Ah, the week after Thanksgiving. I’m still using up a few leftovers. You?

I had a week with children home from school and family in town. We’ve eaten leftover meals of ham, stuffing, sausage balls, and breakfasts made of sweet potato pie. I’m especially interested in turning leftover stuffing and potatoes into pancakes for breakfast. Also, this one with the Thanksgiving leftover hand pies, ’cause that just looks smart.

Beyond that, I’m back to packing lunchesAt least once a week, peanut butter is the main ingredient in my children’s lunch boxes. They love it, and it’s easy, but it is nice to enjoy variety, so we change around how peanut butter is used.


7 Alternatives to the Peanut Butter Sandwich


1. Peanut butter plus banana slices plus a drizzle of honey. Make the night before and chill. (Also a great way to use really ripe bananas none of the kids will eat.

Peanut butter and honey sandwich with bananas by Captain Mom

Those are bananas peeking out of the sandwich.

2.  Add oats and dried fruit. My kids like raisins and dried cranberries. Also good: pineapple. Sprinkle on a few spoonfuls of oats on the peanut butter and a couple of tablespoons of fruit on top of that. Your kids might not even need an after-school snack after such a filling lunch. If only.

3. Put together a fondue-style lunch. Mix peanut butter with honey or syrup and pack it in a separate small bowl. Pack carrot sticks, pretzel sticks, bagel chips or pita chips for some dipping fun. It’s not really fondue, but it sounds fancy.

4. Layer it on. Make a real peanut butter sandwich winner with a few mini chocolate chips, crumbled bacon, and thin apple slices. All the good food groups there, plus it’s packed with protein. (Don’t count the calories or the fat. It’s an occasional meal and we’re feeding growing children.)

5. Try different nut butters. Almond butter is a rich alternative. I’ve heard that pricier alternatives like hazelnut and cashew butter are good, too.

6. Make cracker peanut butter sandwiches. Our favorites are Ritz and Triscuits. It’s a perfect lunch for kids to make on their own.

Peanut butter on crackers ~ 7 Ways to Jazz Up Your Child's Peanut butter lunch by Rhonda Franz

Peanut butter on crackers: a classic.

7. Make ants on a log. It’s an old standby for lots of new fun. Peanut butter on celery sticks and raisins on top. Pack several in a lunchbox with apple slices, cheese, and crackers.