When done right, sandwiches can be such an exciting lunch (or picnic tea) option. We've gathered some of our favourite fillings that little ones will love to create and eat.


For extra inspiration, read our tips below on how to put together the perfect child-friendly sarnie. From classic club sandwiches to picnic baguettes and sausage rolls, these tasty recipes will keep them fuelled throughout the day. You can also check out our kids' lunchbox recipes and kids' cooking collection.

Wraps in a lunchbox with strawberries and grapes

Tips for making kids' sandwiches

What kind of fillings to try

  • You can introduce all sorts of veg and flavours to sandwiches more easily than just putting them on a child’s plate. Try watercress or rocket chopped up instead of cress in an egg sandwich; herbs and spring onion can be whizzed into hummus; and finely chopped celery can be stirred into tuna mayo.
  • Grated carrot makes a nice sweet addition – add a little vinaigrette or a pinch or cumin for a more sophisticated flavour.
  • You can add texture via crunchy veg like red or yellow peppers chopped into small cubes, sliced radishes, or cucumber.
Carrot and raisin sandwiches on stand

Pick and mix fillings

  • Children love to choose fillings. Pile a plate with different options and let everyone fill their own sandwiches or rolls.
  • For older children, fill a large box or the veg drawer of your fridge with portions of different proteins (ham, tuna, hard-boiled egg, cheese, bean dips, etc) and ready sliced veg and salad. This way you’ll have control of how much is being eaten without lunch being a free-for-all of the ingredients you need for dinner – or were hoping to make last all week.
Bowl of bean, feta and herb dip surrounded by tortilla chips

What fillings to avoid

  • Steer away from anything too wet – there’s nothing worse than a soggy sandwich.
  • Keep extra strong flavours to a minimum otherwise you may overpower other fillings. A small amount of chopped olives or capers or a spoonful of piccalilli can really lift a sandwich if your child likes that kind of thing, but too much can be downright unpleasant.

Which bread to choose

  • You’ll know what kind of bread your children like, and while it’s tempting to try and make them eat different varieties, perhaps test new breads as a slice of toast rather than wasting a sandwich filling.
  • Think about the type of bread you are using in relation to the filling. Some fillings such as egg mayo are quite soft so you’ll need a reasonably soft bread, otherwise as you bite down all the filling will squish out. A delicate sliced cucumber sandwich tastes better on a mild white bread that allows the flavour to shine through. Stiffer filling such as slices of ham or hard cheese or slippery avocado slices can be used in more robust breads like sourdough, and smoked fish or beetroot hummus pair well with rye, especially as open sandwiches.
  • The same goes for rolls. A soft roll suits a soft filling like prawn mayonnaise and a crusty roll goes well with slices of salami.
  • Chunks of baguette are often a halfway house. The softer inside holds fillings like tuna mayonnaise, salads and mozzarella and tomato well, while the crunchy crust won’t go soft quickly .
  • Split pitta breads also make good sandwiches and as long as you don’t make a hole in the bottom, they make a good carrier for a potentially messy filling like a fried egg or halved and cooked sausages. A breakfast sandwich is a good thing on the weekend.
Baguettes filled with spiced prawn cocktail, lettuce and cucumber

Our top 10 favourite sandwich fillings for kids:

1. Kids' club sandwiches

Fillings: bacon, lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber and soft cheese

Stuffed club sandwiches with colourful skewers in them

Kids can still have fun with a classic. Alternating layers of smoky bacon, crunchy veg, soft cheese and wholemeal bread form a well-balanced combination of flavours and textures. Cut into triangular pieces and secure with a paper-topped cocktail stick for the ultimate savoury birthday bite.

2. You're a star sarnies

Fillings: cream cheese and red pesto

More like this

Surprise your little stars with a special treat in their lunchbox. These super-cute, star-shaped sarnies are filled with a simple cheese and red pesto spread which is sure to appeal to younger fussy eaters.

Find more inspiration for packed lunches.

3. Loaded open sandwiches

Fillings: ham and radishes, cucumber and dill, egg and cress and prawns with mayo

A blue tray of open sandwiches held by someone

Although these are technically toppings rather than fillings, why not let kids show off their creations on open bread slices. We've come up with four tasty combinations to pile high over a base of cucumber mayonnaise: ham and radishes; cucumber and dill; egg and cress; and prawns with mayo. These pretty patisserie-style sarnies will have pride of place at an afternoon tea spread.

Get more ideas for how to throw your own afternoon tea party.

4. Egg & cress club sandwich

Fillings: eggs, mayonnaise and cress (plus optional lettuce, tomatoes, ham or cheese)

Egg and watercress club sandwiches skewered together

Another family favourite – boiled eggs, creamy mayo, and cress is a winning filling formula. Kids can either enjoy these simple flavours or deck out their sarnies with a variety of extras such as lettuce, tomatoes, ham or cheese. All that's left to do is lay out your picnic mat on the lawn and munch away.

