UFO or Sandwich? You Decide

August 7, 2012   68 Comments

It’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s a sandwich?? Yo, this looks a wee bit strange.

Uncrustable Review

This is called an “Uncrustable” and it was created by Smucker’s. You can find it in your freezer aisle and this one happens to be peanut butter & grape on whole wheat bread.

Kristine, a reader, asked me for my thoughts on this product. I went out and bought a box for $2.50 which includes 4 sandwiches.

Now, some of you are just not going to give this product a chance because you cannot envision parents SO busy that they can’t make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My mother, who held down a job and raised two kids, used to pre-make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put them in the freezer. The result was the most disgustingly soggy sandwich, which I can’t remember ever liking. Yes, people, there are parents who are just trying to keep it together.

But, these actually taste pretty good. My son is now demanding that I buy more. Argh (thanks, Kristine).

Here are the nutritional facts for the Reduced Sugar and Whole Wheat Bread Uncrustable:

For one sandwich = 190 calories, 9 g fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 6.0 g sugar, 7 g protein, 3 g fiber, 170 mg sodium, 5 Points+

And the list of ingredients:

Before I share any of my thoughts, if you can make a whole wheat sandwich with peanut butter, and jam and freeze it successfully, please comment below.

Obviously, YOU can find a bread with less additives, peanut butter without added oil, and better tasting jam (and you can cut off the crust).

I don’t get why Smucker’s doesn’t use less additives in the bread because the sandwich is FROZEN. They don’t have to worry about shelf-life! Oh well.

Okay, now I am going to get flamed for saying that I would use these in a pinch. When you compare this sandwich to, for example, a PopTart - you can see that this has much less sugar per serving. It is 100% whole wheat as well and so I don’t think it is the worst product on the market.

One PopTart has 14 grams of sugar per serving and this sandwich has only 6 grams.

Another relevant comparison is to my least favorite lunch replacement - the Lunchable. There is 37 grams of sugar in the PB & J Lunchable.

Don’t buy a Lunchable - if you need a quick sandwich, buy the Uncrustable.

The sandwich doesn’t taste super sweet - it just tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

What I don’t like is all the packaging (plastic, cardboard) and the fact that we are so busy as a nation that we don’t have time to make our kid’s sandwiches.

Until we figure out how to STOP the insane schedules that make it impossible to feed ourselves decent food, there will be Lunchables, Uncrustables, and Poptarts.

Other posts you might like:


Are High Fiber Pop-Tarts a Healthy Choice?

Lately, Snack Girl has been deluged by requests about toaster pastries and frozen waffles. So, I decided to take a walk down the cereal aisle....


Five Reasons To Avoid A Lunchable

Snack Girl makes frequent visits to her local supermarket to check up on the latest. Guess what I found in the shampoo aisle?....

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!


Regarding the round shape: Lisa here in the south it is not unusual to use a sandwich making device that cuts and toasts two pieces of bread in one clamp like motion. My mom had a hand held version and I'm pretty sure that's where the notion came from. If I am not mistaken oxo makes a new version as does Nordic ware.

Thanks Lisa! I travel a lot for work and use these for a quick/cheap lunch when I've got a fridge/freezer in my room. No kids, but would probably feed one to my niece and nephew ha. Thanks for answering my question!

Trans fat in the bread=dealbreaker. Not liking the preservatives or the oil in the pb either, but partially hydrogenated anything is a no.

Lisa - I never made & froze PB&J, but these little sandwiches can work for adults in a pinch. You grab one on the way out the door and it's ready when you need a snack. Eating 3 every day isn't a good idea but 1 now and again is fine.

It has trans fats and HFCS. Both are deal breakers for me! A PB&J sandwich will last in the fridge for a day or two, why not make them the night before?

