Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top10 Tuesday - 10 Ways to Change Up PB&J

We're back to a school routine here at Chez Charming. Being back to a "normal" (ha!) routine makes me more aware that yes, round about noon, my children need a meal.

I may have mentioned this before but our dining room table moonlights as a school table, work table, project table, catch-all table when we don't put our things away promptly...you get the idea. Anyway, all this is leading up to one point: a hot lunch around here is usually not going to happen.

Which means we reach for that good old Peanut Butter jar quite often. We love Peanut Butter around here. The only one who isn't a full fledged PB&J aficionado is the baby and that's just because she hasn't had any yet. Here are some ways we keep our PB&J sandwiches from getting stale (see what I did there? I don't mean literally. I'd rather skip lunch than eat an actually stale sandwich):

1. Change the bread: Wheat, white, cinnamon-raisin, banana bread...possibilities here are almost endless.

2. Skip the bread: crackers, homemade biscuits, bagels, apple slices...
3. Make a wrap: PB&J rolled up in a tortilla is just cute. It also helps contain the mess, if, as I do, you have a child prone to dropping her sandwich (coughSweetPeacough)
4. Switch up the jelly: go from grape (our usual choice) to strawberry preserves (homemade if possible!) or peach or blackberry. Have you seen the jellies, jams and preserves at the Farmer's Market? Try a new one. (Side note: some children will be loyal to their jelly of choice to the end. And that's fine. Just don't ever run out of grape jelly and all will be well. Or that might just be us.)
Ferrero Nutella - 26.5 oz
5. One word: Nutella. OK, it's not health food. Combined with peanut butter it's actually more of a dessert. But my girls love a PB & Nutella sandwich every once in awhile. (I can just imagine all the food purists out there howling at me. I'm sure it's bad enough I let, nay, encourage my children to eat Peanut Butter but adding another chocolate-nutty spread on top?!)
6. Add fruit: the aforementioned apple slices, sliced banana, raisins or dried cranberries.
7. Mix in some extras: coconut, or dare I suggest mini-marshmallows or chocolate chips? Yes, I dare.

8. Cut the sandwich in new shapes: use a cookie cutter (we like a nice big heart) or have an impromptu fractions lesson by cutting into thirds or quarters instead of the usual halves.
9. Eat on fancy(-er) plates.
10. Change location: sitting outside your own house on a big quilt counts as a picnic. Just a warning: eating outside tends to increase appetites. Better make an extra sandwich or two.

Don't worry, I promise we don't eat PB&J every day. If you have a favorite stand-by lunch feel free to share it in the comments - I'm always looking for quick, easy lunches.

This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda.


Melissa said...

Super fun ideas!! I particularly like the peanut butter/nutella one. Regardless of how not so good for you it may be, it sure is a delicious combination! I just made awesome peanut butter nutella brownies for a potluck last week. Sinful.

Nothing wrong with eating PB&J every day though! I did it for the first 10 years or so of my life! ;)

visiting from oh Amanda's top ten tues!

MacKenzie said...

I'll have to try some of these with Craig. He eats a pb&j sandwhich for lunch every day and has since I met him. Sometimes he'll have leftovers or go out with co-workers but probably less than 10x a year. That's a lot of pb&j!

Amy said...

Mmm... good ideas! We eat a lot of pbjs. One of our favorite variations is a PBHB: peanut butter, honey, banana (slices).
We have also enjoyed marshmallow cream and recently bought a jar or two of the walmart brand of the peanut butter and jelly stripes all in one jar (even though we usually get the 'healthier' natural stuff).

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