Grilled Cheese Done Right

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the easiest meal to make. Kids can even learn to make it themselves. The ones I used to make consisted of regular cheese and white bread with butter to cook it. Here are a few ways to make that grilled cheese sandwich healthier for your little ones.

First of all you need to slim the cheese. Full fat cheeses are a thing of the past. A slice of reduced fat cheese melts just the same with less calories and fat. If American cheese is too ordinary, try a slice of Swiss or provolone cheese. Mozzarella is great on a sandwich, also. One slice of cheese will do, but if you are using the reduced fat kind, you could usually get by with two slices for a creamier sandwich.

What about the bread? The bread is a key element. White bread contains too many sugars that are bad for you. Try whole wheat or multigrain bread. Sourdough bread would make a good substitution. What you want is bread with less calories and carbohydrates per serving.

What about some meat? When they added bologna to a grilled cheese sandwich when I was in school, they called it a "flying saucer". Adding a slice of meat makes the sandwich more of a complete meal. Depending on what their favorite is, you can add roast beef, sliced ham, sliced turkey, bacon, sausage, or sliced chicken breast.

What about some flavor? Add flavor to their grilled cheese sandwich with a few choice condiments. Adding mustard gives the sandwich a tangy taste. For an even better taste add brown or Dijon mustard. Go Mexican with some added to the sandwich. The salsa will make the grilled cheese sandwich spicy. Roast beef goes well with a dollop of barbeque sauce added for more taste. If your child is into the simpler flavors, add a bit of fat-free or reduced fat mayo or ketchup to the sandwich. Adding some dressing such as Thousand Island is another great alternative for adding variety.

Add some snap to your sandwich. Slice up an apple and place it on top of the cheese. People eat a slice of cheese with apple pie and many cheese trays are served with apples, so why not on a grilled cheese sandwich? Use a Granny Smith apple maximum crunch. They will hold their form better than a red apple.

Our grilled cheese sandwich is really coming together. We have added meat, changed the cheese, changed the bread, and added sauces for added pizzaz. What’s left to do? Maybe we can add some vegetables. Pickles work well on a cheese sandwich with bologna. A juicy slice of tomato would add color and flavor to any meat and cheese combination. Get a slice of green with a leaf of romaine lettuce or some spinach.

Ditch the butter. I used to spread a thick layer of butter on both sides of the bread before I put the sandwich on the griddle. Here are a few options to that. Use spray butter or non-stick cooking spray in the pan. Your kids will still have the butter flavor without all the butter calories. Another choice would be to brown the sandwich in the oven. Using a cookie sheet, spray both sides of the bread with butter spray. Bake the cheese sandwiches in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about six minutes per side.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are getting a makeover. By adding meat, seasoning, and veggies, your sandwiches are now a meal all by themselves. Get your little ones involved in the process. Let them create their own sandwiches.

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About The Author, Christine Steendahl
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