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Livening up the lunchbox

Joseph DeVita
For The Associated Press

French fries in a sandwich?

Why not? We aimed for kid-friendly creativity when crafting these deliciously different sandwiches for back to school. French fries stand in for the mashed potatoes and stuffing on our Thanksgiving sandwich. If you’d prefer a healthier version, use sweet potato fries.

THANKSGIVING

SANDWICH

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

2 tablespoons cream cheese

2 slices whole-wheat bread

3 deli-slices turkey breast

1 small handful frozen french fries, toasted or microwaved until warmed

2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Spread the cream cheese onto 1 side of each slice of bread. Top 1 side with the turkey breast, then the french fries, then the cranberry sauce and the second slice of bread.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 398 calories; 129 calories from fat; 14 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 59 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 5 g fiber; 1,002 mg sodium.

HAM AND CHEESE

WAFFLE SANDWICH

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

2 teaspoons honey mustard or Dijon mustard

2 frozen waffles, toasted

3 deli-slices maple ham

2 deli-slices Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Maple syrup (optional)

Spread the mustard over 1 side of each waffle. Top 1 side with 1 slice of cheese, the ham, the other slice of the cheese, then the other waffle.

In a large skillet over medium, melt the butter. Fry the sandwich for about 1 minute on each side. Serve with maple syrup for dunking.

Nutrition information per serving: 674 calories; 365 calories from fat; 41 g fat (18 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 106 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrate; 34 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,342 mg sodium.

HONEY CUCUMBER SANDWICH

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

2 slices whole-wheat bread

2-inch length English cucumber, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, honey and dill. Spread the mixture over 1 side of each slice of bread. Top with cucumber slices, then season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 381 calories; 153 calories from fat; 17 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 48 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 393 mg sodium.

POP PB&J

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 slices whole-wheat bread

2 tablespoons fruit jam

1⁄2 cup popped popcorn

Spread half of the peanut butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Spread the jam over that. Arrange the popcorn in an even layer over 1 slice, then top with the second bread slice.

Nutrition information per serving: 586 calories; 236 calories from fat; 26 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 75 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 7 g fiber; 485 mg sodium.