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Honey-Peanut Butter Granola Bars

| 11/21/2019 10:18:00 AM


Like most moms, I am always on the lookout for new after-school snack ideas that are nutritionally better choices for my kids. Once they’re off the bus, all my son and daughter want to do is drop their book bags, wash their hands, get something to eat, and relax. They prefer the grab-and-go snacks that don’t require a lot of effort while taking a little time to unwind.

Sure, I’ve done the veggie sticks and cheese and cracker bowls. And I’ve served apple slices and peanut butter. After a while, however, don’t we all get a little sick of eating strict snacks and just want to indulge in a good, old-fashioned brownie? I know I do. But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?), we can’t eat like that every day.

Granola bars kind of straddle the fence of healthy snack and dessert. Because so many commercially made bars are available with caramel, chocolate, nuts, pretzels, and the like, it seems like they have become more of a treat. If you take a quick peak at the nutrition facts on the packaging, you can find some of these bars are close to 300 calories.

And don’t get me started on those other ingredients, like high-fructose, genetically modified corn syrup, maltodextrin, and soy or canola oils. And I also realize that some of these bars are marketed as meal-replacement options, and are full of added vitamins and minerals and whatever else those hard-to-pronounce ingredients are. Honestly, have any of you ever dropped $2-plus on one of these bars, eaten it as a meal and felt totally full and like you made a healthy choice? I know I haven’t. And to me, they leave a weird, medicinal taste in my mouth, and I’d rather just eat a chocolate chip cookie and call it a day.

However, there are some redeeming qualities of granola bars, such as whole grain oats, which are gluten-free and packed with soluble fiber. Oats are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1, iron, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. Dried fruit, such as cranberries, contains vitamin C, and nuts and nut butters provide a protein punch. So, I’m not saying we should join in a granola bar boycott by any means. 

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