It’s one of the most popular sandwiches in Northern America. I’ve heard it over, and over, and over. Kids LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Well, I kept saying “Not my kids.”
In reality, my kids DO love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Aerie especially likes hers cut right down the center so she ends up with two rectangle shapes. She even prefers rectangle’s over hearts.
Anyway, it got me thinking. How can I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches healthier and less processed, yet still taste delicious?
Did you know?!!- The average American will have consumed 2,500 of these sandwiches before graduating from high school? (Study done in 2002). Crazy, huh?
The main part of this post is to focus on the jelly, which seems to be most parents concern because of all of the added stuff. Sure, you can make your own jelly but that is time consuming.
One of the easiest, yummiest things is to replace the jelly with a slice of watermelon. Sounds weird, huh? NOT AT ALL. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Nice, natural, fresh fruit in place of jelly. Now that’s a pretty awesome substitution.
Now that is all fine and dandy if you have a toddler who eats pretty well, but what about infants who are just starting on finger foods? A whole slice of watermelon doesn’t seem like the best option. Check this out…. Take strawberries and cut off the top. Put a few in a bowl and mash them (I typically find it best to cut up the strawberries into small chunks first, then mash. The consistancy is better that way). It’s okay if it’s still somewhat chunky. Now spread it on your sandwich. Viola. How easy was that? Seriously, am I a time saving, nutrition loving genius or what?
As far as the rest of the sandwich, that is up to you. If you want to “clean up” your peanut butter a little, check out the “natural” options out there. JIF actually has a delicious natural peanut butter that is very affordable. You can also dapper into some other raw nut butters if you want to avoid legumes and add a bit more nutritious value. I personally love sun butter, and it has the closest consistency to peanut butter of any of the other nut butters I’ve tried. If you want plain old peanut butter, have at it! And bread is your choice, too! Toast it if you’re feeling fancy. But cut off the crust, the kids will appreciate that!
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Disclaimer: Please take into consideration the age of the infant and any family history of nut allergies before adding nuts to their diet. It is best to consult your child’s physician/pediatrician to determine an age that is right for your child(ren).