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
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