Not the healthiest thing on the market, but I find it better than the salt-laden pre-made sandwich kits that are out there. The peanut butter gives you needed protein, and the portion control might help those who are watching their weight and don't want to go overboard when adding peanut butter to a sandwich. You're right, though, in thinking that making one yourself is just so easy. I have one of those sandwich cutters, so I simply make my own. I can see how these sandwiches are less messy for parents whose kids often eat on the run (in the car, for example).

Oh the convinces we have today! Don't get me started! I believe if we did not have items like lunch ables and uncrustables we would find the time to make a lunch! We are all busy and it is where your priorities stand as to what you will feed your family! I am one that will not buy ANY of the above items for my kids, so it takes a few extra minutes to make a sandwich and cut some veggies, turn off the TV or log off the computer for a few extra minutes to feed your family properly! Like I said DON'T get me started!

Hi Lisa! I make freezer PB & J's all the time - with no soggy issues. There is a little trick though. You need to spread peanut butter on both slices of bread then put the jelly on. The peanut butter seals in the jelly so it does not make it soggy. I did a how to post on it last year if interested.…

Perhaps if I still had children I home I would be less haughty, but I simply never knowingly eat hydrogenated fat or high fructose corn syrup. They serve as markers for low quality food.

IMO, I would seriously reassess my priorities if I even considered a faster food than PB&J! It takes one minute to make! This Smuckers item is wrong on so many accounts.

You can make the same cute little crust-free sandwich with this great gadget from Pampered Chef -…. Combine that with the tip on how to freeze the sandwich and you're all set! :-)

They serve these in our school cafeterias.

no way I would let my kid eat that. it is chemical laden. as a cancer survivor I say, walk away from the uncrustable... the kids can make their own pb and j! Lisa, I can't believe you even tried something with a label like that. uck

I think it's a mistake to overlook ALL THOSE additives just because it has "lower sugar" than a Pop-tart. There is RAPESEED OIL in the peanut butter - that is a pesticide!! And that's just the beginning of a long, nasty list.

I make frozen PB&J sandwiches all the time! I also put PB on both sides to sandwich the jelly. I use Trader Joe's whole wheat bread, and Trader Joe's PB. To make it in the identical Uncrustable UFO shape, I use a cutter/crimper I bought from Pampered Chef I got for around $12. Love it! The left over crust seems like such a waste when I make a bunch at a time, so I use that to make a healthy french toast casserole!

In the bread aisle of any store, you can get a plastic "sandwich cutter/crimper" that does the crustless part. (crusts are then used for homemade bread pudding.) I just buy a good whole grain bread along with low fat fillings (not necessarily PBJ) and, voila! Freezing them is something I haven't tried yet.

I bought these for my kid to eat during summer break, he ate one and I had a Econo box of sandwiches no one would eat.Pampered chef makes the hand held gadget that works like a charm on your homemade sandwiches. Kids always like something different shaped, encourages even the pickiest eaters!

Lisa, you open my eyes to products I had no ideas existed -- thanks!

As to the uncrustable:

I don't buy into the "no time to make a sandwich". It takes so little time that the busiest of parents can somehow fit it in. Convenience is attractive, but I just can't believe people cannot find a few minutes if they actually wanted to.

As to giving in to "crustless": the crust is not only healthy, because it contains a bunch of antioxidants that don't exist in the crustless bread, it also slows down eating, reduces the glycemic index of the bread, and fills you up. Encourage kids to love the crust! Don't remove it.

I just purchased a wonder bread sealer off amazon to make my own!…

My son begged me for these because he friend always had them in his lunch. I was set to buy them until I read the ingredients: high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. That is an absolute deal breaker! And, there's all of the other additives to boot. This takes a simple (and should be wholesome) sandwich and turns it into processed junk food.

You lost me at High Fructose Corn Syrup. Not to mention the other stuff. Our school serves these. The sad thing is that there are some children who rely on public schools to provide all of their food. If this is all they get, then they are already on a road toward poor health, poorer chance of reaching their potential as students.... I wish Smuckers and these other companies would recognize their role in society and HELP us more by making products that won't make us sick, so that we would be a healthier society. Take the time and effort to make a quality product. That goes for us, too.

