A Healthier PB&J For Your Kids
A favorite in our family is PB&J. I've created a simple way to make this favorite healthier and guilt-free. If you are like me, you end up eating all of your kid's leftovers, so by implementing these changes, both you and your children will be receiving a more nutritious lunch.
Let's take the traditional PB&J as we all know it:
The above sandwich is an added sugar BOMB! The two slices of white bread deliver 3 grams of sugar and 31 grams of refined carbohydrates. One tiny tablespoon of raspberry jelly has about 12 grams of sugar (and you're more likely to use 1.5-2 TBSP per sandwich). Traditional peanut butter is also known to deliver another 3 or so grams of sugar per tablespoon. You are looking at between 18-30 grams of ADDED sugar in one PB&J sandwich.
The current daily recommendation for added sugars are:
Men: 37.5 grams (or 9 teaspoons)
Women: 25 grams (or 6 teaspoons)
Children: Less than 25 grams (or 6 teaspoons)
Added sugars are sugars that do not naturally occur in a food product. It is easy to make a few simple modifications to make this sandwich much more nutritious (while maintaining delicious flavor!)
The major source of added sugars is in the store bought jelly. To make your own, puree a handful of raspberries with one tablespoon of Better Body Foods Organic Chia Seeds. The Chia seeds act as a thickener which will give the berry puree a texture similar to jelly. They also will deliver added fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Swap out white bread for a 100% whole wheat variety. Healthy Life makes a sugar-free whole wheat loaf, but most likely, your whole wheat bread will have about 2 grams of sugar per serving. Sugar is an important part of the bread fermentation process, so you will often see it on your bread label.
Instead of using peanut butter, use almond butter. Our favorite is the Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter. The label on this product reads "roasted almonds". There are not any other ingredients added to this delicious almond butter.
I am polishing off this sandwich as I am writing this - it is oh-so-good. Raspberries are in season right now - the natural sweetness provides all that you need for this flavorful lunch. And by making PB&J according to this recipe, you are eliminating between 15-27 grams of sugar that a traditional PB&J on white bread would have. This sandwich now has heart healthy grains, protein, fiber, and omega 3's. Enjoy!