Sandwiches are a super popular meal option for kids. They’re easy to prepare, kids tend to love them and they’re great for taking out and about.
It can be easy to keep offering the same sandwiches on repeat, so in this blog I wanted to share some inspiration for 10 different sandwich filling ideas for babies and toddlers!
When Can my Baby Have Bread?
First things first, I’m always asked about offering bread to babies. When can babies have bread? How much can they have? Can they have wholegrain? Is the salt content too high? I’ve written a whole blog all about offering bread to babies, so do check that out for more information.
Below are my top tips for what to consider when offering bread/sandwiches to babies:
- Vary up the TYPE of bread you offer – there are SO many different types – brown, white, loaf, pitta, naan, wraps, chapati. It’s a good idea to change it up as much as possible to help your baby get used to a wider variety
- Experiment with fillings – sandwiches can be a simple way to offer a balanced meal and it’s great to offer babies and toddlers lots of variety when it comes to the filling. Bread may be a familiar food for many little ones, and offering them new foods as part of a sandwich MAY help them to be more accepting of them
- Switch the carbohydrates you offer. Bread is a super convenient option for quick and easy meals but it is best to focus on VARIETY where you can! Offer other carbs such as pasta, rice, potatoes and couscous when you can too and try not to overly rely on bread
- Add some extras on the side. There are always so many ways you can bulk out the nutrition content of meals by adding a few extra veggie sticks, some side salad or a handful of fresh fruit, for example.
How Do I Serve Sandwiches to My Baby/Toddler?
I often get parents asking something like “can I give my 8-month-old sandwiches” or wondering HOW exactly to serve sandwiches for babies of different ages. As with most things, all babies will have different competency levels when it comes to eating and so some may manage a filled sandwich earlier than others.
When first offering a “sandwich” to babies, you can offer the different elements as finger foods. For example – offer a slice of toast with a spread of avocado or nut butter and some scrambled egg or a banana finger on the side. As they become more confident in managing more complex textures, you can start to offer them in different ways.
For older babies and toddlers, it’s still quite normal for them to want to take apart a sandwich if you offer it whole. That’s absolutely fine – let them experiment and continue to offer them in different ways to get them used to a variety of options! You can always cut them into stick shapes to make them easier to hold for babies too.
10 Sandwich Fillings for Babies & Toddlers
1. Cheese & Tomato
A super simple and popular option and another easy one to vary up. Try different types of cheese, for example mozzarella, grated cheddar, cream cheese or cottage cheese, for example. Check out my blog on cheese for babies for more on offering cheese to your little ones.
2. Egg & Avocado
This is a another really simple combination but one that I love for its ease and it also tends to go down well with my kids! Scrambled egg or boiled egg would work well in this combination. If you’re scrambling eggs, you could also add some extra veg like mushrooms, spinach or a little cheese as well for added flavour and nutrition!
3. Nut Butter & Banana
This is super quick to prepare and can be an ideal option for taking out and about. You can also change it up to include different types of fruit in there – strawberries and flattened blueberries work well too! I find these work really well as a wrap as well as with standard sandwich bread!
4. Hummus & Red Pepper
If you have leftover roasted peppers, these would work really well here but raw also adds a delicious crunch for older toddlers!
5. Chicken “Salad”
This can be a great way to use up leftover chicken from a roast or any other meal. Experiment with the type of salad to offer – avocado, cucumber, tomato and lettuce could all work well!
6. Pesto with Chicken/Tofu
Pesto isn’t necessarily a classic sandwich filling but it’s absolutely delicious and I especially love it as a finger food dip as well! You could either spread it as a base on the bread and top with a protein such as chicken or tofu, OR coat the chicken/tofu in pesto and top the bread with it. If you’re looking for a simple pesto recipe, try my spinach pesto recipe or my green avocado pesto.
7. Salmon Pate
This is a great way to include some oily fish and omega 3 in your little one’s diet. It’s also quick to prepare. I don’t tend to follow an exact recipe for this, but I mash up some tinned salmon with some yoghurt or cream cheese, a little lemon juice and a sprinkle of black pepper to make a smooth spread. You could add some fresh herbs, such as parsley if you wanted and also experiment with other flavourings. If you had cooked salmon fillets to use up, those would work too!
An alternative option to this is a mackerel, pea and cheese recipe that my kids LOVE, which you can find in my book, How To Feed Your Toddler.
8. Tuna & Sweetcorn
A super simple and popular option for many families. I like to use yoghurt instead of mayonnaise when making this as it’s a lower salt option and adds extra nutrients too! This topping can be made ahead and frozen in portions too so you can just grab it out of the freezer when you need a quick meal! If freezing – you may want to leave out the yoghurt and add in when defrosted!
As an alternative, try this tuna and avocado toast topper.
9. Cucumber & Cream Cheese
A super simple and classic option, that still provides a good balance of food groups. You could jazz it up by adding some tomato, chicken, tofu or other fillings your little one likes. I love serving this topping on a bagel – for myself and the kids!
10. Marmite & Cheese
This is definitely one that’s best for older kids, as marmite, cheese & bread are all on the higher side in terms of salt content. BUT it’s a super quick and easy option and marmite can be a good source of vitamin B12 for any plant-based kids! Check out my blog on “how much salt should a baby have” for more detail on salt intakes for little ones!
I hope you find these ideas helpful and they’ve given you a little inspiration to change up your sandwich fillings. For more quick and simple meal ideas for kids, check out 7 days of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for babies and toddlers.