And as for time and schedules....It's about priorities and maybe planning, and sacrificing. When things are so out of whack that I can't make a PB&J, then it's time for me to make a schedule and a plan. Spend less time on my make-up or email or Twitter, and make a sandwich. And it's time for my kids to buckle down and pick up some of the burden and help. We are so used to making things happen, that we forget to delegate and ask for help. To expect help. To expect a healthier life for ourselves and our family.

I have frozen pb&j for years. Pb on each slice and j inside. I never cut off the crust, because if you believe Grammy it makes you hair curlier, straighter, shiny-er, whatever you want your hair to be. I told my son, he wouldn't have to have it cut as often. LOL, they knew I was just pulling their leg; but they did eat their crust and we had a little giggle too!

I am one of the mothers "just holding it together" out here - 4 kids, never taught any organizational skills, just learning how to manage my house at age 40, and I would still never feed my kids these things. As someone who has a hard time managing things, I still find a minute or two to make a real PB&J. Maybe it sounds uppity, but I feel like it's a cop-out to feed children toxic chemicals and partially hydrogenated oils because we're busy. When my husband is really busy, he even takes the bread and peanut butter in the car and just makes folded sandwiches there. Even that's a better option than this. Not tryin to be b!tchee, just sayin.

These awful little things were the lunch at the local parks and rec camp this summer and parents were not allowed to send lunches with their kiddos. I was told they are part of our school system's "healthy lunch" program. The lunch was made up of chocolate milk, packaged crackers (Scooby Snacks?), string cheese, a bag of baby carrots and the sandwich. Needless to say, my kids came home, every day, starving.

I agree with the comment about HFCS and transfats being a marker of low quality food. However, I do purchase a couple of products regularly that I need to phase out of our freezer so no judgement from me.

As for the time factor, it takes longer to make toast than it does a pb&j. Most of the time I cut my son's sandwich into triangles and squares, crust included. Crust = nice sandwich handle.

I go out of my way to make sure I am using the best PB (ONLY peanuts, no salt or anything else) and Jelly (not made with HFCS) I can find and whole wheat bread with no HFCS or preservatives. After all that, I can spend the 2 minutes it takes to make my daughter a fresh sandwich each morning. I use a variety of cookie cutters to get the crusts off, but I give her even the little pieces that end up being "extra".

I remember seeing "Uncrustables" years and years ago and thinking they were pretty cool. But that was before I cared about what was in my PB&J. I was with my mom at the time (at a Costco where they were giving out samples) and her comment was "NO, we're not getting them!" then "how hard is it to make a PB&J sandwich?".

Lisa have one of these gadgets for years. My grandmother also had one and use to make us all kinds of sandwiches. I make a little calzones with it. it is really pretty darn tasty.


Perhaps all the additives are so it doesn't get gross and soggy in the freezer. these are yummy, but they are basically junk food. Have you tried the tuna snack lunch thingies by Starkist?

Also @ Christina (an Organic Wife) RAPESEED oil is just canola oil . . . and I use jalapenos as a pesticide.

If you want to poison your kids, this is certainly the way to do it. Totally toxic junk food.

I have been reading for a while but never commented. I just wanted to tell you Lisa that I appreciate your realistic approach to things. I have been slowly transforming my family's cupboards - looking for and selecting products without HFCS, trans fats, less processed. But it's a work in progress--there's still plenty of non-perfect food that makes its way onto our plates. I think it's great that Lisa's here doing the realistic work of trying to wade through the immense amounts of things we and our kids are bombarded with to give us the info so we can make our own decisions - not condemn the decisions of others. I live in the middle of nowhere in the northern plains states. There's not even a Trader Joe's (or Whole Foods) in our ENTIRE STATE, so there are plenty of people in our country that just flat don't have access to some of these incredible stores where these healthy alternatives are inexpensive and plentiful. Until that day happens or until I decide to start buying on the internet, then I need to be able to make educated decisions about the food that's lurking in my local Walmart. Most of the time I can do pretty well...but sometimes life in this modern era is life and we have to be armed with info. Thanks a bunch, Lisa. I appreciate the research you do.

I enjoy everyone's comments, whether I agree or disagree. SG presents some great snack ideas and some to avoid which starts some good feedback. Since I'm fairly passionate about all things food, many contributors add fresh ideas to SG's reviews. Regarding oil, I rarely use any other than EVOO or occasionally sesame oil. I think coconut oil is next on my list to try. I read negative things about oil many years ago and after re-reading a bit today about canola I'm still staying away from it. Here's what I read,

well i am a horrible mom. i buy these for my daughter and she actually eats her sandwich instead of throwing it away like she did when i made them. it's so much easier for them to throw their own lunch together when we have the premade frozen sandwiches. and i could make them and freeze them myself but i don't even have time to get the dishes into the dishwasher and all the laundry done so it's not going to happen. i think these sandwiches are healthier then taking lunch meat with BHT and crap in it to school or eating the chemical filled school lunches, and she takes fruit and water, so it doesn't seem like an un-healthy lunch to me. but i'm glad to see every other mom on the planet is so much better then me. whoohoo.

Lisa, thank you for your review of these. I am always interested to read what you have to say particularly when it is something I buy/serve my own family. I will probably get blasted as well but I do buy these for my son. It's not something he eats everyday but he plays lacrosse and we sometimes have to leave for games very early in the morning and travel to get to them. He barely gets up in enough time to get out the door much less eat something so I give him one of these and a cheese stick. He has energy for his game and doesn't get a stomach ache from not eating. Yes, I could wake up 10 minutes earlier and drag him out of bed to make a sandwhich, but I am sure this is not the worse thing that he is eating and as I said it is an occasional occurence.

I have a pampered chef cutter mentioned above and there is a bit of a trick to using good bread in it (and getting it to seal). Roll out the bread a bit with a rolling pin. Then I just use a good bit of PB and a dollop of jam in the middle. I flash freeze them (I have done a whole loaf at a time) and use them in lunches as needed. I think they are small enough they don't get soggy.

While it is all fine and dandy for moms to try to avoid all those terrible ingredients in their childrens' foods, my guess would be that most of them grew up eating those terrible ingredients and have survived. So an Uncrustbale now and again to save time ain't the end of the world.

Thanks to Tammy from Skinny Mom's Kitchen for commenting about how she freezes her PB&Js, I definitely thought of her blog for how to freeze these sandwiches.

As for the Uncrustables, I know I will never buy them, but I have a friend who takes them to the park when her kids need a snack on-the-go. My kids eat nuts, so I'd rather just bring nuts and raisins for an alternative.

I am a school nurse and I find this sandwich to be a sad tale of the American lifestyle. First, I can't understand the ingredients. Second, when does easy turn into dangerous. Lastly, how sad is it that people can't take less than a minute to put together a PB&J sandwich. I never gave this to my own children and don't recommend it to students at my school. We have become an extremely lazy nation which is evident in our expanding waistlines.

yep, PB on both sides, with jelly in the middle. Delicious freezer pb&j for much less!

I use multigrain or whole grain, whole wheat sandwich thins: 100 calories and two tablespoons of reconstituted PB2, the powdered peanut butter with awesome taste and only 45 calories for BOTH tablespoons. That equals one tasty, round, bigger serving and better for you sandwich/snack than these wannabee's. You can even add a tablespoon of sugar free preserves (Smuckers Red Raspberry Preserves are tasty!) and STILL be under calorie and carb count and WAY below trans fat (how does 2 measly grams total fat sound?) ... and even better, these freeze well for up to a week. (Never had them in there longer than a week - hee hee!)

Here is the comparison:


Serving size: One sandwich - 72g serving size

Orowheat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich thins = 100 calories, 1g fat, 15 net carbs, 5g protein

PB2 = 45 calories, 1g fat, 6g carbs, 4g protein

SF Preserves: 10 calories, 0g fat, 5g carbs, 0g protein

TOTALS: 155 calories, 2g fat, 26 carbs, 9g protein

UFO: Reduced Sugar Whole Wheat

Serving size: One sandwich - 58g serving size

Calories: 190
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 21 net
Protein 7g
And no fancy contraption needed!

I have one of the gadgets from Pampered Chef that makes the uncrustables but I haven't tried freezing them. Will have to give it a try.

sorry if this is a repeat comment but Pampered Chef used to make a gadget which made these very things. You don't even need to cut off the crust-does it for you-love it

Oh people get off your high horses--some of us have better things to do than use our 12 dollar pampered Chef cookie cutters to make perfectly organic no trans fat or high fructose corn syrup

PBJ! Everything in moderation! Besides, they taste good!

In addition to the hydrogonated and partially hydrogonated oils AND high fructose frankencorn syrup -

Azodicarbonamide is most commonly used for making "foamed" plastics (i.e. various rubbers, such as gym mats, etc.). Sounds yummy, doesn't it? This "food additive", if you even want to call it that, is not only banned in Australia and Europe, but is also ILLEGAL in Singapore, incurring up to a whopping 15 years in prison and a fine of $450,000 if you're caught using it in food.

Azodicarbonamide is also linked to "possibly" causing asthma According to, azodicarbonamide is listed as "...toxicity to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity". give it an "F" rating and frankly I am actually disappointed you condone this product :( I trust you.

The Peanut Butter and Honey version is also DELICIOUS! When I am feeling super lazy or on the run without a way to make one, I go for these.

Hi there, love your blog, especially your comments on 'Hollywood' in Weight Loss Tips. I just nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger Award as your posts are so great and good ideas for healthy eating (as I'm not creative). Check out my site for details!

I'ce seen these for years but never thought to pick them up as I always make lunch for my girls...I am a busy homeschooling momma of two who. Ever gets a break!! Between lessons, field trips, gymnastics and swim etc, I still find time to feed them wholesome, homemade food! I don't have the time (God knows I don't) but I find the time!! On y way to the kitchen now to make tomorrows lunch and prep tomorrows dinner which I will cook tomorrow as they have lunch. There's always a way to make it work if we prioritize our lives. We are worth it and so are beautiful families :-)

Thanks for this review Lisa :-) Now I've confirmed my suspensions that I'm not missing out on anything by not giving these to my babies! Lol

I quickly scrolled through the comments and didnt see thst anyone posted what azodicarbinamide is mostly used for

The principal use of azodicarbonamide is in the production of foamed plastics as an additive.

@Cristina/Organic Wife - Rapseed Oil = another name for Canola Oil. Thoroughly GMO, likely grown with pesticides, chemically processed/deodorized, and generally not on my happy list... but not as bad as being a pesticide itself.

Carolyn and Karen... I do actually know that rapeseed oil is similar to canola oil. Canola oil was derived from rapeseed. And yes, canola oil is a pesticide too! Spray straight up canola oil on your lawns and watch your bug problem disappear.

Okay, people. I get that you want you and your family to eat healthier and avoid certain chemicals in food, but if you put things in perspective these aren't as bad as a lot of things out there. There are a lot of parents out there who WON'T take the time for their kids, and this is a decent alternative for a young kid who has to make their own lunch. I wish they would have had them when I was in 2nd grade trying to figure out what to make myself.

I always make peanut butter and jam sandwiches by spreading peanut butter on both sides of the bread as the reader above mentioned. Yes, I freeze them also and it works great!

As a nutritionist, these are horrible...anything with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils are trans fats...the government only makes companies list trans fat in the nutrition facts if it's more than 0.5g...but even just a little bit of trans fat can raise LDL level and lower HDL levels (LDL you want low and HDL you want high)...research has shown this change within 30minutes of eating...

