101 Peanut Butter Sandwiches

101+  Peanut Butter Sandwiches by Bent On Better Lunches

My middle child, who we call Pickle, has autism, and is extremely habitual with what he eats. His preferred lunch is a peanut butter sandwich; he has one nearly every day. Sometimes he has two a day :)

One day as I was cutting the umpteenth sandwich, I wondered how many different ways I've served my picky boy his plain old PB lunch... and how many more ways I could in the future... So for fun, I set a goal -  to make 101 different peanut butter sandwiches, and blog them. I thought the challenge might make packing the same sandwich every day more interesting, opening his lunchbox would be something for Pickle to look forward to, and it would be neat to be able to say I know 101 ways to serve peanut butter sandwiches! 

It took about six months, but with the help of my sandwich cutters, some cookie cutters, and a lot of creativity, I did it! I completed my 101 Peanut Butter Sandwiches Challenge! I reached my goal just in time for Autism Awareness Day too! A big thank-you to Kiersten of Lunch Punch for making so many of these sandwiches possible! Pickle and I ♥ you!

101 Peanut Butter Sandwiches

 Ladybug, with circle cutters & straw-  Turtle, with bento cutters

Lego Bricks, freehand - Bunny & Flower, with cookie cutters

Dozen Donuts - Dino Dancing

Pac-Man, freehand - Cow Mama & Baby with Lunch Punch

St. Patrick's Day - Aim High

Teddy Bear shadow, cookie cutter - Mixed up puzzle, Lunch Punch

Cat in the Hat - This Sandwich is Out of this World

Happy Birthday Sandwich Cake!

100th day of School - President's Day "Betsy Ross" Flag

 FunBites Luv it! tangram hearts, Blowing Kisses with cookie cutters

Ice Lolly / Popsicle, freehand - Kite, dollar store sandwich cutter

 The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, freehand

Hearts with Sweet Bytes - Valentine with cookie cutters

Fairy & Frog Prince, with Lunch Punch - Name, with cookie cutters

Bee & Hive, with Tovolo Sandwich Shaper

Rainbow, freehand - Shapes, cookie cutters

Stars for my Star - Game Day
We attended a friend's Super Bowl party - this was Pickle's sandwich on the buffet among all the other Super Bowl foods :) In my defense, I've never paid attention to Super Bowl, so didn't know what the Super Bowl "cup" or whatever the trophy is called looked like... :P

2012 Fireworks - "Handwiches"- both with cookie cutters

Fish & Bird with FunBites - Puppy Pals with Lunch Punch & cookie cutters

Christmas Present - Gingerbread Men & Candy Canes

Sandwich "cookies" - Polar Express with Lunch Punch train 

Gumball Machine with Lunch Punch - Snowflakes with cookie cutter

Birthday Cake with Lunch Punch - I Love You rebus with cookie cutters

Birthday Fairy with Lunch Punch - Christmas Tree

Puzzle PB & Oatmeal Cookie - Autumn Leaf, with cookie cutter

 Christmas Tree Train - Hey Diddle Diddle

T-Rex - Monkey mini sandwich

Star imprints, with Play-Doh stamps - Traffic Jam, with Lunch Punch

Ice Cream Cone (sandwich ball) -  Penguins
Pizza - Christmas Tree Farm Tractor, with Lunch Punch

Ghosts, with cookie cutters - Rangoli, with knife :)

Haunted House - Pumpkin, Autumn Leaves & Acorns, with cookie cutters

Angry Birds Red Bird & Pig King

 Hugs & Kisses - Pumpkin Patch Tractor, with Lunch Punch

Candy Corn, freehand - Bats, with Bat Bytes 

Rainy Day Umbrella -  PB Sushi

School of Fish - Airplane in the Clouds, with Lunch Punch

Elephant Mama & Baby, with Lunch Punch - Dolphins in Love, with 

Butterflies with Lunch Punch, & gingerbread house, freehand

Jumbled puzzle - Koi Fish, both with Lunch Punch

Crowns, with Lunch Punch - really lame lightning bolt, freehand :)

Train, with Lunch Punch - Teddy Bears, with cookie cutters

 Big Puzzle, with Lunch Punch - Tacos, with Taco Propers

Puzzle Pieces, with Lunch Punch - Checkerboard, with knife :)

The Stars Are Out - Plane, Train & Automobile,  both with cookie cutters

Camping theme, with cookie cutters - Circles, with cups and a bowl

 Boy, ABC & 123, with cookie cutters - PB Sandwich Kebabs

Mismatched Hearts, with cookie cutter - Triangles

Butterfly Family - Sunshine

Touchdown! with cookie cutters - Dinosaurs, with DynoBytes

This football PB sandwich scored big with Pickle :)
Linked to Thematic Thursday - Super Bowl Party

iPod, freehand - PB "cookies" muffin tin lunch, circles

Butterfly, with SweetBytes hearts - Hearts, with cookie cutters

Blossom, with Lunch Punch

Pickle LOVES peanut butter sandwiches :)

The challenge may be over, but the peanut butter sandwich making isn't! 



Bonbon Break


  1. Anonymous9/19/2011

    This is amazing! So much creativity!

  2. Wow! This is awesome- I love all of the ways you served a PB and J! I may have to go back to post and add another link to all these great ideas :)

  3. How many are you at now! You have to be getting close!

    1. I hadn't counted - but thanks for the reminder, I did, and yeah, getting there! I made some cute ones while my camera was broken so the number is actually higher but since I don't have pics I won't count them, I'll just do them again and count them when I get a pic :) I have definitely made over 101 I just don't count the repeats - like today, he has the Lunch Punch elephant & baby again. The tally of unique sandwiches with pics is currently 70!