5. Sausage sandwich with pesto

Fillings: sausages, pesto, mozzarella, roasted red pepper and rocket

An open sandwich stuffed with rocket, sausages, pesto and cheese

Teenagers are known for developing healthy appetites. So when hunger strikes, the hearty sausage roll is here to help. Give this comfort food classic an Italian-style twist with the addition of fresh pesto, mozzarella and roasted pepper.

6. Stuffed rainbow baguette

Fillings: hummus, cheddar, colourful veg and pesto

A baguette cut in half stuffed with vegetables, dressing and cheese

Let your kids eat the rainbow with our colourful veggie baguettes. Load this French bread high with hummus, pesto and colourful veg such as beetroot, red pepper, carrot and salad leaves. Eating their greens will never seem so appealing!

More brilliant baguette recipes.

7. Easy coronation chicken

Fillings: cooked chicken breast, mild spices, mayonnaise, sultanas and mango chutney

The ultimate makeover: Coronation chicken

This mild curried sandwich filling is perfect for children who don't like spice. The sweet, tangy notes of mango chutney and juicy sultanas balance well with the spices and mayo. Coat leftover roast chicken in this comforting creamy sauce and serve with salad leaves in a fresh bun.

Love this sandwich filling? We've got plenty more coronation chicken recipes.

8. Carrot & hummus roll-ups

Filling: hummus, carrot & rocket

White wraps cut in half and filled with hummus and grated carrot

When it comes to pleasing picky eaters, simplicity is key. These veggie wraps are packed with a nutritious filling of grated carrot, silky hummus, and rocket salad. Rustle them up in just 10 mins for a quick snack or lunch.

Try our super salad wraps for another colourful veg-packed filling along with grated cheddar and hummus.

9. Turkey & pepper pittas

Fillings: turkey breast steak, peppers, spring onions, avocado and coriander.

Split pittas stuffed with turkey, pepper and herbs

Kids' energy levels flagging? Give them a boost with our tasty turkey, pepper and avocado pitta breads. The super-healthy filling is a great source of vitamin C and delivers two of your five-a-day. Serve it in wholemeal pitta pockets for a delicious fibre boost and alternative to normal sandwiches.

Try more pitta bread recipes.

10. Homemade fish finger sarnie

Fillings: Homemade fish fingers with cornflake crumb plus homemade tartare sauce


Crisp, golden fish fingers are a sandwich filling guaranteed to make kids smile. Coated in a cornflake crumb and served with sweet potato chips, they bring the fun-factor to mealtimes. Stack the battered fish with fresh salad and a dollop of homemade tartare into wholemeal buns for a hearty lunch or dinner.

Check out more delicious fish finger recipes for kids.

More sandwich filling ideas

Cheesy apple slaw – Mix their favourite grated hard cheese with grated apple, chopped spring onions, a squeeze of lemon and a little mayonnaise. Delicious with wholemeal bread or rolls.

PBJ – For a special treat, make your own version of this American classic by spreading crunchy or smooth peanut butter (try our homemade peanut butter) over buttered bread, then topping with an equal amount of blackcurrant or raspberry jam.

Tuna salad – Mix together tinned tuna with mayonnaise and some sweet pickle relish to form a creamy paste. Add to sandwiches with extras such as lettuce, grated cheese and even crisps!

Omelette – Not your average sandwich filling, but our hearty veggie omelette rolls will be a hit with the kids. Fill the omelettes with juicy cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta and spinach. Add extra salad if you like, and older children may like a touch of salsa or pickle as well.

Salmon smash – Mash up a drained and boned tin of red salmon with a little tomato ketchup. Spread onto wholemeal or granary bread and sprinkle with lots of mustard and cress.

Tandoori chicken wrapsRoll chapattis or flour tortillas around a filling of ready-cooked tandoori chicken pieces, shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Serve with dollops of bought chunky cucumber raita.

Three wholemeal wraps stuffed with tandoori chicken and veg

Scout’s MCC – Try Marmite, grated cheddar and sliced cucumber in a crusty baguette or ciabatta roll – they’ll either love it or hate it!

Cream cheese & roasted red pepper bagels – Fill onion or regular bagels with soft cheese and roasted peppers from a jar.

Creamy smoked mackerel – Skin and flake smoked mackerel fillets, then mix with a little mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. Spread onto thick wholemeal bread and top with crisp lettuce leaves.

Get more ideas for kids and sandwich recipes:

Our best sandwich recipes
Top 10 quick and easy snacks for kids
Kids' lunchbox recipes
Wrap recipes
Kids' budget lunch ideas
Healthy sandwich recipes
5 ideas for a grilled cheese sandwich


What are your kids' favourite sandwich fillings? Leave a comment below...

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