If you’re having money troubles, or if you’re really busy, or if you’re just not very creative with lunch, you may find that there are stretches of your life where you are eating far more PB&J than you thought you would be. If you’re in one of those stretches, or you simply want to pack your children healthier lunches, here are some ways to maximize the health benefits of your peanut butter and jelly.
1. Read the ingredients. A surprising amount of popular bread brands have corn syrup in them. Which, having eaten brands without corn syrup for years, is really unnecessary. An important component of a good PB&J is some really good, mushy bread. As far as I’m concerned it’s not going to be a good PB&J if it has to go on cardboard-like healthy bread. But a little goes a long way. Looking at the ingredients on your bread means that you can find a healthier alternative to the traditional white Wonder Bread that we all know goes so great on a classic PB&J.
2. Go natural. When it comes to the peanut butter, go natural. Many of the most famous peanut butter brands have a Natural option now, which means they are as close to being just peanuts as peanut butter can get. The really natural brands are a little different, and depending on where you go, not as affordable. But there really isn’t a taste difference between Jif Natural and Jif. And it’s so much better for you.
3. Use real fruit. Look at the jelly you’re using. A lot of jellies have a lot of sugar in them, but there are a few out there that are more fruit than anything. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could slice real fruit onto your sandwich, and maybe pour a little honey over it. This is delicious!