Whether your kid is 2 or 12, one thing is frequently requested for lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; the classic PB&J. There's something irresistible about that salty peanut butter and the way it blends with gooey sweet jam between two soft pieces of bread.
The sandwich has stood the test of time, but I like to get creative with a few fun twists. Think outside the lunchbox and consider these ideas for lip-smacking PB&J alternatives:
1. Skip the jelly Arguably the unhealthiest part of a PB&J is the jelly because it is packed with refined sugar. Instead, add a touch of sweetness with real fruit. Thinly sliced apples, strawberries, bananas and mango all taste heavenly with peanut butter and they add nice texture, too. If I crave more sweetness, I reach for honey, which is nature's sweetener and boasts a plethora of health benefits, from fewer allergies to improved sleep.
2. Try other nut butters Peanut butter will always have a special place in our hearts, but there are many other delicious nut butters to try. Now widely available, nut butter varieties like almond, cashew and pecan add fresh flavor to sandwiches while giving kids wholesome nutrients from different types of nuts.
3. Roll it up! Sometimes I skip the sliced bread and instead opt for a PB&J roll-up. Simply use tortillas instead of bread and spread the fillings inside. Roll it up and you're set! You can even cut the roll into bite-size segments and place them into a container or bento box for a special presentation that will get gobbled up fast.
4. Make dipper delights It's no secret kids love to dip, so why not create PB&J dipper delights? Just use peanut butter and the jam as dip options and pair them with sliced fruit and veggies. Cut up fresh produce like apples, celery, bananas, carrots, oranges and more, and then let the kids dip away!
5. Use leftovers Have leftover rolls, croissants or biscuits from dinner? Use them as the base for your PB&J creation. These fresh bread options make tasty sandwiches, plus the smaller size is proportionately appropriate for children's meals. I always make myself one, too!