Why You Should Use Almond Butter In Your Kids’ PB & J

I admit that the classic PB & J sandwich is definitely a weekly staple around these parts. 

My kids eat a very unvaried diet, wavering between some (organic, all-natural, and why do I feel the need to throw that in??) mac and cheese and, yup, you guessed it — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

{ MORE: Could Your Baby Be Lactose Intolerant? }

And although I often use almond butter and almond milk for myself, as I somehow consider it a healthier choice as I try to lose the baby weight, I never really considered giving it to my kids. We've been lucky enough to escape any major allergies, and there are even, surprisingly enough, no allergies in any of my daughters' classrooms, so peanut butter has been a staple for us. 

But now a new study says that you might want to consider swapping almond butter for peanut butter in your recipes, even if you don't have an allergy. 

almonds
Image via Flickr/ mynameisharsha

The study, published in Nutrition Research, found that eating almonds or almond butter every day for three weeks actually changed bacteria in the gut in a good way, and the benefits happened when eating as little as half an ounce for children or 1.5 ounces for adults. 

In addition to improving the “microbiota composition” (fancy wording for the bacterial make-up of your gut), the study also found that, for some reason, adding almonds also improved overall diets. 

For example, the intake of empty calories decreased, suggesting that participants ate a healthier diet overall and replaced some of their empty calorie snacks with nutrient-rich almonds. And both parents and their children actually ate more vitamin E and magnesium during their almond-eating experiment, without adding any additional calories. 

This study shows that adding almonds or almond butter might be an easy way to impact your child's health, but as always, speak to your care provider before introducing nuts for the first time to your child and observe them for any signs of an allergy the first few times they consume the nuts. Almonds are a tree nut, so if your child has a tree nut allergy, they should not have almonds or almond products. 

{ MORE: Don't Panic, But There's Probably Lead in Your Baby's Food }

I actually went out and bought myself some fancy-schamcy almond butter after reading this study myself (the whole point, I'm guessing; maybe it's an almond conspiracy!) and have been enjoying almond butter on sliced apples as a snack to replace my old, harmful habit of Nutella on everything. 

A girl's gotta start somewhere, right? But if someone could do a study proving that Nutella = life, that would be great. 

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Why You Should Use Almond Butter In Your Kids’ PB & J

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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