Peanut butter and banana is the new PB&J! This quick and easy banana and peanut butter snack can also be a dessert.
The natural sweetness of the banana perfectly complements the savory, sticky peanut butter. Your kids will be asking for more and you’ll be asking how something so simple and delicious can be healthy, too!
Peanuts Aren’t Actually Nuts!
Did you know that peanuts are actually legumes? However, due to their higher fat content, they’re often classified as a nut. Either way, these little nut-legumes (or “groundnuts,” as they’re formally known) date back to the ancient Incas of Peru. (3) Peanuts were offered up to the sun God in religious ceremonies. We should all bow down to the benefits of peanuts!
Nutrition of Peanuts
Peanuts contain all essential amino acids, which are important for muscle, hormone, and neurotransmitter development – ie stronger muscles and better-functioning brains. (3) Although, it’s a myth that elephants eat peanuts, it’s not surprising that peanuts were associated with such a strong and intelligent animal.
Pair that peanut butter with some potassium-rich banana and a glass of milk and you’re on your way to genius-status. The American Medical Association has even called the humble banana a “superfood” for its nutritional profile. The banana is bountiful in potassium – one medium-sized banana contains 420 mg of potassium. (2) The recommended adequate intake for children ages 4-8 is 2,300mg. Different ages have different recommended potassium intakes. (1). Potassium offsets excessive dietary sodium, so it functions as a natural regulator of blood pressure.
Green vs. Yellow Bananas
The color of bananas goes beyond simple aesthetics. The nutritional profile changes depending on how green or yellow it is. Ripened bananas (yellow with some brown spots) are gentler on the digestion and more easily absorbed. The more yellow the banana, the more the starches have been broken down to sugar. This is why yellow bananas taste sweeter the yellower they get. (4)
By pairing nutrient-dense peanut butter with banana – a higher carbohydrate fruit – the fiber in the peanuts naturally regulates blood sugar. This ensures that your child will be fueled for the days’ activities ahead without an energy-crash later in the day!
See how this banana and peanut butter snack fits into a sample day of meals for a 5-year-old!
Peanut Butter Bananas and Milk
- 1 medium banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- ½ low-fat/nonfat milk or lactose free unsweetened soymilk
- Peel one banana and spread peanut butter across one side
- Slice into ½ inch rounds and enjoy!
- Serve with a side of milk, or blend it all together for another shake option.