Although nutritionally similar to nuts, peanuts are actually a legume and unlike tree nuts, they grow underground. Some cultures refer to them as a groundnut for this reason. Delicious as a sandwich spread, peanut butter can also be made into sauces, dips, and used to top foods like oatmeal. We’ve provided cooking tips and recipes to help your participants get the most out of peanut butter! Read on for more information or jump right to the recipes.
Well known for being sources of protein, iron, folate, and magnesium, peanut butter also provides zinc, which you know is especially important for growth and development during pregnancy, lactation and infancy. Visit the Eye on Nutrition series to learn more about these and other nutrients and the WIC Meals of the Month series to find nutrient-specific recipes.
Potentially allergenic foods, like peanuts, should be introduced when other complementary foods are introduced to an infant’s diet.
Introducing peanut-containing foods in the first year reduces the risk that an infant will develop a food allergy to peanuts. If an infant has severe eczema, egg allergy, or both (conditions that increase the risk of peanut allergy), age-appropriate, peanut-containing foods should be introduced into the diet as early as age 4 to 6 months. This will reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy. More information can be found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Participants can also be encouraged to talk with their primary care provider for recommendations.
If there is an allergy to peanuts, avoid peanut butter and visit Food Allergies for more information and resources on peanut and other allergies.
Tips & Ideas to Share
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite among many, but there are so many more ways to enjoy peanut butter. Easy ways to use PB include mixing into oatmeal, smoothies, or simply spread on fruit such as apples.
Tips for Using and Storing
Smooth/Creamy or Crunchy/Chunky: This is usually a personal preference but keep in mind that chunky or crunchy peanut butter is a choking hazard for children under 4 years.
Peanut butter has a thick texture and can be a choking hazard for young children. Visit Reducing the Risk of Choking in Young Children at Mealtimes for more information about serving peanut butter to children under age 4.
Storage: Many peanut butter brands can be stored at room temperature in the pantry but be sure to check the label to see if there are storage recommendations. Participants can find more information about safe food storage on the FoodKeeper App.
Separation: Some peanut butters may separate from the oil. To manage this, gently open and use a kitchen knife or spatula to carefully mix.
Be sure to review your State agency’s authorized food list for the peanut butter options available in your State WIC Program.
Ideas to Try:
Add into a bowl of oatmeal.
Dip apple slices in peanut butter.
Add banana slices to a toasted PB&J.
Spread on a rice cake or cracker.
Add to a smoothie.
Dip celery or carrots in peanut butter.
Mix with yogurt.
Top a stir fry with peanut butter sauce (see Peanut Noodles with Tofu recipe below).
Breakfast and Snacks
Ants on a Log (available in Spanish)
Fruit and Peanut Butter Dip (available in Spanish)
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (available in Spanish)
Peanut Butter Bread (available in Spanish)
Peanut Butter Cereal Bars (available in Spanish)
Peanut Butter Muffins (available in Spanish)
Lunch and Dinner
Asian Mango Chicken Wraps (available in Spanish)
Chicken Mole (available in Spanish)
Shorba (Lamb and Peanut Soup) (available in Spanish)
Stir-Fry with Chicken and Noodles (available in Spanish)
West African Peanut Soup (available in Spanish)