Someone searched on my blog asking why their toddler takes apart the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have no way to answer questions that are not in comments, so on the chance they will see a new blog, here is my answer.
It seems to me the obvious reason is so they can lick the jelly. Toddlers are very smart and know what tastes the best. Jelly will win over protein any day. Another reason is just that it’s there and they can see it has a seam or a fold. Curiosity and disassembling things are in the toddler’s DNA.
Here are some tips that help: Put a little peanut butter on both pieces of bread, then add a thin spread of jelly. If they lick the jelly, they will at least get some peanut butter from each side. If they are just starting to feed themselves, cut the sandwich into bite size pieces. Sometimes they will eat the whole little square.
Don’t put the peanut butter on too thickly.
Let them get messy. Don’t wipe hands after each bite. Clean up at the end.
See other tips in Chapter Eight of my book Handbook to Joy-Filled Parenting