As the school year approaches, the importance of being able to assemble quick and easy snacks becomes increasingly important. Whether the snacks are there to eat during the day, or to help transition from school to after school activities, or to tide someone over till dinner, having healthy snacks can keep kids (and adults) in a better mood, keep them energized, and give them nutrients throughout the day. Protein and snack bars are a great choice, but they can be expensive, can contain ingredients you may not want in the house, or the wrapper can pile up in your car in the chaos. Homemade snack bars can be a healthy way to ensure you have snacks that are tailored to your family’s taste and needs and share in activity time once a week when you make them. To make snack bars, all you need is a large pan, and some of them can be made as no-bake recipes.
Here are some snack bar ingredients you can buy in bulk to reduce costs:
- chocolate chips
- dried fruit
- peanut butter
- maple syrup
- sugar or sugar substitute (coconut sugar is a great option!)
- honey (in some locations)
Directions for homemade snack bars:
- For added flavor, toast your nuts and oats in a toaster oven (or at 350° Fahrenheit in your oven) for 8 to 10 minutes. This step is optional.
- Boil honey or maple syrup, butter, and the sugar or sugar substitute, for one minute.
- Mix everything in a bowl.
- Flatten into a pan and refrigerate.
- When cool, cut to size and store in baggies or cling wrap.
Have a fruit fiend in your family? Try these other snack bar recipes!
- Berry Burst: dried blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, fresh pomegranate seeds (for the burst!), almonds
- Tropical Chill: dried pineapple, mango, oranges, white chocolate chips, pistachios, and coconut flakes
- Cranberry Crunch: dried cranberries, cashew nuts, peanuts, diced apples, cinnamon
Chocolate Crazy? We have snack bar ideas for that too!
- Cocoa Crazy: chocolate chips, almonds, dried cherries, marshmallows (optional)
- Peanut-Butter Chocolate Time: chocolate chips, peanut butter, dried blueberries, cashews
- Dessert Bar: chocolate chip variety chips (white, dark, milk chocolate), dried strawberries, coconut flakes, almonds
Finally, here are some snack bar recipes to celebrate the changing seasons:
- Fall: dried apples, dried cranberries, cinnamon, almonds, cloves
- Winter: dried cherries, white chocolate, cashews, mint flakes
- Spring: dried raspberries, pistachios, lemon juice, chocolate chips
- Summer: peanut butter, almonds, dried blueberries, dried blackberries
Of course, mixing and matching is encouraged! What are your favorite snack bar recipes?
Need more snack ideas? Click here: 4 Fun and Affordable Snacks
By: Bethany Verrett