Joyce Barnett, a registered clinical dietitian at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says parents don't necessarily need to reach for the cold cuts as a source of protein if their child's school has banned peanut butter because it can cause an allergic reaction in some children.
"Spreads made from other nuts or seeds provide a nutritious alternative to peanut butter," Barnett says in a statement.
Alternatives to peanut butter include:
-- Almond butter is high in protein and is a great source of potassium. Research has shown that almonds, which are tree nuts, can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as total cholesterol levels.
-- Soy nut butter is made from soybeans and has as much fiber as peanut butter. It's free of peanuts and tree nuts, but children with soy allergies should avoid it.
-- Sunflower seed butter is free of peanuts and tree nuts. A two-tablespoon serving provides more than one-third of a child's daily magnesium and vitamin E requirements.