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.