I will say this while most of us with kids try to eat healthier there will be times we can not always eat organic due to cost. I try to make sure all things we have is healthy but sometimes it is not always possible due to budget.

I however do make my own Pb sandwiches .With Skippy peanut butter and honey wheat bread. My choices and its still healthy. And sometimes the purely healthy food taste like cardboard and no kid likes that. So you have to get creative . Not everyone is perfect so you have to make sure with what you have sometimes.

Peanut butter & banana sandwiches for my kiddos

I am sorry...but why would ANYONE ever consider buying anything like this? When we go out for a burger or BBQ, we know we are eating less healthy foods. But on an everyday basis, what you eat matters. This stuff is frightening. And the best way to get the kids to eat healthier stuff is to teach them to make their own cool food...or cut the crusts and make shapes with their pb&j sandwiches. I used to nanny and that is what I did...and it worked.

I am late to the party here and don't have kids but why not give the kid 2 pieces of bread, a little plastic container or peanut butter and little container or jelly and have them make it on their own. Can wash the containers after school and the kid gets to enjoy making his own sandwich fresh at the lunch table

I actually know someone who is allergic to peanut butter and cannot touch it, but wants to supply her child (who is not allergic) with the joys of a classic lunchtime treat. Now she doesn't use these everyday, but in a rotation of lunches for her child this product allows her to give her child something that she otherwise cannot

I am a mom of two and when these first came onto the market I was pregnant and thought wow what is the world coming to if you can't make a pb&j the easiet Sammy there is...well I Bought my first box today and fed them to my kids, we had a long road trip and no groceries in the home so I broke down and gave in. Yes I felt guilty these have awful ingredients but I supplemented with fresh fruit and veggies. Normally I wouldn't do it but I do have to say I was in a pinch and these looked better than the alternatives. Too bad they can't make a more natural version for the times you've just got to feed your kids on the go but don't want to stop at a drive through...

I agree with every one else that thinks this is horrible toxic food that I would never let my kids eat. We all have something (poverty, location, over scheduled, etc) but please, don't feed your kids trans fat! I don't think I'm better than anyone but you could have made a pb&j and put in a load of wash in the time it took to write your comment.

I am 36 and eat one every day for lunch... This probably does not say anything good about me but... I am a type 1 insulin dependent diabetic, and these actually work perfectly for my lunch. I am on a glucose pump with continuous glucose monitoring, and as a result can see a graph of what my blood sugar does after eating, the uncrustable for lunch barely causes a spike, and though small fills me up (between my mid morning vegetable snack and mid afternoon apple/peanut butter snack)

this is just a stupid food. what a thing to give a kid......better off with REAL food, dip apples or carrots in peanut butter. It's a total waste.

We wonder why we are a fat nation.

To make....use an icing bag and squirt peanut butter and jelly on wax paper..freeze in size to cover sandwich bread..... put frozen patty on bread and crimp/cut/seal... freeze bread now..... not soggy and works...

Any ideas for other sandwich ingredients that would be a healthy alternative to PB&J? So many children are allergic to peanuts. Any ideas for freezing other sandwich types?

I think these taste good! I used to eat them for lunch at school, I felt they were safer than the mystery meat and I'm so glad I tried them. I don't see anything wrong with the packaging. How would you suggest they were sold?

Uncrustables turn me on

Well at school they used to have these. Well they are good but this proccsed sandwich doesn't make sense proccsed food is not good! It's not healthy!!!! People can make the same sandwich no crust and it'll taste the same!!! It's like Kraft Mac and cheese its appealing to kids but worse then McDonald's just saying.

I love the uncrustables...and I’m over 50! Because I live alone buying bread goes bad, stale and fuzzy, before I can eat it all and I HATE the taste of frozen then thawed bread or refrigerated.

I’d love to know smuckers secret because these sandwiches never have a frozen taste!!

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