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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

Peanut butter and WHAT?

When I was younger, my brother and I would make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for summer lunches. My brother did all the hard work; few spoonfuls of PB and a glob or two of honey, mix it all together and then spread it on some bread. Then we would sit down to enjoy the melty creation while we watched The Frighteners for probably the 50th time in a row. It's a miracle we weren't obese!

I used to crave these sugar-bombs, but now the thought of eating it for lunch makes me a little nauseous. I don't really recommend a peanut butter and honey sandwich... nor do I typically recommend peanut butter and jelly- at least not for Avalyn. Don't get me wrong, nut butters are a great way to get fat, salt and calories in your kiddos diet but the conventional companion (jelly) contains loads of sugar.

Some ways around this are to use nut butters as a dip for celery or bananas, or mixed into smoothies and oatmeal. I will still spread it on bread or crackers for her, but I can't get myself to reach for the jelly jar. I just continued to struggle to find a new mate, because let's face it, plain peanut butter gets a little boring after awhile.

Lucky for me (or Avie) someone at Food Network decided to find new partners for the old creamy sandwich staple, or butter buddies, if you will. I laughed when I saw the recommendations- even passed the magazine to my husband- but then I thought a couple of those may actually work for Avie.

Peanut butter and Orange slices, for example.

Avie loves oranges. My parents have orange trees in their backyard and it's a special treat for Avie when she gets to pick an orange with Grandad and squeeze the juice out of it for a sweet drink. When we are at the store, she will reach way out of the cart to snag an orange from the pile... usually one from the bottom. I LOVE that she is interested in healthy food, so I always let her pick something out to take home. It just so happens that on our last trip to the store, she picked out an orange.

It was the perfect idea! So for her morning snack, I got out the bread and peanut butter and sliced the orange up really thin. Avie squealed when she saw me slicing the orange! But, she only gave the new dish one bite to impress her before she opened the tiny sandwich and pulled the orange out to eat it alone (I guess next time I will put more oranges on it).

So I was back to square one, sort of. The small pieces of buttered bread were laying open face on her plate and she was scarfing down the fruit.... what to do about the peanut butter? Well, conveniently, I had the "inspiring" magazine sitting open on the counter and various foods set out and ready to get chopped, diced and shredded for my meal prepping.

Hmmmm.... shredded cheese.

Yep, peanut butter and cheddar cheese.

It's the first one the magazine suggests and the one that I was LEAST likely to try, but I was giving her such small 'sandwiches' that I figured it wouldn't hurt. Worst case, she would just eat the cheese out of it.

As it turns out, I didn't have to worry about that. She loved it! She ate the whole PB and Cheddar sandwich while I laughed at the craziness of the combination. Looks like I will have to try some of their other suggestions:

PB and ham

PB and Fried Egg

PB and Crystalized Ginger

PB and mango

PB and greek yogurt with honey (yum!)

PB and Toasted sesame seeds

PB and sriracha

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