Break Traditions, Keep The Law (with energy bite recipe!)

I don’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When I was a kid, I liked peanut butter sandwiches, hold the jelly. I also don’t like sweet tea, and I grew up in Georgia (apologies to my Southern friends)!

Kids don’t seem to care about conforming to culture’s tastes. “All of your friends are eating broccoli!” I try and tell my two-year-old daughter. She asks for more cheese instead.

Jesus consistently talks about the kingdom of God belonging to children. Young children know what they like. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Jesus demonstrates this child-like identity when He rejects the traditions of the Pharisees:

"As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside?  So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.” Luke 11:37-40 NLT

The Pharisees were “amazed” to see that Jesus didn’t comply with their hand-washing custom. They were too caught up in their own man-made traditions to embrace God-ordained laws of love and generosity. 

Jesus didn’t try and fit in with the Pharisees. He intentionally skipped the whole hand-washing ritual to show them a different way: God’s way. 

Break Bread, Bread Traditions

I want to show my daughter in the simplest way possible that it’s okay to break traditions, starting with the classic PB&J. 

It wasn’t until my twenties that I realized gluten and peanuts were like poison to my body, so I had to find a new way; a new PB&J recipe that respected my God-given body.

My little girl loves to help make these bites with me. And the best part is, they are safe for both of us: no knives for her, no gluten or peanuts for me. We think you’ll like them too.

Almond Butter And Jelly Bites (gluten-free)


•   1/2 cup Protein powder (can sub flax seed meal or shredded coconut)

•   1/2 cup Almond butter

•   1/2 cup Chopped almonds

•   1/3 cup Organic strawberry jam

•   1/3 cup Dried cranberries


Recipe Book Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Wet hands, roll into tiny bite-sized balls, and store in fridge. 


Real Life Instructions for those with small helpers:

1. Put helper in child-proof stand.

2. Give spoon to helper as you add ingredients to bowl.

3. Add more ingredients as half of the the recipe spills on counter and gets smashed under helpers’ socks.

4. Encourage helper to start mixing and quit sampling.

5. Take a deep breath and let the mess happen. You can clean it up afterwards.

6. Wet hands with water. Show helper how to roll batter into tiny balls (like play dough).

7. Remind helper not to lick the spoon and put it back into the batter (warn others that this batch has been contaminated by toddler drool).

8. Make two bites. Put into container in the fridge.

9. High-five helper and eat the rest of the batter with a spoon.


The funny thing is, I think I’m breaking tradition by remaking the classic PB&J. But after we’re done making these remix bites, I realize my daughter is the one teaching me the lesson.

It’s not about hand-washing and keeping the kitchen clean. It’s about loving the other person in the mess. It’s about laughing while throwing Craisins into our mouths, kissing the almond butter off of her arm, putting my hand over hers as we clean up together.

It’s not only about breaking tradition in the kitchen, but keeping God’s laws of love in life.  Breaking tradition, like breaking bread, can be health for the body and refreshment to the bones.


For Deeper Thought and Discussion

Do you have a family favorite recipe you have adapted to make your own?

In what ways do you break traditions to keep God’s laws of love?