A breakfast bar is a quick and easy breakfast for kids, but the nutritional value of commercial bars is often questioned by parents and health experts. According to Kaboose, many of these packaged bars are high in sugar, don't contain real fruit and aren't made with whole grains as many claim to be. However, many bars can be prepared right at home that are lower in sugar and higher in nutrients--better for a child's breakfast.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars
According to Cooks.com, this breakfast bar made with peanut butter, bananas and oatmeal provides a serving of bread, fruit and protein and half a serving of dairy. The bananas provide potassium, which is important for healthy blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The peanut butter supplies protein, which supports healthy muscles, and the oats provide fiber, a nutrient that can help your child feel full until lunchtime. To prepare the bars, mash two bananas and combine with one cup of dry oatmeal, 2/3 cup of dry milk, 1/4 cup of chunky peanut butter, 4 tsp. of honey, 1 tsp. each of baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and 2 tsp. of vanilla. Spread on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. This recipe serves four children.
Apricot Walnut Cereal Bars
With only honey and dried fruit to sweeten them, Eating Well's Apricot Walnut bars make a nutritious breakfast. To prepare the bars, bake three cups of old-fashioned rolled oats and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts at 350 degrees for eight to 10 minutes. Then mix them with three cups of unsweetened puffed grain cereal, two cups of chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and a 1/2 tsp. of salt. Separately puree 12 oz. of silken tofu with one egg, 1/2 cup of canola oil, one cup of honey, 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract and 2 tbsp. of freshly grated lemon zest. Fold the oat mixture into the tofu mixture and spread on a large baking sheet that has been greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. The 16 servings in this bar provide a healthy dose of fiber that will help keep your child's digestion regular. In addition, the vitamins in the apricots promote healthy immunity, and the heart-healthy fats in the walnuts keep your child's cholesterol at desirable levels.
Muesli Breakfast Bars
According to Kidspot.com, muesli bars are an easy snack to drop into your kids' lunch boxes but they can be expensive - and full of sugar, fat and who knows what else! Try making these healthy homemade muesli bars instead - your kids won't taste the difference. To make these bars you will need these ingredients:½ cup (125mL) honey,¼ cup caster sugar, 125g butter, 3 cups rolled oats (see note for gluten-free option), 1 cup Rice Bubbles, 1 cup sultanas, ½ cup chopped apricots, dates or choc chips, ½ cup desiccated coconut, ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), sunflower or sesame seeds. To prepare preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a slice tray (mine is 31 cm x 22cm) with baking paper. Combine honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over the hot syrup and stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan and press firmly to make sure the mixture will stick together. I wet my fingers with a bit of cold water and press the top to get a smooth finish. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool and then refrigerate until well chilled and cut into 24 slices (about 2cm x 6cm).