Who doesn’t love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Whether you can’t remember your first one or you vividly remember the delicious combination of your first sandwich, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple in many homes.
When I was a kid, my mother, like many mothers, made it a point to always have the healthiest food options for my brother and me. But I knew that my lunches were different than those of my friends. My bread was brown. I had apple slices, not fruit snacks. And my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were not the same as everyone else’s. You see, my mom purchased “natural” peanut butter. You know the kind. All peanut. Nothing else. You have to stir in the oil on the top. Fruit based jelly. Low sugar. My sandwich stood out on the third-grade lunch table like a sore thumb.
I ate the sandwich, but I didn’t like it. I just wanted a “normal” peanut butter like everyone else had. You know the kind. Smooth! Spreadable! No oil on the top! Sugar content! Hydrogenated oils! And JELLY! Sweet, sweet grape jelly. I knew that the sandwich of my dreams was out there. I had seen it. I had tasted it when visiting my friends’ homes after school. I just couldn’t figure out how to get it into my house.
And then I had an epiphany. I knew just what I’d do. I’d have to grow up. Right then and there, I made one of THOSE statements. You know the kind. “When I grow up…” and “when I have kids…” I’m going to buy normal peanut butter. And I will feed it to my children. And we will have NORMAL peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my house when I’m the mom and I’m in charge of everything. I was NEVER eating “natural” peanut butter again.
Many years later, I moved out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment. And I put my plan into action, buying jars upon jars of mainstream peanut butter and jelly. It was delicious. I relished being an adult and making my own decisions (Some people get tattoos. I purchase peanut butter.). I met a boy who also liked mainstream peanut butter. It was love at first bite.
But then everything changed. We had children.
It has been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I found myself following in my mother’s nutritional footsteps. And it became evident that I was on the path to purchasing “natural” peanut butter. All of a sudden, I understood my mother’s intentions. One day, when standing in the peanut butter aisle of the local food store, I found myself holding a jar of “natural” peanut butter. It also included flaxseeds. I’d found a natural style of peanut butter that was even HEALTHIER than what my mother had served me. Omega-3 acids! Good for their little growing brains! I brought it home and made sandwiches. I felt a little guilty. Luckily, my children really liked it. I haven’t heard any complaints…yet.
And, in case you are wondering, I do still have a jar of “normal” peanut butter in my pantry. It’s for my husband.
By Jayne M
Not only is Jayne an associate at one of our retail locations, she's also the mother of two. According to Jayne, she loves fries, pedicures, cupcakes and sandwiches. And, a good day includes all 4!