As a parent, the ability to throw together a quick PB&J sandwich for a hungry child is not to be underrated. As a spread, peanut butter has been a staple in homes across America for generations. On toast, as a topping for a crisp celery snack, added to smoothies, baking and more. So what are your options if your child has peanut allergies or cannot take peanut or into their school environment?
There are a huge number of peanut butter alternatives available these days, all claiming to be the perfect substitute. When selecting a peanut-free option, taste, texture and consistency tend to be the major focus. Optimally, a healthy substitute for peanut butter should mirror these aspects, but also offer added nutrition for your child.
What Can You Replace Peanut Butter With?
Should your child not also be allergic to tree nuts (around 30% of peanut allergy sufferers are) then your options are many.
Almond Butter - Can be made from raw or roasted almonds, in crunchy or smooth - just like peanut butter. Is high in protein and has a similar nutritional value to peanut butter. Slightly higher in fiber, but around equal in regards to calories and sugar content. Almond butter allergies are also quite common however.
Cashew Butter - Similar to almond butter in regards to texture, it is also nutritionally similar to peanut butter. However, it is lower in protein than almond or peanut butter and quite high in carbohydrates.
Pecan Butter - Pecan butter is less common than almond or cashew but is a firm favourite with many eschewing peanut butter. Making a deliciously thick, dark spread, it is high in manganese, potassium as well as vitamins A and E.
Hazelnut Butter - Usually familiar to children as a chocolate spread, such as Nutella, hazelnut butter can also be eaten unflavored. It is incredibly high in saturated fat, meaning it is not the best option for daily consumption. It is also the lowest in vitamins and minerals when compared to other nut butter options.
The overriding benefit of seed butter is that they are a 100% nut-free butter. Making them ideal for children with complex nut allergies. They are not always made in an environment that is nut-free however, so proceed with caution and always read the labels carefully.
Sunflower Seed Butter - Made from toasted sunflowers which are then ground into a smooth paste, sunflower butter has an earthy taste. Many brands add a lot of sugar to make it more palatable. Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E and protein as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.
Tahini/Sesame Butter - Made from toasted, blended sesame seeds, Tahini is a staple in the Eastern Mediterranean and parts of North Africa. High in saturated fat and protein, it is also a great source of magnesium and calcium. Sesame is considered one of the top nine allergens, however, so it is not suitable as an alternative for many people with allergies.
Pumpkin Seed Butter - Similar to sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter has an earthy taste. It tends to be greenish in color which may make it less appealing to fussy kids. It is high in manganese and magnesium, providing 60% and 40% respectively of the recommended daily doses.
Pea And Soy Butter - Technically legumes rather than seeds, pea and soy butters are well ranked when it comes to offering a ‘nutty’ flavour and consistency similar to peanut butter. The downside is that as peanuts are also part of the legume family, they may still be unsuitable for those with a peanut allergy.
What To Look For In Peanut Butter Replacements
Kids are fickle creatures when it comes to many things, but with food it can be incredibly difficult to convince them to try something new. When choosing a peanut butter alternative for children you should consider:
- Taste reigns supreme. Many brands of nut or seed butter will have added sugar and salt in an effort to make them more palatable. Avoid excessive sugar and salt, especially for kids, whenever you can.
- Consistency is key, no one likes runny or gritty ‘peanut butter’. Consistency will also be the biggest giveaway to your child that this isn’t their usual spread. Tilting the jar side to side is your best way to check the consistency before purchasing.
- Colour. How we perceive our food has a lot to do with how willing we are to eat it and how enjoyable we find it. Unusually coloured or darkly tinted butters may be off putting to your child.
Ultimately you may find that when making the move away from peanut butter that it takes your child some time to adjust or settle on their new favourite. Finding an allergen-free alternate that ticks all the boxes above may seem impossible, right? Enter Beyond The Equator 5 Seed Butter.
5 Seed Butter
Beyond The Equator 5 Seed Butter is free of the top 8 allergens and made in a certified nut-free environment. Its dynamic seed blend is nutritionally dense and ideal for growing bodies, it contains:
Sunflower seeds which are high in magnesium, vitamin E and protein, they can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
Chia Seeds that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, fibre, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.
Flax seeds, also high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels, aids in weight loss, improve skin health, and is rich in lignans which are shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Pumpkin seeds, high in iron, calcium, B2, folate and beta-carotene, which the body metabolises into vitamin A. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds, high in protein, unsaturated fats, and fibre. It also contains zinc, iron and the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and folate.
It is an ideal peanut butter replacement. It is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than peanut butter, helping to keep little tummies fuller for longer. It has a similar texture and consistency to peanut butter, is naturally low in sugar and dairy-free. As an added bonus it is also vegan, keto, gluten free and non GMO certified.
Approved by the fussiest kids, one mom’s Amazon review speaks volumes:
“I have a 3 yr old autistic son who only eats peanut butter and yogurt. We have to be a nut free household when my stepson is over, this product was a godsend.”
Try our delicious range of 5 Seed Butters today.