Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives from Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives

Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives

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Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives

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Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives

Finding an allergy-safe alternative to peanut butter is not as hard as you might think.

“Look at it as an opportunity to try a few other things," said nutritionist Keith Ayoob, an associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “This is a great time to introduce your kids to new foods like alternative nut butters and veggie spreads.”

First, be sure to check to see if your kid’s school is totally nut-free, because then spreads like almond butter, cashew butter, and hazelnut butter still won’t be viable substitutes. However, if the ban is strictly on peanuts, other nut butters work marvelously in sandwiches, and you can also try mixing it up with sliced apples, raisins, bananas, and honey for a healthier lunch option. 

Click through for some more peanut butter alternatives for this school year’s lunchbox.

Bean Dips

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Bean Dips

Mexican-inspired spreads and dips made from black beans, white beans, and pinto beans make hearty sandwich spreads that are high in satisfying fiber and protein. Kids will feel fuller longer when you serve them a pita or wrap spread with pinto bean dip, shredded Cheddar, and veggies like lettuce and tomato.

Cream Cheese

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Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is not just for bagels. Granted, if your kid has a dairy allergy, this won't work, but if not, it makes a great creamy spread for sandwiches. Mix it with jelly for a retro-style sandwich, or opt for a flavored variety that works well with veggies or deli meats.

Guacamole

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Guacamole

Guac is not just for chips: It takes pita bread to a new level when it’s used as a spread for sandwiches stuffed with ingredients like veggies, chicken, and cheese. Using guacamole is a great way to introduce new kinds of “sandwiches” like rolled wraps and tortillas. 

Hummus

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Hummus

This delicious Middle Eastern spread is made from chickpeas, so it’s super healthy and high in protein, just like peanut butter. Hummus works both as a spread on sandwiches as well as a dip for veggies and crackers. If you’ve got an adventurous child, try seasoning the hummus with new flavors or buy pre-seasoned hummus like red pepper or pesto. 

 Other Nut Butters

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Other Nut Butters

If your kid’s school allows tree nuts, spreads like almond butter, cashew butter, and hazelnut butter can be wonderful substitutes. 

 Pumpkin Seed Butter

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Pumpkin Seed Butter

Not to be confused with pumpkin butter — which is made from the flesh of a pumpkin — pumpkin seed butter is made from roasting pumpkin seeds and grinding or puréeing them to a creamy butter consistency. It is a great stand-in for peanut butter and tastes great on whole-grain bread with honey, apple butter, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Soy Butter

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Soy Butter

Soy butter could be a school administration’s favorite lunchbox item: It’s totally free of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, and gluten. But it’s not taste-free! Similar to peanut butter in texture, it’s a creamy spread (that you can also get in chunky or chocolate varieties), and it mixes perfectly with any kind of jelly or fruit jam. 

Sunflower Butter

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Sunflower Butter

Sunflower butter is made from puréed sunflower seeds and has a consistency similar to peanut butter. It boasts a whopping 7 grams of protein per serving, and it tastes similar to peanut butter. 

Tahini

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Tahini

Tahini is made from puréed sesame seeds and is most like hummus in terms of flavor and consistency. It’s a fiber-rich and protein-filled alternative to peanut butter and spreads like mayo and mustard. Try tahini with deli meats or veggie-loaded sandwiches, or you can use it as a dip for celery, carrots, and other veggies. 

Vegetable Purées

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Vegetable Purées

Trick picky eaters with cleverly disguised vegetables. Vegetable purées, like red pepper purée, for instance, make excellent sandwich spreads and are colorful and tasty. Best of all, kids won’t know they are eating vegetables. Note that you'll want to add a moisture barrier like cream cheese, butter, or oil to prevent soggy bread.

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Why Take a Chance With Peanut Butter? Try These Safer Alternatives

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