3 Ingredient PBJ
I am very excited to share my plethora of healthy kid meal hacks!
I have been a wellness freak since before my twins were born, and those habits were seared into overdrive when they were born two months early and I got to stand alongside of the NICU nurses and watch them as they fought their way through each hurdle and milestone of their hospital stay. To make things more sensitive, they were born during the bird flu epidemic, so hospital, and especially NICU standards were extremely strict. I wasn't allowed to "cross contaminate" the babies, meaning I couldn't touch one baby and then touch the other baby without first going to the back and thoroughly washing my hands like I was prepping for surgery. I couldn't even reach in to give one crying baby their paci without washing my hands. I made every effort to breastfeed and provide pumped breastmilk while I was in the hospital, and after my dishcharge, I would have someone drop me off in the morning so I could be there most of the day nursing and pumping.
It made things more difficult when Ella trailed behind Liam in progress, so soon they were separated into two different levels of the NICU, so I would have to hobble my post c-section body back and forth between each of their temporary homes. They were handled with such kid gloves and everything that was introduced to them had such major impacts on their progress or setback.
By the time we got them both home, the delicacy of their tiny little bodies and fragile immune systems was really ingrained into my mindset and molded my view on everything I introduced to them. But it was less about the fear of what might harm them, and more about the opportunity of how I had the power to make them strong. After all, they were like little superheros in the NICU. Born 2 months early, Liam was released from the NICU after two weeks, and Ella after 3 weeks.
So I am, and always have been since they were itty bitty, a bit of a food purist. I have relaxed a bit now that those itty bitty two are 7 1/2 years old and go to birthday parties, and to friends, and relatives, and all kinds of social gathering were there is a fair share of foods that are not my preference. But it's a fine balance between not offending those I care about or being overly difficult and honoring my own principles. So our balance is we just don't have it in the home. That is usually enough to keep them from feigning for it when it's available elsewhere (with a few exceptions). Since they usually don't know what it is in the first place, they pass it up fairly easily. I can't control all external factors, but I can control what I buy, and I am comfortable with that level of balance. They are eating most of their food and snacks at home after all.
So at the risk of sounding like another obnoxious judgemental food snob, (I promise I'm not judging!) that is some background to my expansive bank of healthy kid food recipes, that look just like the original, but are much better! This first one is less of a recipe, and more of a guided pairing.
3 Ingredient PBJ
(ok, technically ABJs, but that just sounds weird! So we still call them PBJs)
- Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes
- Ingredients - Organic Brown Rice
- Frozen Organic Raspberries
- Ingredients - Organic Raspberries
Not all rice cakes are created equal! Some have lots of gross ingredients added to them. Be sure to watch out for that.
- To make almond butter at home, you simply lightly roast the almonds at 325 for about 10 minutes.
- Then blend them in a heavy duty blender capable of making nut butters. I use a Blendtec, which I love!
- That's all! Now enjoy it while it's warm!
- Roast and blend. Almond butter with nothing else, no salt, no honey, and tastes absolutely delicious! I always wait for nuts to go on sale and stock up for nut butters and milks. All varieties work, but almond butter tends to be my fave.
Alternately you can skip the step above and buy the Trader Joe's brand almond butter, which is unmatched in ingredient list and price. Simply the best, most affordable almond butter around.
4 Ingredient PBJ
- Lundberg Rice Cakes
- Trader Joe's Creamy Almond Butter
- (ingredients: Almonds, 2% Cashews)
- Frozen Raspberries
I always keep frozen raspberries on hand for sandwiches, toast, yogurt, etc. You can pour the frozen raspberries directly onto the sandwich which gives it a nice ice cream texture.
Or you can make a 30 second jam! Put the frozen raspberries into a small mason jar and put it into a pot of hot water (or microwave it for 20-30 seconds) and then stir them into a deliciously creamy warm jam. I like to add chia seeds, which makes it even creamier.
You can also try it on sprouted bread as a sandwich, or open face on toast! And if you're feeling extra fancy, pinch some chia, flax, or hemp seeds all over the top. We like to call them sprinkles.
There! Now you have mutliple variations of an almond butter and raspberry sandwich!
Now try it with other fresh fruits or frozen wild blueberries.