Making PB&J Healthy for Kids

These make for great and healthy ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is a classic and believe it or not, it can be a great lunch for your kids or you (with a side of fruit or veggies).  Traditionally the PB&J is made on white bread, with of course peanut butter and jelly.  Unfortunately, the white bread and the jelly add little nutritional value to a children's meal.  However, if you use quality alternatives, the PB&J can be part of a power punched meal.  Here is how I make my kids' PB&J.

Bread:  I use Ezekiel Bread made from a variety of sprouted grains which I believe is superior to just plain old whole wheat.  However, if whole wheat is more affordable that is okay too, just make sure you buy a brand that doesn't have corn syrup added to it. (To find out more on the different types of breads read my blog on breads.)

Jelly: The jelly is unnecessary for the nutritional punch, but it is the part that makes a kid smile.  However, you can reduce the sugar use by putting just a slight coating on the bread and choosing a high quality fruit spread.  I use Crofter's Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread.  Why?  Look at the difference in ingredients from the traditional Welch's. 

------Welch's Grape Jelly Ingredients:  Grapes (Concord Grapes, Grapes), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fruit Pectin, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate (Used As Needed).  13 Grams of Sugar per 1 Tbs.

------Crofter's Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread:  Concentrated organic grape juice, organic raspberries, natural apple pectin, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), citric acid. 8 Grams of Sugar per 1 Tbs. 

Crofter's doesn't have added sugar like Welch's (also known as corn syrup). 

Peanut Butter:  
I use Almond Butter.  Don't get me wrong, but peanut butter and almond butter are good options.  Almond butter rates better on Vitamin E, magnesium, and iron,but peanut butter provides more selenium.  The key is to find nut butters that are minimally processed with minimal ingredients.  The almond butter I use is from Trader Joe's and it has only one ingredient: roasted almonds. No added sugar, salt, etc. 

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