Cooking for a family, while making family time

Beyond The PB&J

Beyond The PB&J

If you pack lunches 5 days a week. What a task it is, especially with multiple kids and varying tastes. PB&J is so classic, agreeable and it just doesn’t get any easier than that when packing a lunch. Now let’s take that PB&J and switch it up just enough to feel new again.


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First up:
Keep the PB&J but switch your PB or J or both. Instead of peanut butter use crunchy peanut butter, Nutella or almond butter. Is grape jelly your go to? Switch that too! Go for strawberry, or peach preserves. My kids’ number one favorite is seedless blackberry jam. The tart note it adds is really delicious. You’re keeping a classic sandwich the same, but tweaking the ingredients. Still fast, easy and agreeable!

Ditch the jelly. Peanut butter is yummy enough to stand on its own and it really pairs well with just about anything. My very first culinary experiment came a long long time ago when I was in first grade. I added my frito chips to my peanut butter sandwich and it instantly became my favorite. I introduced my kids a while back to “mommy’s first recipe” and they all loved it. The corn chips add a nice saltiness and incredible texture. Added bonus is how fun it is to smash your sandwich together and break all the chips. My tip for this one is to be sure and spread peanut butter on both slices of bread before you put the fitos in. That way the chips will stick and stay put when smashing and eating your sandwich.

Another easy classic, the fluffernutter. Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter pair together perfectly for one really delicious and sticky sandwich. My tip to making this one, lightly toast your bread as the marshmallow fluff can be hard to spread sometimes.

Ditch the peanut butter! Have a kid with an allergy? Are they in a class that doesn’t allow nut products? No problem! Wowbutter to the rescue, this looks and taste so similar to peanut butter your kiddo probably won’t know the difference. Mine never did! Easy sandwich, safe products, everyone is happy. Another nut-free option is Biscoff. Biscoff is a cookie spread and it’s so delicious. Mom truth moment: on a hard day you can find me with a spoonful of this to get me through the chaos. It’s that good! My kids really love to spread this on frozen waffles. Biscoff banana waffle sandwich is a staple for both a quick breakfast or a quick lunch around here. Give it a try, trust me you won’t regret it! Now that we’ve ditched our peanut butter, let’s talk about other ways to use the jelly. Cream cheese and jelly rolls are an easy and quick lunch. Spread your plain cream cheese onto a tortilla, then top with your flavor jelly of choice. Roll it up and slice into little rounds. Cute presentation and another safe alternative to the PB&J sandwich.

Ditch the sandwich! Change your vessel. As I mentioned above, frozen waffles and tortillas are great options. One I use a lot around here are mini bagels. I get plain mini bagels and top them with cream cheese and “seeds” as my kids call them. This everything but the bagel seasoning is amazing! I use it in dinner, sprinkle it on popcorn, top it on rolls and add it to a spread on a sandwich. Also with a bag of mini bagels on hand I always make a batch of my pizza bagels and throw them in the freezer. If your kiddos don’t mind cold pizza put these in their lunch boxes the night before and they’ll be perfect for lunch. If they prefer warm pizza they make a great afternoon snack that’s healthy and filling. One last option when ditching our sandwich is roller coasters. Layer your lunch meat and cheese together and roll it up. No bread, no problem.

Now where are we going to put all these endless lunch possibilities? I know a lot of people love the bento style lunch boxes, and here are my personal favorite containers. Plastic, BPA free, fun characters to choose from, easy to open for tiny fingers, varying size compartments and totally affordable. The top of the box is designed to fit a full size sandwich, however if my kids are having something different that day I’ll use that compartment for a juice box and side. I’ve been using these lunch containers for years and they’ve held up nicely and always fit into our different size lunch boxes no problem. I hope this helped to give you guys some more easy, quick, different, but not too different lunch options for your kids


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