(Family Features) - Finding school lunch ideas that stay fresh can be challenging. But with a few simple solutions, you can provide your kids delicious and tasty sandwiches.
The Bread. Be sure to choose the right bread for your sandwich. Keep in mind that the more moisture in the fillings, the drier and denser the bread should be. Breads with thick crusts work perfectly, or swap your regular bread for flour tortillas, bagels, English muffins or pitas. Grill or toast the bread to add crunch and flavor. Keep wet ingredients from making your sandwiches soggy by adding a light layer of butter to the bread. Get creative with cookie cutters for fun sandwich shapes!
The Ingredients. To keep sandwiches crispy and delicious, the "Fresh Squad" freshness experts at Hillshire Farm suggest placing a single layer of lunchmeat on each slice of bread, then spreading the condiments on those. The meat creates a barrier between the bread and the rest of the ingredients. Cheese also works nicely as a barrier. One rule of thumb is to never place tomatoes directly on the cheese - the juice from the tomatoes will make the cheese soft and cause the bread to become soggy. Instead, place tomatoes in between lettuce slices. Cucumbers are also great alternatives for lettuce.
The Storage. Another good defense against sogginess is to pack the separates and let the kids make the sandwiches at school. Bread goes in one bag or container, meat and vegetables in another, and throw in little restaurant packets of mayo or mustard. The Fresh Squad suggests insulated lunch bags as the best choice for school lunches. Some insulated lunch bags are equipped with freezer packs. If not, try freezing juice boxes or reusable bottled waters instead of adding freezer packs. The boxes or bottles will thaw to provide a refreshing beverage and keep the sandwich fresh.
Sometimes the simplest ideas work best. To get more quick and easy recipes, product information or additional freshness tips from the Hillshire Farm Fresh Squad, visit www.gomeat.com.