Peanut butter is the ultimate kid food. From sandwiches made with little jammy hands to apple slices dipped into a creamy mess, peanut butter makes up its own kid food group. Unfortunately, right now we are in the midst of a major peanut butter recall. It's on the news all the time and grocery store shelves have gaping holes where peanut butter items once sat. Even dog treats are being recalled.
But families should take heart. Except for a few brands of peanut butter I have never heard of (such as King Nut and Parnell’s Pride), the recall is mainly for processed foods made with a mass-produced peanut butter paste. According to the FDA's web site, "Major national brands of jarred peanut butter found in grocery stores are not affected by the PCA recall." This is why jars of peanut butter still sit ready for purchase at your local store. From Jif and Peter Pan to organic creamy and crunchy, those jars are still available and deemed safe by the FDA for consumption. If you don't believe me, listen to Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA.
But what do you do if your kids love peanut butter granola bars -- which are definitely on the recall list --like mine do? Each week I break my no-trash lunch rule and buy individually wrapped Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars because my kids just can't get enough of them. They are the preferred treat for snack time after recess, and I like that they give my daughters both protein and carbs, which in turn gives them the energy to continue sitting and learning until lunch arrives. Yes, I hate the wrappers, but what's one little wrapper (each), I ask myself?
Well, those granola bars disappeared from our pantry and my daughters lunches after the recall was announced. I tried to substitute their favorite treat with everything from yogurt and granola, to blueberry breakfast bars (more wrappers!) and extra fruit. After a couple of weeks of having my kids doggedly ask each morning if they could have their favorite peanut butter granola bar -- "Is the recall over Mommy?" -- I gave up and decided to make them myself. I had a large jar of organic peanut butter sitting in my refrigerator. We'd made our way through about a 1/3 of it by the time the recall was announced, so I knew it was safe as we'd all been eating it and no one had gotten sick. Plus it wasn't on the recall list.