This post is the first in a series for parents to get kids to eat more of what’s good for them without losing the kid friendly appeal. The Pumpkin Patch features fun, easy to prepare foods kids can make either on their own or with just a bit of help from an adult or older sibling. I’ll also be posting an approach to getting kids to eat, eventually, more of the veggies the currently don’t like, watch for it!
Peanut Butter And…
You can up the nutritional value and lessen the sugar in the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich by simply changing the kind of bread, peanut butter, and fruit option used. Let’s start with your bread. White bread has the least nutritional value, even the enriched kind, that’s why it has to be enriched. When converting your family to a whole grain bread, be sure to read the label. You’re looking for one that’s got whole grain, good fiber content, and low sugar. Two of my favorites for a mild taste are Pepperidge Farms Soft Honey Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Oatmeal. Those dark whole wheat breads with a noticeably distinctive taste of decades past have given way to a far tastier selection and so should be easy enough to get entice your family to eat.
When it comes to peanut butter, go natural. And I know what you’re thinking–but all that stirring! Nope, no stirring with Jif Natural Peanut Butter. In fact, if you hide the jar, they’ll never know the difference. Can’t find it in the store? Here you go!
Looking for just peanuts with less than 1% salt? Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter is the tastiest cholice, you do have to stir this one a bit. There’s about an inch of the natural peanut oil that floats on the top. If you don’t stir it well, the bottom of the jar will yield dry peanut butter. The taste is good and one kids will love, just remind everyone to stir before you serve.
The Sweet Stuff
So you’ve got the bread and the peanut butter looking as healthy as you’ve seen it in years, but what’s a parent to do about all that sugar in the jelly or jam?
Smuckers Simply Fruit has the sugar down to 8 grams per serving compared to 12 in regular jellies and jams. Not bad if you want to step your child down from sugar over a period of time. There are several other products on the market; I avoid those with aritfical sweetners, espeically for children.
The best choice is always a natural one when it comes to food. I always tried to make snack time fun and creative when my children were young. They made their own sandwiches and had a great time doing too. By the way, they did make the sandwiches for this post and had just as much fun now as they did long ago….
These are all served with peanut butter on both slices of the bread–helps keep the good stuff in! Here are some old family favorites:
The Kong: sliced bananas, kids can cut banana slices with a butter knife.
Newton’s Revenge: fresh figs, smashed and spread–let the kids do the smashing!
Pele’s Delight: crushed pineapple, drained and pressed–soggy sandwiches always get low scores on the taste tests…
Dark Grin: blackberries, smashed and spread–put these in a deep bowl to smash.
The Hobgolin: celery sliced in 1/8 inch wide ‘half moons’.
Little LuLu: raspberries, smashed and spread.
The Bonnie: blueberries, smashed and spread.
Big Red: apple slices, pick your favorite flavor, very thinly sliced.
All smashing uses a fork and bowl, I highly recommend that the celery and apples be cut by someone older….
Remember to wash all of your fruit before eating….you can skip this for the banana–and the fig if you like them peeled.
Discovered your own favorite? Give it a name and let everyone know!
Copyright ElleVeg 2013