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Peanut Butter

Many kids literally live on PBJ (the technical term for peanut butter and jelly). Yet this American icon is not as ideal as you may think. In addition to a substantial amount of healthy proteins, peanut butter also contains a lot of fat, which, combined with the sugar of the bread and the jelly, amounts to a lot of calories. Finally, PBJ is all too often used to ensure that Jimmy “at least has something in his tummy,” at the expense of other valuable nutrients, and becomes a synonym for lunch.

Parents often wonder when to start giving kids peanut butter. Don’t let a fear of allergies guide this decision; if Jimmy is allergic to peanuts, delaying the introduction makes no difference; he’ll develop the reaction no matter how old he is when he first tastes a peanut. In many ways, it’s better that you know early on. That said, I suggest you encourage other nutrients like meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables.