WFMW: Never buy Uncrustables again!

I always swore I would never be one of those moms who cut the crusts off her kids’ sandwiches. Eat it, because they’ll make you hair curly (anyone else hear that growing up?). Besides, if you have a food hang-up, learn to handle it yourself. If you want the crusts off, YOU take them off.

So when Big Sis started first grade and began taking her lunch to school, I left the crusts on her pb&j. But every day that week, she’d come home crabby (low blood sugar?) with most of her lunch untouched…except for the sandwich.

It turns out that it took her so long to remove the crust of the sandwich herself that she didn’t have time to eat anything else (her lunch period is only a half-hour, including travel time)!

So I gave up on the crust battle, at least for school lunches. But I got tired of hand-trimming them with a knife. So rooted through my kitchen gadgets and found these great cookie cutters. They’re big (sandwich-sized), cute, and easy to clean (dishwasher-safe). Depending on the design (heart or flower), they keep most of the sandwich while leaving behind the soft, yummy middle.

I also hated taking time to make a sandwich every morning, so I stole an idea I read somewhere (sorry, no idea where!) and made and froze an entire loaf’s worth of sandwiches at a time. A pb&j assembly line: spread peanut butter, spread jelly, fold together, cut crusts off with cookie cutter, wrap in wax paper, insert into gallon-size zip-top freezer bag (about 8 sandwiches fit). She usually has a hot lunch at school about once a week, so one session buys me two weeks of sandwiches.

So now making lunch is a grab and toss affair: frozen sandwich (it defrosts by lunchtime), chips, fruit, and maybe something sweet (if she’s been good about eating her fruits & veggies). She buys chocolate milk at school.

Hey…so far, it works for me! I’ve never bought a box of Uncrustables yet! (But if you do, I can’t judge you, of course…it’s what works for YOU!)


UPDATE: March 2, 2011

Big Sis is now a fourth grader and Little Sis is a first grader. I’m STILL using this system every day. I’ve upgraded to organic bread, organic peanut butter and strawberry all-fruit spread, but the basic idea remains the same. Also, Mr. Hoagie hates that a cookie cutter removes so much edible sandwich, so lately I’ve just been cutting the sandwiches diagonally.

For more great ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to
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10 Responses to WFMW: Never buy Uncrustables again!

  1. Melinda says:

    That’s a terrific idea! We use a big round cookie cutter to cook our egss for bagel sandwiches.

  2. Kristin says:

    Cookie cutters are so much fun to use – I’m glad you get a chance to use them for more than just cookies. I love that you freeze the PB&J – Excellent idea! I’ll have to pass that along to my sister.

    Have a great day!

  3. Kerri says:

    Thank you! I have done the cookie cutter thing for “special” but I didn’t know you could freeze PB&J!

  4. Amy says:

    great idea.
    I actually buy uncrustables and feed them to my kids…shame on me…hee hee

  5. sandwiched says:

    Amy: We don’t judge here. I was asked to bring a fruit tray to Little Sis’ 3 year old preschool graduation today. I stopped at the grocery store this morning and bought 4 containers of cut fruit.

    Like I’m gonna do it myself with an injured 7 year old and a 4 year old with a raging recurrent double ear infection!

    Besides, I figured out long ago that fruit & veggie prep is not my thing. They’ll rot in the crisper about 2 weeks before I get to them.

    To each her own.

  6. Tara says:

    Great idea!!! I never would of thought of freezing the sandwiches! Thanks for the tip.

  7. The Pampered Chef makes a dealie called a Cut ‘n’ Seal that makes uncrustables at home – cuts them into circles and seals the edges. They’re all circles, but I like that they’re sealed. Very handy!

    I’m not sure where the dislike of crusts comes from. It must be in the toddler manual because my kids liked crusts as babies and then grew into their crust aversion, even being stay at home kids without undue outside toddler influence.

  8. Sarah says:

    I will have to try the frozen sandwiches idea! My husband could eat 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single day for lunch. Also love the cookie cutter idea.

  9. Natalia says:

    I love that idea! I do that with pancakes! Make a huge batch and then freeze the overage. When little man says he wants pancakes for breakfast I take two homemade out of the freezer and pop them in the toaster! 🙂 Much cheaper than store bought!

  10. 'Becca says:

    I find Uncrustables disgusting based on the name alone, but add the high price and the boring taste and gummy texture (they were the lunch at a birthday party, the only time I’ve eaten one) and there’s no way I’d buy them. It’s not so hard to make a sandwich! But I do like your assembly-line idea!

    What do you do with the sandwich edges? My mom used to make PBJ-flavored bread pudding!

    My son already has very curly hair so will not be persuaded to eat crusts. However, he’s willing to eat the sandwich off of the crust (instead of removing it, he kind of uses it as a handle) and then give the crust to a parent. The ones from his school lunches sometimes get set out for birds to eat if they’re unappetizing by the time they get home.

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