Back to School: 7 Ways to Reinvent the PB&J

Is there a better pair of friends than peanut butter and jelly? The perfect mix of sweet and salty spread between two slices of bread; if only everything in life were so simple and delicious. While the tried and true PB&J is the go-to for school lunches and after-school snacks, as a parent, you may want a healthier option for your kids. And while it might be hard to believe it's possible to make the PB&J even better, we've got some mouthwatering ideas we know kids will love, and that you'll feel good about feeding them.

Use Sugar Free Jelly

Many store bought jellies are filled with sugar. To make your PB&J a healthier snack reach for a sugar free jam or jelly instead. You child will still enjoy the sweet fruity taste without all that sugar. Trust us, they won't even notice the difference.

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Add Fruit

The simplest ways to add some flavor to the traditional PB&J is to replace the jelly with fruit. Peanut butter complements the sweetness of fruits oh so well. For a simple twist, try adding sliced bananas to your child's sandwich. Got a more adventurous eater? Sliced pears, peaches or grapes can also work well.

Roll It

Switch things up by spreading that wonderful jelly and peanut butter mix on a whole-wheat tortilla with a bit of honey drizzled in. For added texture, try adding bananas, strawberries or crunchy granola.

Grill It

Kids love grilled cheese. Kids love PB&J. Then why not try to grill a PB&J sandwich? Choose your favorite combination, but instead grill the sandwich in a skillet with about a tablespoon of unsalted butter. You'll end up with a crispy, crusty treat filled with warm, gooey peanut butter-jelly melted goodness that will have your kid wondering why you've never tried this before.

More: 5 Ways to Reinvent the Picnic

Try Alternative Nut Butters

There are cashews, almonds, walnuts and more, but peanuts seem to get all the love when it comes to sandwiches. Many grocery stores now have sections dedicated to delicious nut butters and some come mixed with added ingredients like maple syrup or vanilla.

Make It a Milkshake

For the ultimate sweet treat, try making your child a PB&J milkshake. Simply mix your favorite peanut butter and jelly together in a bowl and throw it into a blender with reduced fat milk and Greek yogurt.

Banana Dog

We've saved the best for last, and trust us when we tell you your kids will love this. Spread peanut butter inside a hot dog bun and then place a banana in the center like you would with a traditional hot dog. Top the banana with the jelly of your choice, and we're betting it'll be the craziest PB&J your child has ever tried.

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About the Author

Samantha Guzman

Sam is a writer, photographer and videographer for Active.com. She loves traveling, dancing, trying new things and strength training. Sam is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism. Sam enjoys spending time with family, cooking and playing with her dog, Woody. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus.

Sam is a writer, photographer and videographer for Active.com. She loves traveling, dancing, trying new things and strength training. Sam is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism. Sam enjoys spending time with family, cooking and playing with her dog, Woody. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus.

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