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Make a Healthier Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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Updated March 27, 2014

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich Jamie Grill/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich, also known as PB&J, is a staple of many kids' diets. Here's a look at the nutrition information for a sandwich made with two slices of white bread, two tablespoons of peanut butter, and two tablespoons of grape jelly:

  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Sodium: 500 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 59 grams
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 3.0 grams
  • Calories: 432
Here are the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) of those nutrients for a person who normally consumes about 2,000 calories per day:
  • Fat: 66 grams
  • Sodium: 2,300 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 250 grams
  • Protein: 75 grams
  • Fiber: 26 to 38 grams
Following these guidelines, one typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich would supply approximately:
  • 27 percent of a day's fat
  • 23 percent of a day's sodium
  • 24 percent of a day's carbohydrates
  • 16 percent of a day's protein
  • 13 percent of a day's fiber
  • 22 percent of a day's calories

Considering that a typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich is served as a snack, it has a lot of fat, sodium and calories.

Make a Healthier PB&J

Make it smaller, use peanut butter with less fat, and add fruit spread. You can also choose almond or cashew butter for an interesting twist.

First, start with one slice of 100-percent whole grain bread that has:

  • 1.0 gram fat
  • 132 milligrams sodium
  • 12 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.0 gram protein
  • 2.0 grams fiber
  • 70 calories
Add one tablespoon of strawberry spread (without sugar, just fruit and juice) for:
  • No fat
  • 10 grams carbohydrates
  • 40 calories
Finish the sandwich with one tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter that has:
  • 5.0 grams fat
  • 86 milligrams sodium
  • 3.0 grams carbohydrates
  • 6.0 grams protein
  • 1.0 gram fiber
  • 83 calories
With this smaller sandwich, you have:
  • 6 grams fat
  • 220 milligrams sodium
  • 25 grams carbohydrates
  • 7 grams protein
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 193 calories
This healthier peanut butter and jelly sandwich has fewer calories, less fat and more fiber.

Sources:

Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD. "Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements." Institute of Medicine, 2006.

United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 24.http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list.

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