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Guard Your Health with Peanut Butter

Consumer Conscious

Peanut butter, an old-time favorite among many, can be a very nutritious part of your diet. In fact, you can literally guard your health with peanut butter.

Guard Your Health with Peanut butter on bread

It can also guard the health of children, as well. The key health threats peanut butter is now shown to aid in are heart disease and obesity. Two diseases that all too often go hand in hand.

Cholesterol Buster

Diets rich in peanuts and peanut butter appear to protect against heart disease by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and controlling body weight. These benefits are more important than ever in older children and teens. The nutrients in peanut butter are healthy for growing bodies.

While for many this great news, there is possible but minor problem, especially among children; peanut butter sandwiches, with or without jelly, can get boring. Following are some ways to take the boredom out of peanut butter while reaping the nutritious benefits.

  • Spread your peanut butter in a new way. For an appealing and healthy snack, spread peanut butter on apples, bananas or pears.
  • At breakfast, spread it on waffles. For lunch, roll it up with jelly or sliced fruit in a tortilla.
  • Swirl it. Heat 2-tablespoons peanut butter in the microwave for about one minute until soft. Swirl it into yogurt, or use as a topping on frozen yogurt or fat-free/low-fat ice cream.
  • Dress it up. Add sliced strawberries or golden raisins for a more grown-up taste.

Use your imagination! Peanut butter tastes very good on many things you never may have thought of trying it on!

Safety Notes

The American of Pediatrics suggests parents wait until children are at least two years of age before introducing them to peanut butter. Wait until age four to give them crunchy peanut butter to guard against choking.

Discourage eating peanut butter right from the spoon. It can cause choking in both adults and children.

Example of A Peanut Butter Diet Day:

Peanut Butter Breakfast
3/4 cup calcium-fortified orange juice
One serving whole grain cereal topped with one sliced banana and 1-cup fat-free milk.

Peanut butter, a ham slice and pickle sandwich using:
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons pickle relish
One slice of deli ham on two slices whole-wheat bread
1 cup carrot and celery sticks
3/4 cup calcium-fortified V8

Afternoon Snack
1/2 cup red pepper slices with one-quarter cup black bean dip (canned dip is fine)

4 ounces broiled fish of your choice
1 cup steamed asparagus spears with lemon juice
1/2 cup brown rice with 2-tablespoons raisins

Evening Treat
Peanut Butter Pudding in a Flash:
In a dessert dish, microwave 2-tablespoons peanut butter for about one minute until melted. Stir in one single-serving container of prepared fat-free pudding; tapioca, chocolate or vanilla.

Bonus Treat: Peanut Butter Banana Apple Bites

The flavors and textures cover all the bases: crunchy, creamy, smooth, sweet and tart with a touch of cinnamon spice.

2 thin slices apple
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1/4 banana, sliced
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the apple slices on a flat surface and spread with the peanut butter. Top with the banana. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Makes 1 serving.

Nurition information: Calories: 95; Calories from Fat: 49; Fat: 5.5g; Saturated Fat: 1.2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 60mg; Carbohydrates: 10.5g; Dietary Fiber: 1.7g; Protein: 3g

Extra Treat: Crunchy PB and Apple Wrap

4 7-8-inch fat free flour tortillas
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup low fat granola

Spread peanut butter over each tortilla. Sprinkle with apple and granola. Tightly roll up tortillas. Cut in half. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Pack in insulated containers. Makes four wraps.
Per serving: 254 calories, 28g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 14g fat, 3g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 3g fiber, 234mg sodium.

How About Some Peanut Butter Clay?

1 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cup powdered dry milk
3 tablespoons honey

Mix ingredients until doughy. If it is too dry, add more honey. If too moist, add more powdered milk. Add more peanut butter if it does not taste like peanut butter. Now you can eat and if you want, your kids can play with this dough! Just be sure to wash hands thoroughly before starting this project.

Did You Know?

  • A Good Housekeeping article published in May 1896 included a recipe that "urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread."
  • November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

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