Raising Kids on Real Food–The Classic PB & J
PB&J Mmmm Quick, Easy, Yummy, Classic, Perfect Thing to Pack, Cheap. How I love PB & J, it’s actually Cameron’s favorite song and and we sing it all day long.
Watch out. I am going to tell you why the white bread and commercial brand peanut butter and jelly aren’t that fantastic. But I’ll tell you how to fix it up because we don’t want to lose our PB & Js!
Bread: White bread contains artificial flavors, colors, bleached flour, preservatives, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils that aren’t so good for you. In the process of making flour white, half of the good unsaturated fatty acids, that are high in food value, are lost in the milling process alone, and virtually all the vitamin E is lost with the removal of wheat germ and bran. As a result, the remaining flour in the white bread you buy contains only poor quality proteins and fattening starch. You also lose about 50% of all calcium, 70% of phosphorus, 80% iron, 98% magnesium, 75% manganese, 50% potassium + many others in white bread. Funny fact. Did you know the Swiss government has been aware of the dangers of eating white bread for a long time and in order to get people to stop eating it, Switzerland has placed a tax on the purchase of white bread. The tax money is given to bakers to reduce the price of whole wheat bread to encourage people to switch. Crazy, huh? SO…choose whole grain or make whole grain. But how do you find the right one? When choosing healthy bread, be sure to look for whole wheat bread that is made from all three parts of the wheat kernel and, therefore, contains all the precious vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting properties. A pure whole wheat bread will list whole wheat flour as its first and predominant ingredient on the label. The fiber content of each slice of bread should be high, ranging from 2-4 grams per slice.
Peanut Butter: Well it’s just crazy easy to make your own! Or go buy the homemade kind at the Natural Foods Store. Then you know that all that goes in is peanuts and whatever oil you choose! Then your kids have REAL ingredients in their food.
Jelly/Jam: Wow, is it high in sugar. Find a brand that skips the high fructose corn syrup. Our Farmer’s Market has some great options and even big brands have a “Simply Fruit” option. Or spread a little honey in place of the jelly. You can also make your own jam by blending your favorite fresh fruit.
Voila! Peanut Butter and Jelly is here to stay! Only with a little bit of changing things around.