Sunday, October 04, 2009

Taking Care of The Crust Problem

Each school day we pack lunch for Cordy, and it's always the same thing: PB&J, some kind of snack cracker, and organic fruit snacks. She never wants anything else. At the end of each day, she hands us her lunch bag, and we open the sandwich container to find the crusts of her PB&J still waiting for us. Half-eaten crusts gross me out. You'd think we could teach her to at least throw them away at school, right?

For years now I've known about Smucker's Uncrustables, yet I've never had the chance to try them. I have occasionally considered them, but I'd often forget when I walked through the frozen food cases, since frozen foods aren't where one would look for PB&J sandwiches. Then Mom Central contacted me, asking if I would like to try them, and oh hey, they now come in whole wheat, too! Knowing I could get a whole wheat option gave me even more reason to try them out.

I chose the peanut butter and grape jelly Uncrustables in the whole wheat version. Cordy seriously dislikes any change to her food, so I wanted to keep it as close to her usual sandwiches as possible. I'll admit to some skepticism about how they would taste, too. After all, thawing out a sandwich doesn't sound like it would turn out well.

The instructions said to leave it out for 30-60 minutes to thaw, and that it's good for up to 8 hours. I left one of the sandwiches out for a little over an hour, then called Cordy into the kitchen to try it.

At first, my five year old was puzzled. "What is it?" she asked. I explained it was just like her usual peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but without the crusts.

"It's a round sandwich!" she exclaimed with glee.

Despite her affection for the geometry of the sandwich, it still took a little prodding to get her to try a bite. Eventually she did, and quickly proclaimed "It's delicious!" I was thrilled to see there was no clean-up needed, thanks to no crusts. She ate every bite.

I should also add that I tried the sandwich switch on my toddler, too. However, she stopped after two bites and handed it back to me. (In all fairness, she's an extremely picky eater.) This gave me a chance to try a bite myself. I found the bread to be a little too soft in texture for me. The peanut butter and jelly tasted good - I was surprised it tasted so fresh.

Cordy, noticing I had only taken one bite, asked for the remainder of Mira's sandwich. Two minutes later she had devoured the second one. So the final tally in our house was:

No Thanks - 1
Take-it-or-Leave-it - 1
May I Have Another Please? - 1

Nutritionally, Uncrustables are better than the average kid food on the market. They're 210 calories each, which is actually slightly less calories than the sandwiches I make. The whole wheat version has 3 grams of fiber, too. I'm less thrilled they have 10 grams of sugar and are made with high fructose corn syrup, but I am pleased that there are no artificial colors, which is often a deal-breaker for me due to Cordy's sensitivities.

Overall, I'm glad we got to try Smucker's Uncrustables, and I now have another option for Cordy's school lunches. They would also be perfect to pack on car trips, as they aren't messy and leave no food scraps behind.

Disclosure: This review was written while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Smucker’s Uncrustables and I received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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