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Craving a PB&J sandwich? Go ahead!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) is a staple from many of our childhoods. And, if you watched the recent Emmy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel's mom made 7,000 PB&Js to serve to the stars who attended! PB&J is great for breakfast, lunch or a quick dinner.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I have at least one per week! PB&Js can be quick, filling and very nutritious if you follow a few steps:

  • Look for peanut butter that has simple ingredients. Peanuts and salt are all you need. Peanut butter is packed with protein, Vitamin E, folate and niacin. I prefer an organic variety that sticks to very few ingredients.
  • Use whole grain or whole wheat bread. Whole grain or whole wheat should be the first ingredient on the list. (For those with celiac disease or wheat allergies, use a whole grain gluten-free bread).
  • Choose jam or fruit spread instead of jelly. You will get more real fruit rather than juice – which is the main ingredient in jelly.
  • Mix it up and add other healthy ingredients. Try bananas, sliced strawberries or a little honey instead of jam. Try a different nut butter, too (such as almond or cashew)!
  • Stick to the right portion size. Although peanut butter is nutritious, it packs a healthy dose of calories. Use one to two tablespoons of peanut butter, and one to two teaspoons of jam. Peanut butter has about 180 calories per serving; however, it also has many great nutrients!

Enjoy a PB&J instead of going through a fast food drive- thru. It will take less time and will cost less, too! Add a glass of cold skim milk (or almond milk) to make it an even better choice.

Lindsay Sawyer R.D.N., LDN, M.B.A., M.P.H.
Clinical manager for NCH Nutrition and Food Services

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