My buddies are generally pretty good about eating their crusts. But sometimes, when one of my buddies comes back from a holiday, or a new buddy starts, we might have to work at it. Please understand that my buddies are never forced to eat anything. It's always their choice. I can help them with the choices they make, and I do.
If you are wondering what the big deal is about eating the crusts, I will explain. Beyond the fact that throwing away the crust is wasteful, having children chew and eat their crusts gets them used to a different texture AND builds muscle strength in their mouths. These muscles are important! I don't want my buddies to think that all their food should be soft and gooey! There are lots of tastes and textures to explore and I want to encourage them to explore and give all kinds of food a try.
It's fairly easy to do, too. First of all, I start by cutting my sandwiches smaller. In quarters rather than just halves. I serve just one quarter at a time and request that my buddies finish one quarter before they ask for another. Another thing I have learned is to cut the sandwiches in triangles rather than squares. It makes it seem like each sandwich has less crust that way. If I have a particularly picky eater, I might cut those triangles in half, making even smaller triangles, with even less crust. It works every time.
My buddies eat their crusts, build muscle strength, explore the firm, chewy texture and I have no waste. Every buddy wins!