  4. Anonymous1/26/2012

    Wow, this is so impressive! My son, who will be 6 next week, also has autism and is such a creature of habit when it comes to his lunch as well. PB & J every day. I get sick of making them but you have inspired me to try and mix it up! Thank you! Keep it up!

  5. SO many fun sandwiches. My favorite is the monkey face. Thanks for linking up at Thematic Thursday.

  6. Love it...my daughter has high-functioning autism and it was a nightmare because all she would eat is peanut butter sandwiches and her school was a no-peanut zone. Now we are homeschooling she can have one everyday...and I will certainly steal some of your ideas- thanks a bunch:)

    1. I've wondered what I would do if his school went peanut-free. We tried Sunbutter and almond butter but he wasn't having it. I don't think I could homeschool though - kudos to you! And hope she likes her special sandwiches!

  7. Anonymous3/16/2012

    What a thoughtful mom you are! That is so sweet for you to make his sandwich so fun.

  8. Found your blog on Pinterest and after reading this about your son it gave me so many ideas, I went and made my husband a bento box PB&J lunch for tomorrow!

  9. Amazing! Who knew there were so many ways to have pb&j?

  10. So awesome! We like the "handwiches" for the punniness and the mama and baby animals for the cuteness. Great idea!

    Happy Autism Awareness Month!

  11. Oh my goodness, Pickle is so stinkin' adorable! :) Love all of the wonderful ideas on your site. I will definitely bookmark this page, in hopes of re-inventing lunches for my 3 kiddoes. :)

  12. Did you make the sandwich and THEN cut it out? or do you cut the bread first? I have never had much success with doing anything like this. It winds up being so messy and I'm so bummed with how it turns out. I'd really like to try some of your ideas for my kids' lunches next year though!

    1. Hi Tara! It depends on the cutter. I definitely made many messy sandwiches while I learned what worked best! Fortunately my sproutlets aren't too critical :)

      If the shape doesn't have too much detail - like the puzzle pieces, and large shapes, I usually do make the sandwich then cut it out. If the bread is very soft and fresh it usually comes out nice. if the top bread does crack at all, I just flip it over so the smooth side is face up :) If the bread is dry or dense, it helps to trim the crusts with a knife first, and flatten the bread with a cutting board a bit, before using the sandwich cutter.

      For smaller shapes, like when I use cookie cutters, I often do cut the bread out, then spread the smaller pieces with PB and put them together. Cookie cutters are not usually as deep as sandwich cutters so it's less messy to do it that way.

      If the sandwich cutter has detail, such as with the fairy princess, animals, and ice cream cones, I find it work best to press the sandwich cutter into one slice, but not pop it out of the cutter - then spread the PB on another slice, then press both the cutter and top slice onto that slice and continue pressing out the shape. That way the detail gets impressed without squashing the whole sandwich.

      And to make sure you've pressed the shape all the way through the sandwich, slide the cutter back and forth on your cutting surface so you can feel that the cutter edges are against the surface, all the way through the bread.

      There was definitely a learning period, and some botched attempts - I just didn't post pictures of the messy ones! Good luck, and have fun!

  13. what a fabulous challenge!

  14. Anonymous9/24/2012

    did you really name your child Pickle?

    1. Haha, no, it's just a nickname we call him ;) My friend once mentioned that he reminded her of Dyl Pickles from the cartoon Rugrats, and it just sort of stuck :)

  15. Anonymous9/25/2012

    Love these!!!

  16. Anonymous11/06/2012

    thanks for sharing.

  17. OMG can you be my mum :)

    I feel like I have deprived my daughter of a happy childhood now LOL

    truly dedicated to the point of ridiculous - how good are you????

  18. Anonymous2/12/2013

    Wow, so creative. My sons have autsim too and my little guy would eat jam sandwiches everyday forever I'm sure. Love these ideas.

  19. some really great ideas here. Have you ever tried microwaving the bread briefly first to then soften it slightly so when you use the cutters it does a much cleaner finish or what is your top tip for getting amazing professional cutting results? Thanks some really great work here x

  20. SO funny about the "did you really name your child pickle" comment. That's my sons nickname too because he likes pickles so much, haha. Love all the lunches! My son is getting older and growing out of the bento thing, but he still like creative lunches, I think all it takes is a little extra time when packing to make a simple lunch extra special.

  21. This is amazing! I thought the link was going to be about PB Sandwiches 101 like maybe tips and tricks... but this is even better! I can't believe how many awesome ideas you used for the same food. I will definitely take some hints from your creativity for my bentos.

  22. Anonymous10/05/2013

    Can you please tell me what brand of bread you use for your sandwiches? I have the dinosaurs and dolphins in love sandwich cutters but they don't turn out nowhere as clean as yours. I wonder if it is about the type of bread, since I use whole wheat bread. Do you think it will be easier to cut a white bread sandwich?
    Thanks for your tips,

    1. Silvia, I do use white bread most often but have used wheat as well - and I mostly buy a local brand. To get a really clean sandwich without the bread cracking or tearing, try cutting the bread out before making nthe sandwich, or cutting the top piece of bread, but not popping it out of the cutter, then placing it on top of the sandwich and then cut through to the bottom slice. These methods work well for me especially if the bread is thick or dry-ish.


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