Introducing Kids to TOPLESS Sandwiches
Let this time before school starts up again to be the time to get the kids involved in making their own healthy lunches.
Here is a great little diagram from the Danish website: http://www.2gangeomugen.dk (which translates to ‘2 times a week’). This chart illustrates the five important components of a healthy child’s lunch using a child’s hand. The Danish phrase Gi’ madpakken en hånd literally means "give the lunchbox a hand".
thumb = VEGETABLES…raw greens, salad or as a topping
index = BREAD…euro pumpernickel or whole grain
middle = MAIN TOPPING…meat, cheese or egg
ring = FISH…at least, once a week.
little = FRUIT…fresh and sweet
thumb = VEGETABLES…maybe carrot sticks
index = BREAD…white – maybe whole grain
middle = TOPPING…balogna and cheese
ring = NO FISH…rarely, tuna…no EFAs
little = FRUIT…maybe apple, orange or banana
LEGEND to MyPyramid
orange = GRAINS
green = VEGETABLES
red = FRUITS
yellow = OILS
blue = MILK
purple = MEAT + BEANS
Thus, finding a healthy compromise for American children to enjoy using the Danish model is an easy goal.
Here are some great links from teamnutrition.usda.gov:
Plus, the easiest way to educate kids is to get them involved in the making of meal.
Make this first step with teaching them healthy sandwich alternatives like making their own healthy version of ‘topless bread’ sandwiches:
First, there are a few tips from the Danish model to follow:
- Avoid any processed foods, if possible.
- Always use multigrain bread made from whole wheat flour or equal.
- Teach kids healthy amounts to use for real butter or mayonnaise with olive oil.
- Always use some form of greens on the sandwich
- Include some organic fresh fruit or veggies as their treat. (ex: carrots, snap peas, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes, etc.)
- Avoid beverages with high corn syrup/fructose/etc. Teach kids that natural juices are the best.
- And use simple sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper to separate multiple sandwiches, if necessary.
Now, here are a few American examples that can easily be used to find inspiration in being able to adopt the Danish lunch model:
Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter with Bananas and Honey
Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter with Sliced Tart Apples and Dried Cranberries
- Turkey Salami with Mayo and Crunchy Onions on top (not shown)
- Tuna with Grape Tomatoes (not shown)
Cucumber with Herbed Cream Cheese
- Tomato and Egg (not shown)
- Low Fat Cheese (try…light havarti) with Sliced Red Bell Pepper (not shown)
- Make up your own healthy alternative…the possibilities are endless.
Remember kids learn from example.
So, join them in making this new healthy and creative way of making their lunches. All kids want to be cool and have something different that the other kids will envy. When kids are given a sense of independence and encouragement in creativity…the results can be many for these open face sandwiches. Who knows…perhaps, they may influence their schoolmates in joining this new way of enjoying a healthy American version of their Danish open face sandwich!
Now I am sure this is one thing that will make both you and your child smile.