Even as a non-sandwich eater (I don’t really like to eat that much bread, I’d rather just have the filling!), I can’t deny the importance of the things. They are just too useful as a quick and transportable meal for little ones so here are my top tips for baby sandwiches.
Don’t believe the white-bread hype!
A lot of people will tell you that babies have to have white bread as wholemeal is too filling for them. It’s a personal choice but I ignored that pearl of wisdom because I wanted Souper-baby to get used to wholemeal from the start and I never found that she got “too full” from the fibre.
Don’t cut into “adorable” animal shapes
There are lots of baby food gurus (well, at least one, and my NCT friends have heard me moan about her many times!) who suggest cutting sandwiches into charming animal shapes using cookie cutters. Life is too short for this. If your child will only eat a sandwich in the shape of a squirrel they are probably not that hungry, not to mention the fact that you’re setting the bar rather high for all future footstuffs. And the wastage?! I don’t want to rant so I’ll leave it at that.
Normal bread, crusts and all, is fine. If I have time I roll both slices with a rolling pin as it holds the filling inside better and makes them easier to hold. Pittas are great for making little pockets with, and these sandwich thins are ideal for little hands.
The good stuff
You all know what to put in sandwiches but sometimes it’s useful to see what other people are doing when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. I try to avoid jam & other sweet spreads, make sure all dairy products are full fat and I limit the amount of processed meats souper-baby has just to keep salt levels down. Our favourites –
- mashed avocado (especially good with toast)
- mashed tinned mackerel (again, great on toast. Choose mackerel tinned with olive or sunflower oil)
- soft cheese mixed with tomato and raw spinach, chopped very finely
- humous (shop bought since I went back to work but previously it was home made)
- baba ganoush (generally home made, not so popular at the moment for some reason)
- no-added-salt nut butters (this cashew one is good and widely available, let me know if you can find a good no-salt peanut butter!)
The dips are great to make as sandwich fillings as everyone in the house will eat them whether they’re having a sandwich or not. For a quick humous blitz a tin of chickpeas with a desert-spoon of tahini, clove of garlic and lemon juice to taste, adding oil if you like it to be less viscous. For baba-ganoush, cut an aubergine in half and roast in the over until soft then scoop out the insides and blitz with tahini, garlic and lemon juice again.