Talk about your ultimate take-you-back-to-the-good-ol-days-of-being-a-kid. Nothing quite compares to a pb&j sandwich. Even as an adult, pb&j’s often make the list of favorite foods of all time. Unfortunately for me, peanuts are so not Paleo.
Neither is bread.
Or sugar, of which there is a ton in jelly.
Did I mention I have a 4 year old? Who just started school, with a bunch of other 3-6 year old’s, whose parents totally pack pb&j’s in their lunches? Yeah. You see where this is going.
I’m not a total control freak about what my kiddo eats. We get ice cream occasionally. We eat pizza once in a while. I even let him have cake at birthday parties. However, I do totally limit what we keep in our household based on it’s level of nutrition. Which means being fairly picky about what he eats at lunch every day of the school week.
Thus we have The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Dilemma. I mean, do I really want my child to miss out on that quintessential piece of childhood? That sticky, gooey deliciousness melting in your mouth? I’d be a bad parent if I said yes. Plus, he reeeeaaallllyyyyyy wants pb&j in his lunch.
So. we struck a deal. Monday through Thursday I pack his lunch with my choice of food items. Usually meat left over from the night before, some pastured cheese or a handful of nuts, a veggie and a fruit. Then on Friday it’s celebration time, cause he gets a big, fat, pb&j waiting for him inside his lunch box.
Oh come on. Like you really thought there was going to be your run of the mill pb&j in there. No sir, no ma’am. Not from this mama.
First there is the issue of bread. Even ‘whole grain’ bread is processed all to hell and has a bajillion additives like xantham gum. I opted for sprouted grain bread. I usually buy Ezekial for this but you have to keep it frozen, and frozen brad does not a delicious sandwich make. So we opted for Silver MIlls Sprouted Bakery. I got the kind with flax. The only peservative use is citric acid, which I’m more or less ok with. I don’t like the fact that they add extra gluten but I guess you take the bad with the good.
Next up, peanut butter. Of all three pb&j ingredients, this was the least of my concerns. Along the Paleo/Primal nutrition guidelines I really take the least offense at legumes. Because seriously, I feel like the positives they offer pretty much outweigh the negatives, as long as they aren’t consumed daily. Also, peanut butter is the shit. So I bought fresh ground peanut butter from our local Natural Grocers. Ingredients: peanuts. No really, that’s all. Just ground up into a butter peanuts.
Now onto the jelly. My kid is a Sugar Monster. He’s like a crack head, but worse, because he’s 4 and sugar is legal. Anytime he has too much sugar, whether it be of the refined variety or simply too many grapes, it inevitably leads to a meltdown of epic proportions. Some people think I’m too strict about his sugar consumption but hey, if you want to pump my baby full of sugar, how about you stick around and deal with the aftermath, because it is not pretty!
But I digress. Jelly- my favorite is strawberry. My mom always made homemade strawberry jelly when I was growing up, and we’ve made it together almost every summer since I’ve been an adult. But even homemade strawberry jelly is loaded with sugar. I’m not a fan of Stevia or any other artificial sweetener, so I went with honey. 1 bag of frozen strawberries and about a quarter cup of honey, boiled together in a pot for about 20 minutes and then cooled gave me about a half mason jar of strawberry jelly.
Just to make sure it was still delicious, I totally made myself a pb&j for lunch. Delicious and clean eating!
And so, I leave you with this. I hope my kiddo sings it when he opens up his lunch today.