Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite of kids everywhere. But almost one-third of schools have gone “peanut-free” to accommodate the growing number of kids who suffer from severe peanut allergies. Worried about your picky eater? Consumer Reports says fear not.
There are a lot of other nut butters on the market today and most can be safely brought into a peanut-free school. Consumer Reports evaluated a dozen cashew and almond-based spreads for nutrition and taste. Like peanut butter, they are a source of protein and help keep your kid full longer. Almond butters have around 6 to 7 grams of protein per serving and cashew spreads have between 4 and 5 grams.
To prevent separation and give nut butters a creamy texture, some manufacturers add a little hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm or palm fruit oil, but those are mostly saturated fats. Testers found the spreads with fewer ingredients, basically just nuts, were healthier and tasted better.
Consumer Reports expert tasters gave high scores to Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Almond Butter Creamy for its distinct roasted almond flavor. Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter from Costco has natural sweetness.
As for cashew butters, Consumer Reports recommends Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Cashew Butter Creamy – for its great cashew flavor. If you want organic Once Again Organic Creamy Cashew Butter has a roasted cashew flavor.
If along with being peanut-free, your child’s school is also “nut-free,” you might try a sunflower seed-based butter. Consumer Reports recommends Sunbutter Natural Sunflower Spread and Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter.
When shopping for children who have a nut allergy, read labels carefully. Manufacturers are required to list whether the product contains peanuts or nuts.