It’s quick, convenient and comforting for parents and children alike. A classic staple of the school lunch box for years, today’s sandwich no longer needs to be boring. There are lots of creative ways to spice up your child’s sandwich.

How did the sandwich come to be and why is it so popular anyway? The word sandwich was named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat. They say he was a gambler and had asked his cook to bring him meat between two pieces of bread so he could eat without a fork and not get his hands dirty while playing cards. Others started to order “the same as Sandwich!

So the sandwich was created out of a desire for convenience and we’ve happily continued the trend for centuries. I can admit that it’s comforting to eat food in a neatly wrapped package. It’s tidy, portable and versatile, like a miniature suitcase packed with your favourite things. It’s also a sensory experience. With summer nearing an end and the kids returning to school, now is the perfect time to collect ideas for your child’s lunchbox.

Here are 5 oh-so-scrumptious sandwiches you’ll enjoy assembling as much as the kids will enjoy eating (you can enjoy these too). From sweet to savory, Queen Street Bakery’s family of artisan gluten-free loaves and buns pair beautifully with these tasty gluten-less sandwich combinations.

Pickled Tuna-Salad with Cheese

Enhance your child’s typical tuna sandwich by adding homemade mayo and a spoonful of diced dill pickle to the mixture. Top with a slice of their favourite sharp cheese (or vegan cheese) and a little baby spinach for a more sophisticated tuna sammie.
Goes well with: Queen Street Bakery’s Romano bean gluten-free sliced loaf.

Seed Butter and Honey

Some schools have “no seeds” policies, however, if you’re allowed to send seeds in your child’s lunch, try a drizzle of pure honey over nutrient-rich unsweetened seed butters like sunflower or pumpkin. Store your butters upside down to allow the oil to go to the bottom of the jar.
Goes well with: Queen Street Bakery’s white bean & grape skin gluten-free sliced loaf.

Hummus and Avocado

Hummus and avocado go surprisingly well together and produce a lovely creamy texture. Make your child’s favourite flavoured homemade hummus in your food processor or blender. Spread hummus on a slice of bread and add sliced avocado tossed in a wee bit of lemon juice. Top with a touch of sliced red onion, spinach and chopped parsley and voila.
Goes well with: Queen Street Bakery’s white bean & millet seed gluten-free sliced loaf.

Mini Italian Club

Make a savory Italian-inspired sammie by layering fresh turkey with provolone or vegan cheese. Top this baby with a dollop of homemade pesto. Perfection.
Goes well with: Queen Street Bakery’s white bean and millet seed gluten-free sliced loaf.

Cheese with Sliced Apple

Cheese and fruit are a winning pair. Slice up those freshly picked apples from the farm and layer them with thinly sliced cheddar. Speaking of a great pair, you could also try sliced Bartlett pear with brie, feta or goat cheese. Kids love the combination of sweet and salty in an uncomplicated, delicious sandwich. For kids who are dairy free, consider vegan cheese or organic tempeh. As a treat, you could add a tiny drizzle of pure honey.
Goes well with: Queen Street Bakery’s cinnamon raisin gluten-free sliced loaf.

About the Author: Living with celiac disease, Lisa Cantkier is a writer and educator focused on nutrition and health.