You know how some people get so busy that they forget to eat? While that happens all the time to my husband Andrew and our 13-year-old son Solomon, I don’t think it’s ever once happened to me or our 11-year-old daughter Celia. Maybe it’s a low blood sugar thing, but when we get hungry, we simply must eat before we can do anything else! Consequently, I keep snacks everywhere; in my purse, my briefcase, the glove compartment of the car, and of course, on our snack shelf at home.

When hunger strikes, granola bars are the perfect on-the-go antidote, especially bars that have enough fiber and protein to keep us energized. One way to be sure that the snacks we’re eating are wholesome is to make our own. That’s why I love this recipe for easy, healthy and delicious homemade granola bars from the Meal Makeover Moms, Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex. Liz and Janice are registered dietitians and busy moms like us, so they know their recipes have to be simple to make and child-friendly.

Each of these bars, from their brand new cookbook, No Whine with Dinner, has just 200 calories, plus 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, making them ideal for on-the-go snacks, a quick breakfast, or even a healthy dessert. (To win a copy of the book, see details below.)

To win a copy of No Whine with Dinner by the Meal Makeover Moms, leave a comment below by Thursday, January 6th at 11:59 p.m. PST telling us your favorite healthy grab-and-go snack. On Friday, January 7th, we will pick one winner from the entries below using random.org. While you’re at it, subscribe to Kitchen Explorers by email to you don’t miss any of the delicious recipes and fabulous giveaways. Contest is open to anyone with a US mailing address. One entry per person, please.
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, DEANNA, AS SELECTED BY RANDOM.ORG.

Recipe: Grab-and-Go Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup spoon-size shredded wheat cereal
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 ½ cups dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, cranberries, prunes
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. Place the oats, shredded wheat, walnuts, dried fruit, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse it until the mixture is finely chopped (the fruit should be the size of a dried pea or lentil).
  3. Whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
  4. Add the oat mixture and chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  5.  

  6. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and flatten gently with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula.
  7. Bake about 18 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing into twelve 2 x 2 1/2-inch bars.

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  • mmh1

    Anyone tried it without the chocolate chips? My son doesn’t like chocolate (gasp!).

  • http://www.bridgetandlucy.wordpress.com megan

    This time of year our go to snack is a clementine orange. The girls can peel them on their own which is definitely part of the appeal :)

  • Carrie

    Apples and granola bars are my go-to snack, or Go-gurts. We go through them faster than I can keep them in the pantry.

  • http://tv.popcrunch.com Wendy

    We love hummus and crackers – super easy! My son is running through a steady supply of Clif Bars for kids, Z Bars.

  • Serena

    We are loving cheese or peanut butter filed pretzels for an easy grab and go snack – but at home we also love clementines and hummus with carrots, cucumbers, and pita chips!

  • http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com heather

    Our go-to grab and go snack is toasted almonds and walnuts + dried dates and figs. It’s a nutritious combination that’s somewhat different than the normal trail mix, and one that offers protein, carbohydrates and fiber to keep us sustained.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  • sara

    we love apple or rice cakes with peanut butter!

  • http://headant.wordpress.com Laurel

    My kids usually like to eat a piece of fruit when we are on the go, most often an apple. I don’t really snack that much.

  • Tracy

    Apples with peanut butter is our favorite snack but it’s hard when your on the go. But with an apple corer you can remove the core and replace it with peanut butter. The apple doesnt brown so uou can eat it right away or save it for later. Yum and very filling :)

  • Annie

    our favorite on-the-go snacks are granola bars and bananas! would love to win a copy of this book!

  • cassie

    Currently it’s clementines, but I also love pretzels filled with PB or crunchy granola bars

  • Sandra elsen

    My grab n go is granola bars or dried fruit.

  • Cheryl

    We love to grab string cheese sticks.

  • Cathlin Hidalgo Polvani

    We love ants on a log here. Peanut butter on a celery stick with raisin “ants”, fun and easy too!

  • heather

    Our favorite grab and go snack around here is the good old banana. Can’t beat it. It has a covering to keep it safe while traveling and the kids love ‘em.

  • Connie

    Our grab n go snack is either granola bars or dried fruit. I am going to give these bars a try. Mine are delicious, but more fattening since they have a nut butter in them. I don’t mind that for my son but it’s not good for me!

  • Jill Pilkington

    Apples and Cheese (probably the best snack out there!); Celery, PB, Raisins; Any kind of granola bar; blended yogurt smoothie in a to-go container

  • Renee

    My 2 and 4 year old love bananas or fig bars as grab and go snacks. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • mary

    these sound so good & easy thankyou :)

  • http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2011/01/04/grab-and-go-granola-bars/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Fanpage&utm_campaign=PBS+Parents taya harper

    oh my! that looks scrumpdiliacious delicious! love to get the book and feast the families bellies, not just teased with our eyes!!!

