Food Allergy Experience

Peanut Butter or Sunbutter?

T + Pb&J

Well I headed out of town to visit family over the past weekend. I’m sure anyone who battles with any serious allergies understands, travelling takes a lot of planning. Visualize every restaurant as a building filled with not food but explosive mines. First off there’s no convenient food source. Secondly, the common food sources for everyone else is potentially deadly to your son. These are the major reasons why we don’t travel as often as we used to. This small trip was nice because it was just me and my little T. With no allergy issues in tow, we were able to eat freely for the most part. We still had to be careful because she wanted to use his car seat. Such a silly little peanut.

Anyway we were able to visit one of my favorite eating spots in the Quad Cities. A place called Arthur’s Garden Deli. My wife and I used to go there every time we visited my family. After the discovery of my son’s allergies, our visits there pretty much stopped. Can’t very well go to a deli and not expect to have some sort of bread and cheese scattered all about.

I ordered one of my favorite sandwiches (ham & pepperoni with the works) and T ordered a PB&J kids meal. We got some additional items and she found us a booth to eat at. As we were enjoying our meal and she was talking more than eating as usual, I noticed that she had finished her chips and chocolate milk but her PB&J was close to untouched. As with every meal, I urged her to finish up. It was one of her favorite sandwiches after all. I asked her, “Why don’t you finish your peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It’s your favorite”. She quickly replied, “It tastes funny”.

At that point it occurred to me that she hasn’t had an actual peanut butter and jelly sandwich in… A very long time. It’s always been sunbutter even though we still term it as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Forcing her to finish her supper would be no better than me being forced to eat a grilled daiya cheese sandwich. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just the conflicting information in the brain and taste buds. For me Daiya Cheese tells my brain that it’s not cheese while my taste buds tell me it’s cheese but it’s cheese that’s gone bad. Does that make any sense? It’s like the uncanny valley in a food sense. Too close to the real thing but not quite good enough.

T & yogurt

Long story… long. I didn’t make her finish her sandwich. I let her have her dessert. She picked strawberry frozen yogurt with gummi bears for a topping. Way to go little T. Way to go 🙂



  1. We’ve been calling them Peanut Butter & Jelly, too. I call it sun butter when we’re just talking about the sun butter, but I always forget when I say PB&J. I hope it doesn’t lead to confusion for him down the road. We’ll see.

    • The Aller-Dad

      True I hope it doesn’t lead to confusion. I’ve tried breaking myself of that habit but it’s been difficult. PB&J just rolls off the tongue. SB&J, not so much. Both my little T and mighty M need to be clear on what they are eating and what he can’t eat. It’s a learning and teaching process I guess.

  2. I don’t eat peanut butter for allergy reasons. I use sunbutter and cashew butter but still call the sandwich a PB&J.

  3. I used to eat SoyNut Butter on rice bread (I’m also gluten-free) so I’d call it my “fake PB&J.” I’d never even heard of SunNut Butter! Since I just found out that I’m allergic to soy, I didn’t know that there were really any options left for my fake PB&Js. I’m so glad that you mentioned it! 🙂


    • Sunbutter has been Godsent in our house! Do try it 🙂

      • I’m going to order it! So excited to have a new fake peanut butter option! 😀


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