Peanut butter packs protein, healthy fat, and vitamin E. You just need to vary the jelly and white bread, says Katie Morford, R.D., author of Best Lunch Box Ever. If your child has a tree-nut or peanut allergy or his school is peanut-free, make these lunches with sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, or soynut butter.
Nutty Dip & Veggies
In a blender, mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 6 Tbs. apple cider, and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon. Stir if using natural PB. Pack 2 to 3 Tbs. dip with veggie slices for lunch; store remainder in the fridge for up to 4 days. (216 calories, 16g fat)
PB&A Spread 1 Tbs. peanut butter and 1/2 Tbs. apple butter on a slice of whole-wheat cinnamon-raisin bread. Sprinkle on ground cinnamon. Slice in half; sandwich together. (251 calories, 9g fat)
Waffle Sammie Spread 2 Tbs. peanut butter on a toasted whole-grain waffle. Smash 1/4 cup fresh raspberries with a fork; spread over peanut butter. Top with another toasted waffle and cut into quarters. (344 calories, 19g fat)
Banana-Nut Bread Spread 1 Tbs. peanut butter on half a slice of whole-grain bread. Spread the other half with 1/2 Tbs. Nutella. Top one half with banana slices; sandwich together. (226 calories, 12g fat)
Fruity Pinwheels Cut a 7 1/2"x 10" whole-wheat lavash or flat bread in half crosswise. Spread on 2 Tbs. peanut butter, top with 1/4 cup finely chopped apple or pear and 1 tsp. honey. Roll; cut into 4 pieces. (277 calories, 17g fat)