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Crusts or No Crusts?

My three oldest children eat the sandwich, crust and all. My three youngest children treat the crust like they would the rind of a watermelon. They eat as far into the sandwich as their chubby cheeks allow and then they discard the rest.

Since I hate waste more than I am bothered by picky eaters, I have started trimming the crust from the bread before I make their sandwiches. I save the crusts in a bag in the freezer to use as bread crumbs at a later date.

What do YOU do?

Crusts or no crusts? Do you make your kids eat them? Or do you “cave”?

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Comments

  1. Two of my three sons have been crust avoiders until the last 12 months. The oldest who is 8 ½ does have a ‘thing’ about taste and texture. He isn’t afraid to try new foods but he does know what he likes and dislikes – and crusts were one of those things from a very early age. They didn’t make him vomit like bananas or mashed potato but he really just didn’t like them. His younger brother (6 1/2) just wanted to have sandwiches like his brother so it was easier for me just to cut the crusts off than battle with them over eating a sandwich. I didn’t see it as ‘caving’ in – I just made the decision that there were other battles to fight. I explained to the boys, however, that when we had sandwiches at other people’s houses they were not to make a fuss but either take or leave the sandwich as it was.

    I have been told that this is indulging my sons in a way that will be totally detrimental to their future characters (seriously). But there are things that I like to eat and not eat as does my husband. I would no more serve up my children something I knew absolutely for certain they didn’t like to eat than I would him. So I bagged up those crusts and made lots of breadcrumb cookies (from the Tightwad Gazette) and English style bread pudding. I have to admit, though, we did just throw a lot away.

    Then about 12 months ago my oldest son just decided he would like to try a sandwich with crusts. His tastes had changed, as tastes so often do for children, and his brother followed suit. Crusts are now part of our life again and I get to make a different kind of cookie!

  2. great idea about saving them for breadcrumbs..I might just do that..both my girls are no crust kids and cannot even have it on the sandwich, I cut it off before giving it to them..then my hubby comes in 1 day and says “oh look finger sandwiches” now the girls love em..they eat the crust leftovers by themselves and then the sandwich! crazy kids!! :)

  3. I have 3 kids (9,5,17mos)and so far none have given me any trouble over eating the crusts. They all seem to be little dough babies in that they love bread!! Especially hm bread not long out of the oven with plenty of butter!!

  4. My mom used to tell us the crusts would make your hair curly- I’ll have to ask her why – can you guess we never ate the crusts?? My kids have never given me any trouble and I never told them what their gramma used to say to us!

  5. My son (age 3) loves bread and so far we haven’t had any issues with crusts. But I do like the idea of saving the edges for making bread crumbs. I already do this with the heels of the bread loaf. Should he turn picky on me, I will definitely use this idea!

  6. This one had me laughing because I don’t like to eat the crusts! Well, I will sometimes now that I am older but many times I don’t – it just depends on what it is. My kids don’t normally eat the crusts, either. But, as long as they eat their fruits and veggies, I can live with them not eating crust!

  7. Mine have never complained about the crusts, so I have never cut them off. My brother and I never complained as kids either. I don’t know why some complain and some don’t….

  8. HeatherS says:

    My oldest will eat the crust but my 5 year old will not. After a long time of stubbornly refusing to cut off the crusts, I finally started cutting them off because she gets more sandwich in her that way. If I leave the crust and let her her eat up to that point, she leaves quite a bit of bread still attached to the crust. I’d rather get more food in her than fight the crust battle.

  9. Noo! Never trim them and let them start the habit of not eating crusts. My own kids and kids at my house have no option, I run an in home childcare. You must eat the crust. Very few chips (think 3) with sandwich, more when crust gone.

  10. Sara Z. says:

    Of my four kids, only one still holds out on crust-eating (Yay!). I’m a firm believer in not removing the crusts. If she chooses to eat everything but the crusts, that’s ok, but you won’t find me cutting them off.

