A sandwich is like a little black dress: dress it down with white bread, a slice of cheese, and a few slices of ham and call it a day — or dress it up with imported Parma ham, arugula, basil, and truffle oil on a crusty French baguette. Like the little black dress, sandwiches are versatile and adaptable: it only takes a couple of ingredients and swaps to make a healthier sandwich. Learn how to build a better sandwich, from top to bottom, starting with Applegate Farms deli meats and cheeses.
Applegate Farms’ Deli Counter selection includes 27 different types of meat, from classic Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham to fancier cuts like Prosciutto and Soppressata. Each option is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from animals that have been humanely raised and fed a vegetarian, non-GMO, grain-based diet. For the hurried shopper, Applegate Farms also offers a line of grab-and-go Cold Cuts, eight of which are organic. Better yet, every product is nitrite- and nitrate-free, compounds that have been linked to cancer; instead, celery juice and sea salt are used to help preserve the product. For vegetarians, Applegate Farms also offers 14 types of cheese that are free of recominant bovine growth hormone. Start your sandwich off with these healthy and unadulterated meats and cheeses and you’ll be well on your way to building a better sandwich.
Add some fun and flavor to your sandwich vegetables – even fruits and nuts! – that go beyond the classic lettuce and tomato. By stuffing the sandwich with plant-based foods, you’ll inject extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into your child’s diet. Try adding cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado, like in the California Turkey Wrap, Or for a sophisticated twist on the grilled cheese classic, add some crunch with apple slices and yummy creaminess with Brie cheese. Other out-of-the-box fillings to add: red and green bell pepper, jicama, zucchini, summer squash, cilantro, basil, radishes, slivered almonds, crumbled walnuts, figs and peach slices.
A good spread adds moisture and ties the ingredients together in a sandwich. Pick spreads that pull their weight in nutrition, like hummus (high in protein and fiber), guacamole (packed with healthy monounsaturated fats), and pesto (basil adds a dose of antioxidants). Look out for spreads high in sodium, like salad dressings and dijon mustard, and those with saturated fats, like mayonnaise.
The bread is the backbone of your sandwich: it holds all of your selected ingredients together. Switching from refined, white bread to a whole grain variety drastically improves the nutrition of your sandwich. Whole grains add filling fiber and don’t leave your blood sugar in a ditch; they’ll also provide lasting energy for your child’s afternoon activities. You can keep it classic with whole grain sandwich bread, or, to make a sandwich more interesting, try pita bread, English muffins, baguettes, or tortillas made from whole grains.