It is possible to assemble an adorable kids’ lunch in less than 10 minutes and make adorable sandwiches in the same amount of time or less. I’ve found that my daughter will eat healthier food if I pack it in a visually appealing manner during the school year or make funny looking sandwiches at home.
I’m always looking for easy—let’s face it, we parents don’t have time for ornate bento boxes—and new ideas. After a fabulous Indian food dinner in London last summer, my daughter has been in love with naan bread. And it turns out that Stonefire Naan makes mini naan that also happens to easily pop into a toaster.
I headed over to Ralph’s in Pacific Beach with the intention using mini naan to shape sandwiches with cutters for my daughter’s school lunches.
I thought naan would be sold in the same section as regular bread but it was on its own rack near the baked goods.
What we later discovered is that mini naan is seriously the perfect size for easy open-faced and traditional silly sandwiches. So, we made a kids’ bento lunch with a shaped naan sandwich and silly sandwiches for a playdate snack. I’ll show you both.
How to Use Naan in a Kids Sandwich
Naan is a leavened bread cooked in a tandoor oven. The side that touches the oven is flat…
… and the other side that does not make contact with the oven surface is textured or has bubbles.
Grab two pieces of naan and place the bubbled sides together if you’d like the exterior of your sandwich to have a flat surface. If you’d like the bubbles to face outward, then press the flat sides together. It’s totally personal preference so do what you like!
Naan has more of a dense texture than standard bread. In our opinion, if using it for a sandwich served at room temperature, make sure to use a sauce and/or flavorful meats on the inside. Peanut butter and jelly work extremely well. Salami and cheese do, too.
Naan is absolutely delicious served warm which means that grilled cheese or open-faced sandwich pizzas are definitely in order! You could apply the faces after the sandwich is warmed.
Easy Kids Lunches: Naan Sandwiches
I experimented with these right before my daughter’s play date and the kids thought there were super cool. Two are open-faced (using one mini naan) and two are sandwiches (with two mini naan and sandwich filling in between).
The beauty of these sandwiches is that you can wing it based on what is in your refrigerator but I’ll tell you how to the ones pictured.
Peanut Butter Open-Faced Sandwich
- 1/2 an apple
- eyeballs (Wilton candy eyeballs, raisins, blueberries)
- peanut or any nut butter
- 1 Stonefire Mini Naan
Spread peanut butter on one side of the mini naan. Place two banana slices and eyeballs in their place as well as a blueberry (or other round fresh or dried fruit) for a nose. Thinly slice half an apple for a mouth and hair.
Tired Salami and Cheese Naan Sandwich
- salami slices
- cheddar cheese slices
- mustard (or other optional condiment)
- cooked or raw broccoli
- 1 mini carrot
- 2 pieces of Stonefire Mini Naan
Slice a mini carrot (or regular carrot) into six small sticks. Use a small round cookie cutter (kitchen shears work well to cut it manually) to cut a hole for a mouth in one of the two mini naan. Place the salami, cheese and mustard inside. Put the mini naan with the hole on top of the salami layer so that it looks like an open mouth. Place the carrot eyes and broccoli hair.
Scared Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich
- sliced turkey
- sliced cheddar cheese
- two cucumber slices
- 1 pimento olive
- 1 regular carrot
- 1 slice of red bell pepper
- 1 Stonefire Mini Naan
Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrot hair. Put turkey and cheese on top of the mini naan (with mustard or another optional condiment in between). Add cucumber and sliced pimento olive eyes. Slice a red bell pepper into rings and use one full ring as a mouth. Top with carrot hair and you’re good to go.
Smart Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
- Sliced turkey
- Sliced cheddar cheese
- Mustard (or other optional condiments)
- Sliced hard-boiled egg
- Eyeballs (blueberries, raisins, olives or whatever you have)
- Red bell pepper
- 2 Stonefire Mini Naan
Use a small round cookie cutter to cut out glasses from cheese. Place the turkey, cheese and mustard in between two mini naan breads. Add cheese glasses and sliced egg and blueberry eyeballs on top. Use the tip of an egg as a nose (or perhaps another blueberry) and a slice of red bell pepper as a mouth.
Kids Bento Box Lunch: Naan Sandwich
I keep Wilton comfort grip cookie cutters on hand because they are brilliant at cutting sandwiches, even with naan bread. I put two pieces of whole grain Stonefire Naan together (bubbles facing inward) and cut them with a butterfly cutter. I quickly put peanut butter and jelly on the inside, use a few cut carrots as antennae and stuck two Wilton candy eyeballs on to the top with peanut butter.
Sandwiches simply can’t get much more ornate than this because her lunch gets tossed around in her backpack. Anything fancier would go wonky by the time she opened it.
It took less than 10 minutes to assemble this healthy bento box with what I already had in the house. My best tips for quick bentos are to:
- use colorful silicone muffin tins.
- be mindful of color contrast.
- use lettuce to hold sandwiches in place and add even more color.
- use mini bento forks (that’s an orange tiger pick in the raspberries).
- buy inexpensive vegetable cutters to shape carrots, cucumbers, cheese and more.
- be mindful the lunch box will get tossed around.
- don’t stress about it.
Truth be told, now that my daughter is 9, she can and does assemble these bento boxes herself! Check out my favorite bento supplies for lunches, if you’d like to learn more about inexpensive gadgets.
About Stonefire Naan
Stonefire Naan is good for 1 year if frozen properly directly after purchase. Otherwise, the shelf life of the product is seven days. Stonefire Naan is made with no added preservatives and shipped frozen to the store where date stamps are applied after thawing.
Stonefire Naan does not contain, nor is it produced in a facility that contains or processes peanut/tree nuts. We encourage all individuals and families who are managing food allergies to read the labels on all Stonefire products carefully each time to ensure that ingredients that may cause a reaction are avoided.
Do you use naan in kids lunches?
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*This blog post was sponsored by Stonefire Naan, but the opinions are all my own