a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Sep, 2010

Crusts: love ’em or leave ’em?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Subtitle: What To Do With All Of The Crusts Your Kids Won’t Eat in the Weeks Months to Come

I like to eat my crusts. Maybe that’s why I hate it when they come back home to me, like some kind of crazy shape-shifting boomerang. I send a sandwich to school – BAM – it comes back as a mangled and sad version of its former self.

HELLO CRUSTS, I DO NOT LIKE SEEING YOU HERE.

It shows a lack of respect for me, Master Lunchmaker, as well as for starving children around the world. If it bothers you, and you are tired of nagging your kids about their crusts, you should know that it’s OK to give in. Just do it. Make your crusthatin’ kid happy and cut the geedee crusts off their sandwich with a very sharp knife before packing it in their lunchbag. Be careful not to get too much mayo/jam/ham/whatever along with the bread, because THEN you can:

1. Stockpile them in the fridge and create the basis of your emergency food supply. If you’re lucky, the power goes off and you can make your kids eat a whole plateful of crusts because THEY WILL HAVE NO CHOICE.

Just kidding.

1. Stockpile them in the fridge, and when you collect enough of them, whirl them around in your food processor and make breadcrumbs. Use them wherever breadcrumbs are called for in recipes i.e. in casseroles, burgers, fish cakes etc. Keep unused breadcrumbs in the freezer.

2. Add seasoning to your plain DIY breadcrumbs and use them instead of your regular Shake n’Sodium, er, I mean, Shake n’Bake.

3. Cut up crusts into cubes and use for the turkey stuffing.

4. Cut up into cubes and toss with a little drizzle of olive oil. Add garlic and dried herbs to taste. Lightly brown in a skillet or in the oven. Voila! Croutons! Add them to soups and salads. (This is especially good with leftover baguettes. Doubly-so with Art-is-in garlic bread.)

Isn’t it great? You CAN get kids to eat their crusts after all! Heh.


13 Responses to "Crusts: love ’em or leave ’em?"

1 | Javamom

September 17th, 2010 at 11:47 am

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I grew up in a small city in Switzerland and never came across this non-eating crust thing till I moved to North America.

Now I’m a Canadian mom of two tiny children. So…:

Why does my 5yo eat one type of crust but not another?
Why does he eat same type of crusts at my parents’ place but not at home?
Why does he sometimes eat crusts that normally he doesn’t and then the next time goes back to saying he doesn’t like crusts?
Where in my stuffed fridge should I put the non-eaten crusts, and
Are somewhat spit-soggy crusts better off in the compost than the turkey stuffing?
Argh.

*smile*

2 | Sherry

September 17th, 2010 at 11:48 am

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These are great ideas but I had to laugh because even at 36 years old I still don’t eat my crusts. :D

3 | Lee

September 17th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

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Great ideas Andrea!

Especially since the comments in this Parent Hacks post
( http://www.parenthacks.com/2010/09/how-do-i-get-my-kid-to-eat-more-of-her-school-lunch.html )

highlights that crusts hold more antioxidents than the bread itself!

Bread Crust And Stuffing Rich In Healthy Antioxidants
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021105080817.htm

4 | bushidoka

September 17th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

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I dunno, I disagree. I think that giving in can on lead to worse problems later – and I speak from experience having been that kid whose mom always gave in. Sure, there are lots of times when we do not make our kids clean their plates, but there are almost always consequences for them. Usually, it is “this is all you get to eat until it is gone”. That holds til the end of the day, and they can get pretty hungry by then if it was a sandwich that they had at school. So it is rare for bread crusts to go uneaten, but it is not rare for supper to go uneaten. Either way it is all they get til breakfast – their decision. Sometimes the consequence is no dessert, those we almost never have dessert anyway so we do not get to play that card very often.

5 | andrea

September 17th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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I think you have to pick your battles. :)

I noticed that if I trimmed the bread the kids ended up eating more of it – strangely.

Sometimes I cut the crusts off, most times I don’t. Sometimes I’ve been known to leave a dry corner of toast behind too. :)

6 | Lee

September 17th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

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Here’s the part two to my comment above, proving Mark’s point some time ago about there being info on the internet to supporty everyone’s beliefs:

Cut the crust: Jury out on possible carcinogen, verdict to come from FDA
http://columbiachronicle.com/cut-the-crust/

7 | bushidoka

September 17th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

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Yes, you are right that we choose our battles as well in this area, but breadcrusts is one area where we are unwilling to give in. In thinking about it, I think that one big reason why this is the case may also be a big reason why the boys eat their crusts so well – we make a lot of our own bread, and when it gets wasted it is our own hard work gone to waste.

8 | Sasha

September 17th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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I agree that you have to pick your battles – and now that we have an almost-two-year-old we’re starting to appreciate what that means! Besides, if you lay down the law here what can you do? Say “I do not want these coming home from school anymore”? Well, then they probably won’t – but tht at doesn’t mean they’re getting eaten. Besides, I remember being told to eat mine and guess what – now that there’s nobody telling me, I don’t ;).

But as for using them – we cut stale bread into cubes and toss it in the freezer – when there’s enough then DH makes bread pudding (think french toast in cake form). Yum!!

9 | Marla

September 17th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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I work in our school’s lunch room, and can tell some things (anecdotes and observations):

* Kids throw away their garbage one. piece. at. a. time. for the maximum number of trips to the trash/recycling bin. (Which is one reason I’d like to promote “boomerang” lunches at our school.)

*Kids visually process their food first: Kds with uncut sandwiches eat less than kids whose are cut in half (either diagonal or vertical), who eat less than those whose sandwiches are cut into quarters (triangles mean kids eat closer to the crust). Kids whose mom do the cute cookie cutter shape sandwiches really do eat every bite.

*Kids of a certain age don’t eat whole apples or pears or what have you because their teeth are loose.

*Bananas become weapons, occasionally go down boys’ pants, and then get thrown out. If attempts are made to eat them, other kids make faces and call them “smelly”.

*Quantity is better than quality- five mini crappy chocolate chip cookies are WAAAY better than one homemade gorgeous cookie.

*Trips to the water fountain are a thousand times better than drinking water from a Sigg bottle.

For the record, Josie’s lunch crusts, when she has them, are either my breakfast or the dog’s. And the PC mini slider buns are exactly the perfect size for lunch sandwiches for little kids – Josie likes a variety too, like one Free-Nut Butter, one Cheese and one Cucumber, because sometimes she likes one for morning recess and another for afternoon recess.

10 | karen

September 17th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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I hate to admit it but I too hate crusts. They can really ruin a perfectly good sandwich.

My 8 year old son has never ate crusts.

My 12 year daughter did up until about 2 years ago. I got tired of having the same conversation day after day so I finally just decided to take them off for her.

I save the crusts to take with us when we go feed the ducks. I just may have to start using them to make bread crumbs though.

11 | Betsy Mae

September 17th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

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We eat our crusts!!! Are we weird or what????

12 | Amy

September 20th, 2010 at 12:01 am

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I hated eating bought bread crusts growing up, but had not problem eating homemade crusts. For me, the problem was (and still is) how dry they are, I prefer soft crusts. My parents used the “starving children in Africa” card to get us to eat them, and I still feel guilty if I leave them. Depends on the kid and the day though, picking your battles is important too.

13 | Binki

September 20th, 2010 at 9:20 am

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Bread crusts….mmmmmm.

I wonder if there’s a correlation between kids who don’t eat bread crusts and parents who don’t eat crusts? Learned behaviour…perhaps?

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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