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  • Writer's pictureGuest Blogger

WIC doesn’t supply jelly…or does it!?!! (Kind of!)

by Melissa from Michigan


Whose kid doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sammy!?

Okay, so maybe some kids don’t, but maybe this technique will change their mind! Apple jelly? No problem! — if you can find the flavor in your favorite juice, you can make it into your new favorite jelly.


First of all, WIC doesn’t supply jelly “per se,” but you might get peanut butter, bread, fruit juice, and fresh fruit — and that’s all you need to make a delicious (and healthy) PB&J.


That being said, this is also a great way to utilize any excess peanut butter or juice from your WIC benefits.


Breakfast and lunch, alike, will be that much more fun with a little plop of freshly made fruit jelly or preserves! Add it to toast, oatmeal, or wherever else you’d like a splash of zesty sweet delight!

Uniquely shaped silicone molds make eating toast so much fun! Use themed mini molds for holidays. You can usually find the molds at the dollar store.


As always — use what you have on hand! Fun and healthy eating and prep should never be out of reach. I had some small food storage containers and grabbed a pack of small single serve storage containers from the dollar store.


Keep in mind, the kids can help with the first part, but make sure to keep them safe once you move into the parts including the cooking.


My kids (2 and 3 years old) enjoyed measuring and pouring the ingredients. Little did they know, they were strengthening their math skills! We counted 1, 2, and 3 cups of juice, all while tuning up those fine motor skills and getting in some sensory play.

Be ready for spills! Don’t sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and they’re going to be so proud when their confection is ready to eat (in 4+ hours).


Once everything was measured, I sent the kiddos on their merry way!!


I found that it’s best to use all heat-proof bowls and utensils as the fluid will be very hot. Using vessels with pouring spouts also made the job much easier.


The great thing about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is that the whole grains from your bread, fiber from your fruit and protein from your peanut butter work together to create a balanced meal or snack.


I used up the ends of 3 different containers of juice: cherry, watermelon, and orange. For my gelatin, I just used a simple pack of Great Value.


My kids loved being able to use their creativity to come up with their own unique jelly flavors. We’re going to try apple jelly next, and will be doing this for a long time to come!


2-Ingredient Fruit Juice Jelly

INGREDIENTS

4 cups fresh or pre-made fruit juice (aside from mango, papaya, and pineapple, any kind -- pulpy or not -- will work)

2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place 1 cup juice in a glass bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin.

2. Pour 3 cups juice into pot.


**Remove kiddos from kitchen**


3. Bring pot of juice to a boil.

4. Pour boiling juice over gelatin-juice mixture, and stir until gelatin dissolves completely.

5. Pour into containers.

6. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.


Things to note:

  • You could easily use a microwave if need be. Just place the 3 cups of juice in a microwave safe container and watch for a boil. Use caution when removing as it will be very hot.

  • The setting time given is for ramekin size containers; large containers will need to be refrigerated for longer. I'd recommend making them the day before to avoid any unset jelly dramas.

  • To get the jelly to come out of more complicated molds, butter the molds (as you would a cake tin). You’ll find you need to use very little warming to get them to come out.

  • You can halve the recipe to make a small batch, which also will take less time to cool down and gel.

To Store in Freezer:

Place your freezer-proof container of jelly in the freezer and store until you’re ready to use.

Make sure to thaw your jelly thoroughly!! Check for any solid pieces as they can become choking hazards for young children.


Homemade Uncrustables

INGREDIENTS

2 or more slices of bread

peanut butter

jelly or jam


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Line up your bread, and make your sandwich as usual, but make sure to spread a thin layer of peanut butter on both slices of bread (this is the secret trick!).


2. Add your jam, jelly or fruit preserves to the middle of the bread. Top with second slice of bread.


3. Seal the sandwiches by smashing the edges together with a fork, removing crusts (use in other recipes later) if preferred. Or if you’re feeling fancy, there are plenty of sandwich cutters and sealers on the market.


To Store in Freezer:

1. Flash freeze for two hours by placing sandwiches spread out on a cookie sheet in the freezer.


2. Once frozen, remove from cookie sheet and package sammies either in a large ziplock or multiple smaller sized ziplocks.


3. To thaw: will be ready by lunch when removed from freezer in the morning, or thaw for 10-20 seconds in microwave.

 

This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Melissa.


About Melissa. . .

Melissa is a social media copywriter, Mother to an amazing 19 year old son, foster Mother of 7 years, and adoptive Mother of 3 Littles all under 4!! She enjoys creative writing, floral design and outdoor recreation in her free time.

Read Melissa's other post:

 

Want more activities to do with your children? Check out our free lesson called Happy, Healthy, Active Children in the Keeping Your Family Healthy category. Visit us at www.wichealth.org today!


Do you have ideas to keep kids active? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!

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