    Honestly, I hadn’t thought about how I could save some waste by cutting the crusts off and using them for another purpose. Even so, I think I’m going to stick to my guns (so to speak) and continue having her handle the crust removal. I’m such a mean mommy :)

  11. I don’t cut the crust off, but I don’t make her eat it. I cut her sandwich/toasts in triangles because she eats more of the sandwich that way (it’s easier to get closer to the crust as opposed to when it’s cut in a square). Sometimes she eats the crust sometimes she doesn’t. I have bigger battles to fight ;)

  12. I guess I am the “mean” mom that made them eat the crust when they went through that stage. I refused to cut it off because I did not want them to start the habit of not eating it. Instead I gave them their sandwich and nothing else. They only got the rest of their lunch when the sandwich was gone. Now all three kids eat the crust with no problem. They may not enjoy it, but they eat it and there is no waste. (And yes I know I am in the minority here in the fact that I made my kids eat it )

  13. My son eats it just fine; my two year old doesn’t. Great idea about saving the crust for breadcrumbs. I think in a year or two I will stick to my guns and not cut it off. Right now, she wastes too much if I don’t cut it off.

  14. Our oldest son has now convinced his younger brothers that crusts are to be avoided at all costs. They used to not even notice the crusts, but not anymore. So, rather than have them waste at least half of a sandwich because of their crust phobia, I, too, trim the crust off before even putting the plate on the table! Great idea about saving them for bread crumbs!

  15. The bread crusts themselves are not a moral thing, especially if you don’t waste them. It’s up to Mom what she allows. I think everyone has a few foods they don’t like. It’s concerning when food preferences are part of an overall pattern of “I WILL have it my way or I won’t do it. PERIOD.” (And Mom is miserable.) Or is your kid characterized by generally eating supper well and not being in a funk about everything put on his plate. By the way, all my kids like crust, though one strongly dislikes super-nutritious sweet potatoes. :^)

  16. I like crusts. We “fight” over the bread heel now. But when we were little, for some reason we liked to dunk our crusts – milk, koolaid, whatever.

  17. Kristiana says:

    I have given in and cut the crust off for my older two. When I didn’t, they would leave behind much more than I would have cut off, so I felt it wasted less if I went ahead and did it for them. I make our bread in a bread maker, so sometimes the crust is pretty hefty. The most important thing to me is that they are eating whole grain bread. Every mom has to choose her battles.

  18. My three year old gets upset if I cut them off, so she keeps them. My two year old will eat his triangles to the crust, and wastes a lot, so I don’t mind cutting them off. We save them and then feed the birds with them. He does the same with apples and peaches, so I cut the peels off those and big sister eats them!

  19. Hi! My husband and I eat the crusts. :) But when our grandchildren visit, if they don’t like the crusts I would cut them off and freeze them for meatloaf. If I have been asked to make special sandwiches for a tea or shower, I cut the crusts off and do that then, too. If I did not, I would at least throw them out to the birds . . . never a waste! :) Can’t remember if my four kids did or did not like the crusts, but they are all very normal adults. :)

  20. Ha! Ha! good topic for today. Of my 4 kiddos the younger 3 eat the crust with no problem. My oldest (age 7) does not. When he was younger I, like many on here already commented, cut the crusts off because he would waste so much sandwich if not. Now I’m wondering if I had just left it on there if he would have just started eating it. I no longer cut off his crusts and I make him eat the sandwich right up to the very edge (often meaning he eats some of the crust as well) with hopes that eventually he’ll get the point and just eat the whole thing. Everyone has battles they choose not to fight :) Clara

  21. No Way!!! Cutting off the crust is totally a gateway behavior to all sorts of picky-ness. I am not a short order cook, eat what you are given or wait until the next meal.

    I never buy anything in the checkout line either, I’m such a heartless mommy!

  22. Jennifer says:

    My older (5.5) son won’t eat the crusts of his sandwich. He only started this maybe 18 months ago? I got so annoyed with how much of the sandwich he left behind that I started cutting the crust off for my own peace of mind about wasting all that food. At least if I cut them off, then I can use them and he eats more of the sandwich. When I am not in charge of lunch, I don’t think my husband cuts the crusts off because it doesn’t bother him to throw them out.

  23. I cut the crusts off and save them. When I have a bunch I toss them with melted butter and cinnamon/sugar then bake them at 350 till crisp!

