Kid's Activity: Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder

Bread, butter and cheese. These three simple ingredients are combined in a variety of ways with various extras and cooked to golden brown. The result is America's favorite sandwich -- the grilled cheese.

It's not only taste that increases its popularity! It's an easy meal for kids to prepare for themselves. Here is a simple recipe that an older child will be able to make unsupervised. Younger children will need help working around a hot stove.

Kid-friendly Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What you'll need (for each sandwich):
• Two slices of bread
• One or two slices of cheese
• Butter
• Vegetables or meat you'd like to add
• Grill or frying pan

How to make it:
Set your pan on the burner and turn to medium low. Meanwhile, lightly butter one slice of bread. Place in pan, butter side down. Add cheese and any other extras you'd like. Lightly butter the other slice of bread and place on sandwich, butter side up. Cook about two minutes and then flip. Cook this side another couple minutes, giving the cheese plenty of time to melt while the bread toasts to a golden brown. Serve with soup and raw fruit or vegetables for a nutritious dinner.

Shellie's Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What you'll need:
• 2 pieces of bread
• 2 slices any cheese (we use velvetta, American or some kind of cheddar) • Butter..,(nummy and oh so fattening!)

How to make it:
Most people smear the butter on the bread before putting it in the pan. But we slather the pan with butter letting it melt before adding the bread.

  1. Put 2 pieces of bread in the pan
  2. Place 1 1/2 pieces of cheese on (1) piece of bread ONLY!
  3. Allow cheese to melt just a bit
  4. Place other bread on melted cheese butter/brown side down
  5. Flip sandwich allowing both sides to brown

You can easily add ham to this by placing ham directly in pan to get brown, then follow directions above adding ham on top of the cheese. Makes one scrumptious sandwich!

Mozzarella Apple Sandwiches

What you'll need:
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 8 slices whole wheat cinnamon-raisin bread
• ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
• 4 slices mozzarella cheese
• 1 large Fuji apple, thinly sliced
• 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

How to make it:
Spread butter lightly on one side of each slice of bread. Flip over on waxed paper, butter side down. On the unbuttered sides of four slices of bread, spread equal amounts of peanut butter and top with one slice of mozzarella cheese. Place apple slices over cheese and top one slice cheddar cheese. Finish sandwich with remaining slices of bread, buttered side up. Preheat large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook sandwiches for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden and the cheeses are melted. Serve immediately.

According to research, Americans eat more than 2.2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches a year. What makes a great grilled cheese sandwich? Some say Velveeta or Kraft Singles™ on white is the only way to go. For others, the sandwich wouldn't be the same without the addition of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, tomatoes, onion, bacon or ham.

My own personal favorite starts with a slice of whole grain bread toast, pepper jack cheese, mushrooms and green peppers heated under the broiler. With the hundreds of domestic and imported varieties of cheese available today, an array of fresh vegetables and a few meats, the combinations are endless. Experiment and find your favorites! We've included a few ideas to trigger your imagination:

  • Grilled American cheese on sourdough bread with a touch of cayenne, plus tomato soup!
  • Grilled Rachel -- turkey, Gruyére and coleslaw on rye
  • Grilled Reuben -- corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut on rye
  • Havarti, mushrooms and caramelized onions with dill and paprika on rye
  • Smoked Gouda with mushrooms, Dijon mustard and pickled onions on multigrain
  • Quesadilla with roasted chicken, tomatoes and jalepeno
  • Monterey jack and sharp Cheddar with cilantro, red onion and chipotle chiles whole wheat
  • English Cheddar, chutney and red onion on pumpernickel
  • Mozzarella cheese sprinkled with oregano and topped with a thin slice of tomato and onion
  • Grilled smoked turkey and Swiss on Swedish rye bread with honey mustard
  • Grilled blue and brie on pumpernickle with pepper jelly

Whether made with processed singles, Velveeta or imported varieties, grilled cheese sandwiches remain one of America's favorites. Are you surprised that April has been designated National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month? I'm not!

Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!

Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to, LLC.