Now that we are officially in the back-to-school grind, parents across America are once again faced with the ongoing dilemma of what to pack their child for lunch. Sure, a plain turkey sandwich on white or wheat with a spread of mustard works fine and a PB & J on soft white bread is a classic but these options get boring fast. Try these dressed-up sandwiches to expand your child’s palette and make you look like a hero at their lunch table.

Turkey Sandwiches with Apple and Walnut Herb Mayo gives the plain turkey sandwich some spunk with thinly sliced green apple for a tangy bite. Stir chopped walnuts into mayo for a creamy spread.

Mini Bacon, Tomato, and Basil Sandwiches are kid-sized sandwiches that use extra-thin bread and fresh flavorful ingredients.

Turkey Vegetable Wraps feature chopped turkey breast, corn, bell pepper and lettuce tossed together with ranch dressing and rolled in a flour tortilla.

PBJ Special takes peanut butter and jelly a step further by combining natural peanut butter with honey and cinnamon, spreading the mixture on white bread and then topping with sweet cherry preserves and sliced banana. This sandwich is also fun as a wrap.

Cobb Clubs are for kids with a more adventurous palette. Try these club sandwiches packed high with turkey, cheddar, avocado, bacon, and tomato. Dress one side of the bread with light blue cheese dressing and then top the club with olive oil vinaigrette if desired.

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches are a quick and tasty dish that combines chicken breast with almonds, green onions, and fresh rosemary in a tangy Dijon mustard and mayonnaise sauce.

Another quick tip when you don’t have the extra time to prepare one of the recipes mentioned above--vary the bread options. Try pita pockets, flavored tortilla roll-ups, extra-thin white or wheat, pumpernickel, rye, hoagies, focaccia rounds, ciabatta loaves, or seedy whole grain.

Just remember that lunch is a crucial part of a child’s daily nutrient needs so aim to build complete sandwiches that include whole grains, a lean protein source, veggies, and low-fat cheese.

Have other tips for lunch? Let us know. If you need snack ideas, see Smart Snacks for Kids.