Sunday, May 24, 2009

Homemade Version of Lunch-time Favorite

So many kids in my preschool class would bring those yummy frozen round peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. You know the ones I am talking about. They don't have crusts on them, cut in perfect round circles and stay in the freezer. They thaw out by the time the kids hit the lunch table. But when you buy them in the store they cost so much. I mean we are talking like $4-5 a box for only 4 of them!!! WHAT!!!

Here is a GREAT idea instead. Make them yourself. My friend Maria and her son would have a fun afternoon activity of making PB&J sandwiches from the whole loaf of bread to be frozen and saved for later. This was a great opportunity for them to talk about food and what goes into the things we eat and also getting him involved in making his own lunches. Kids are more likely to eat something if they have a hand in the preparation of it. Here is how you make your own, assembly line style.

Loaf of bread (white, wheat, doesn't matter, whatever your kids like)
Peanut butter
Jelly (my favorite flavor is strawberry)
Cookie cutter or wide-mouthed glass (you can make different shapes as well)
Ziploc bags
fork (to seal the edges closed)

Simply lay out the bread and slather with peanut butter and jelly. You may want to use the jelly sparingly as it will seep out the sides of the sandwich. Then, just cut out the center of the sandwich with your cookie cutter or glass and crimp the edges down with the fork (to seal the sandwich closed). Place in Ziploc bags and freeze. After the sandwiches have been in the freezer for about an hour, squeeze all of the air out of the bag so they don't get frost bite.

These will freeze for months and will thaw out by lunchtime.

Also, Pampered Chef makes a really awesome tool to use for this as well called the Cut-N-Seal(pictured below). This will save a few steps when making your own sandwiches. Make sure that you label the Ziploc bags with the date and the flavor of jelly or type of peanut butter if using multiple kinds. Happy Sandwich Making!!

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