  24. Fun topic! And a great tip about saving crusts for bread crumbs or meatloaf. I’ll have to try that. At our house, we cut sandwiches for the little boys (5 and 8) into triangles and the kids eat up to the edge most times; my older boy especially doesn’t care for edges. I think it’s the texture, not the taste, because he loves the edge of grilled cheese! The 5-year-old will eat edges no problem, if he’s hungry. If he’s not that into his food, it doesn’t matter – he’ll eat whatever part he wants and that’s all. My big boy (i.e. hubby) will eat the crusts! But you know, I sometimes leave a corner if the bread has really tough crusts. I think sometimes I don’t chew well enough.

  25. I went back and forth on whether or not I would cut it off. To this day my 17 year old still won’t eat the crust, but she loves crusty bread dipped in olive oil and vinegar. Really???

  26. Both my 18 month old and my 8 year old eat the crust (of whole wheat bread). Hopefully, they always will. I have MANY other battles to fight though.

  27. I have always made them eat the crust.

  28. Funny! I just had this conversation with my 7 year old this morning. He doesn’t like the crusts which we trimmed off, and he still left the edge of the bread.

    Usually I collect the crusts in the freezer. Most of the time, they don’t have anything on them, or it’s so minute that it won’t affect the flavor of the bread crumbs.

  29. My four girls ate and still eat their crusts. I don’t want them to think they can waste food.

  30. Well this 50 year old mom just looked over the comments a bit better and I’m thinking it’s great to freeze the crusts but what is this teaching our children?

  31. Wow, I had no idea this was a topic people would feel strongly about. My kids ate the crusts – it never even came up that I can remember. Occasionally for something fun and different I have cut their crusts off, but it was never a deal for us. What I actually popped over to comment about, though, was please make some breadcrumb cookies from T’he Tightwad Gazette and tell us how they are! :)

  32. mom always said the way most people butter the bread, she wouldn’t eat the crust either…and i noticed the same..if i spread the peanut butter or butter right to the edge…they will eat them..if not they leave them…(unless the bread is not so fresh ..then they wont eat the crust no matter what..)

    • @celina,
      this is exactly what I’ve noticed! If i make a pb&j for my 2-yr-old, he’ll happily eat the crust as long as it has plenty of pb on it. if the pb doesn’t go to the edge, he’ll eat all but the crust. I now take a little longer to carefully spread the pb on the edges, and i get a clean plate much more often!

  33. My child is currently 13 and does eat his crust on bread BUT there was a time that he wouldn’t so I started cutting his sandwiches into 4 triangles. This made it look like there wasn’t so much crust. Eventually he just started eating the whole sandwich. Sometimes, now I do cut the crust off just to make the sandwich a little special.

  34. Our oldest doesn’t eat crust. Our youngest eats it.

    I don’t view it as giving in. I didn’t eat crust as a kid. I always felt really special when my mom or grandma took the time to cut the crust. It was a little reminder that they cared about my likes and dislikes. I’ve passed that on to my boys. Eventually, I learned to eat the crust or peel it off on my own.

  35. As a young child, I didn’t like the crusts either and I grew out of it by the time I was school age. I regularly trim the crusts from my son’s school sandwich because I know that it won’t get thrown in the trash then. Funny though, he’ll eat the crust on homemade bread. (conviction! I know I should make it more often) I’m not worried about what message I’m giving to my children. I’m sure they will grow out of it. As a mom of 8 kids, 4 of them now adults, I’d say that “This too shall pass.” Put the crusts in the food processor, stick the crumbs in the freezer and use them to top a casserole later on. Using them in egg bake or for bread pudding is also an option.

  36. My daughter does not like crust but I do not remove them from the sandwich unless making frozen uncrustables for her lunch. I would like her to eat them and refuse to do the work of removing them. (now that I read this post seems like a waste). My family does not eat the heels either, so when we get to the end of bread or have rolls that are getting stale I throw them in the food processor and dump them in a bag in the freezer. I have a couple recipes that call for fresh bread crumbs. This keeps me in fresh bread crumbs without adding to the budget. Plus since they are already processed I can scoop what I need with a measuring cup.

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