a later date.
Step 2: Lay down your ‘Food Glue’
To make our sushi rolls stick together and bind up neatly, we will require a little bit of binding assistance from the ‘food glue’ of your choice depending on the fillings you choose. I am sure when I say ‘food glue’ many of you are considering some insane chemical formula used by gastronomy scientists and gourmet chefs.
When I say food glue, however, I probably mean peanut butter. Or cream cheese or mayonnaise or mustard. Or pretty much anything else that is just a little bit gloppy and will go well with your fillings and help everything to stick. Smear a small amount across one entire surface of the bread. Don’t overfill along the edge or you may end up with a little bit spilling out.
Step 3: Pick your Fillings
Depending on the food glue you use, your filling choices really are almost limitless. I have included some of my favorite family flavor combinations up above, but you can include all kinds of food favorites depending on what your kids, or you, like. If the kids normally like ham and cheese, use ham and cheese. If they only eat chicken nuggets with ketchup, use chicken nuggets with ketchup (you think I’m kidding, don’t you? Check my Instagram, I dare you).
The most important thing is not to pile your toppings too high. You want to create a nice even layer kind of in the middle of the bread, leaving a little space at the top and bottom of the slice for your roll.
Step 4: Roll up and Refrigerate
Once you have your fillings all nicely laid out, tuck over the bottom of your wrap or slice of bread just over the beginning of your fillings. Now that you have a little fold to start with, you can grab onto that and continue up your roll. The idea is to create a continuous tight roll, but try not to squeeze too much or you might shove your fingers through your sandwich. The end bit of bread that had no fillings will wrap over the edge to seal everything together into a nice tight little roll.
You can go ahead and slice up and soon as you are done rolling, but it is easier if they have firmed up a bit. If your rolls are just a little bit soft from being out at room temperature, wrap them in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days. Yes, this is one of those recipes that you can make several of at once and have over the next few days.
Step 5: Slice and Serve
Once your rolls have been in the fridge for a bit you can go ahead and pull them out. Unwrap and slice up to about 3/4 of an inch thick. If the knife is dull you will end up squishing your roll before cutting through it. One standard-sized piece of bread filled, rolled, and sliced up should make about 6-8 pieces, plenty for kids or a light lunch but adults may need two rolls for a full lunch. Serve up or pack away in a lunch box for later.
Adding a dip or sauce to go with your sandwich rolls is a really nice touch. For example, maple syrup with peanut butter and banana or ranch with turkey and tomato.
*Pro-tip; if you are going to have your lunch a little bit later, keep your rolls pressed together to stop them from drying out or falling apart.
You can also check out Eve Daniels, author of The Nerdy Nanny books, on YouTube where she gives writing and academic advice as well as updating you on all of her latest and upcoming projects.