I love peanut butter. I always have.
As a kid, I refused to eat anything else for lunch. It had to be a peanut butter sandwich. My mom always threw an apple in my lunch box, a granola bar, a few cookies, and a thermos of juice. That was all I needed.
Now that I am an adult, I still prefer to have some toast for lunch topped with some creamy peanut butter. I cut up an apple, pour myself a glass of water or juice, and I am good to go.
Of course, I can’t have this lunch at work. Schools have been peanut-free zones for as long as I have been teaching. It’s due to the severe food alergies that a very small portion of school age children have.
I am sure glad that I am not a kid in this day and age. I don’t know what my mom could have possibly packed me for lunch. I begged my mom to make me a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day. She’d suggest other things, thinking I needed a variety. I really didn’t. Peanut butter is healthy and combined with my apple and juice, I had a balanced lunch every day.
Now, there are a few alternatives to peanut butter on the market. I was excited to try out these products for a few different reasons. First, peanut butter is a low-cost lunch food. It is something that you can keep in the cupboard and always have on standby.
These peanut butter alternatives are pretty good. Many of them look and smell like peanut butter. It’s a perfect solution for all the parents out there who need a cheap and easy lunch food item. Right?
The problem is that this fake peanut butter is too close to the real thing. And in order for schools to be completely safe for the small population who suffer from food alergies, some schools have decided to ban these totally non-harmful alternatives.
I don’t think that is fair. I think we need to educate students, parents, and the community at large about what is and what isn’t acceptable to bring to school, either in a lunch bag, or for a classroom snack.
Food alergies are scary. There is no doubt about that. But I don’t think banning peanuts or anything resembling them is the answer.
What do you think?
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