There Are Rules For How You Should Cut Your Sandwiches

I’m sure you’ve seen those memes shared around that read something like this;

“Hell hath no fury like a toddler who has been given a sandwich that has been cut into triangles when they wanted squares.”

I saw one shared just days ago and I’m fairly sure that it had a grammatical error, but I let that slide as I mentioned in a recent post about being a lapsed member of the Grammar Police. But I really didn’t think too much about it seeing that in our household, we are pretty much past the stage of having the sandwich or toast rejected because of the style of the cut.

In fact, pretty much when both kids got to the age where they were talking and could make a decision in under five minutes, I let them pick whether their toast would be cut in half, triangles (big), triangles (small) or squares. Handy hint for beginners. You really must keep in mind that you DO have to allow that length of time when they are starting out as no toddler can make that decision and mean it straight away.

“Squares…. no triangles… no just cut the crust off but don’t cut the toast… no triangles.”

And then yesterday I was having a discussion online with a friend about blue tongue lizards and how they don’t like oranges if they are cut up into shapes they don’t approve of (I know, we’re weird) and she came back with #teamtriangle in one of her replies. Shortly after that, she added that she likes her sandwiches cut into squares (I guess that would be #teamsquare, right?) and that this would be a good topic for discussion in a Facebook group we’re both in.

Within minutes I had a notifications that she had posted the question in the discussion group;

“Super duper important and relevant post alert: I was just having a conversation and came to the shocking realisation that I actually prefer my sandwiches to be cut into squares, not triangles. Crazy, I know. Am I alone or does anyone else feel this way too?”

And of course, seeing that is IS a very important issue, maybe greater than the “Australian Sportsman Jarryd Hayne Makes It In The NFL,” “Donald Trump Running for President” or “Syrian Refugee Crisis,” current news issues, the responses came in thick an fast with people commenting on how they like their sandwiches cut.

syrian refugee crisis

Straight away I thought about how I cut sandwiches myself. It dawned on me that I have done it in the four most popular ways, and then, as I normally do, I tried to work out how to make my response funny* and entertaining. And just as I mentioned that there is a charter by which all nations should abide to with refugees, I mentioned that the United Nations has sanctioned rules about cutting sandwiches. And it’s not one that many people know about, so I believe that if you know friends and family that might breach these rules, you should really share this post with them.

So here’s the official United Nations Protocol Relating to Cut Sandwiches 1969;

Large Triangles

(one diagonal cut)

  • Commercial premises such as cafés, tuck shops, corner stores
  • Pre-packaged ready made sandwiches at 7 Elevens, McCafes, lunch on wheels, etc.
Pre-packaged sandwiches are always large triangles
Pre-packaged sandwiches are always large triangles

Small Triangles

(two diagonal cuts)

  • Catering of functions (platters)
  • Kids parties (fairy bread which is not a closed sandwich should always be cut into small triangles, refer picture below)
Photo courtesy of
Catering Platter – Photo courtesy of Magnum Opus Catering


Fairy Bread - Credit:
Fairy Bread is an Australian kids’ party classic dish Credit: Wikimedia Commons


(one straight cut)

  • When preparing sandwiches for your kids to take to school
  • Picnics
  • Homemade toasties
Peanut Butter and Jelly (Jam) Sandwiches were once a school yard favourite.
Peanut Butter and Jelly (Jam) Sandwiches were once a school yard favourite.


(two straight cuts)

  • When offering sandwiches to toddlers
  • Or fussy eaters
  • Generally offered with crusts cut off
The preferred cut of the fussy eater
Square – The preferred cut of the fussy eater, as square as their personality

Of course, even though the United Nations have promoted these protocols for the way we should cut sandwiches since 1969, there is a more recent convention that overrides these protocols. In 1989, the United Nations introduced the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which means that children of all ages have the right to throw a tantrum should their sandwich arrive not in their desired style of cut. And remember, it’s quite possible that your child has changed their mind between you asking them how they want their sandwich cut and when you’ve made it. And because of that damn convention which was adopted and ratified throughout most the world in the 1990s, there is not a darn thing you can do about it.

toddler sandwiches
Photo provided by my friend Stacey, a mother who has dealt with this issue way more times than she’d care to remember.

*How funny I am is obviously questionable.

How do you like your sandwiches cut? Does the filling make a difference? How about the type of bread? And don’t forget to share this with your friends and family so they are made aware of the United Nations protocol on cutting sandwiches.

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