  • Tonya van Tol

    fruit leather is a fav at our house

  • Ann R.

    I like apples, carrot sticks and raisins. Thanks for the opportunity to win your book!

  • Nancy Ooms

    I like apples, orage wedges and wheat thins.

  • L. Roblin

    We love Newman’s Fig Bars – they are the best and reasonably healthy. We also snack on apple slices w/ lemon juice on them to keep them from browning. And I rely on Trader Joe’s Blueberry Bars more than I probably should!!

  • http://www.parenthacks.com Asha {Parent Hacks}

    My fave quick snack is edamame (boiled soybeans in the pod). No kidding. I stash a bag in my purse when I go to the movies and eat it instead of popcorn! Only bean my kids will happily eat.

  • Erin Zackey

    yum, those look great! bars are usually our go to snack, but we love ants on a log too!

  • Nikki Wolf

    We keep fresh fruit, granola bars, and string cheese on hand for quick grab-n-go snacks.

  • Christy Marez

    I just made this Grab and Go Granola bars and they are delicious…and my 2 year old keeps coming back for me. This is our fave snack!! :)

  • kerrie

    Our go to snack is banana with Justin’s maple almond butter. They even make it in little individual packets for when we are really on the go!!

    However — I just made these bars and WOWZERS!! They are wonderful and kid and husband approved!!
    I used chopped dates for the dried fruit and they mixed WELL with the chocolate and made them even more gooey chocolatey goodness!!!!!!

  • Rosie

    We make a granola bar that has soy protein powder in it. They are super dense and though my kids eat them, these look better. Off to bake!

  • Dawnn

    Pretzal rods or Baby carrots I buy a big bag of baby carrots and put them into small snack bags. That way, the snack is ready whenever we want it.

  • Stacey

    My kids also love any sort of granola bar to grab or pretzels – any shape.

  • Joanne K-J

    Pretzel sticks, whole grain crackers and cereal bars and squeezable apple sauce from Trader Joes all tuck easily into my handbag.

  • http://emmadunnam.blogspot.com/ christy

    My oldest daughter loves to grab a “peanut butter spoon.” Our son loves deviled eggs, and our 21 month old loves cheese sticks. They also love veggies with a little bit of ranch dip.

  • El

    What do you suggest as an alternative spice for the cinnamon?

  • Lisa

    My son Gus (age 7) loves any kind of fruit, and my son Sol (age 4) will eat carrots every day. Thats their grab and go snack. I alwasy have those in the car when I pick them up from school. My daughter munches frozen peas, steamed broccoli and rice puffs for her snacks. She’s 16 months old. These granola bars look good, I like that theres protein in them. I will try them!

  • Katie Self

    We like fruit, granola bars, or raisins

  • Jeannene B

    We love the snack packs of Annie’s snacks, freeze dried fruit and of course fresh fruit.

  • Deanna

    We like to snack on apples and almonds.

  • Janice

    Apples, bananas, clementines and yogurt are our go-to snacks. Staying on schedule with meals helps keep things predictable, but having lots of fruit handy helps satisfy the in-between hunger pangs.

  • Angela

    freeze dried fruit for my toddler, lara bar for me!

  • RLC

    Careful of the dried fruit you use! Many of the ones you buy at the grocery store have added sugar, try a healthfood market to get fruit the way nature intended.

  • Keli

    These sound delicious, I can’t wait to try them!!

  • April Kegley

    We love apples or granola bars in our house.

  • Amber

    One of our favorites is a cheese stick wrapped with a piece of turkey (lunchmeat). My kids love snacking from their own little boxes of raisins too. : )

  • Lori

    We love to snack on triscuit thin crisps, cheddar cheese and apple slices.

  • aubrey

    pears – my girls can’t get enough

  • Lori

    We tend to eat raisins and bunny friends crackers. Would love to try these out!

  • Alyssa

    Mmm can’t wait to try those! Favorite snacks on the go for me and my 3 year old: Lara bars and fruit bars (Nature Valley are my favorite or Trader Joes Fig), bananas, dried fruit and nuts, string cheese, sesame sticks, cheerios, fish crackers or cheddar bunnies

  • Kirsten

    Apples or bananas are my on-the-go snack

  • http://katesconsideredlife.blogspot.com Kate E.

    Fruit – clementines, grapes, bananas, pears – is the favorite in our house, but we also love flavored rice cakes!

  • Annette

    I am never without pretzels in my purse (for the me or the kids). But my boys have really taken to whole apples as an on the go snack. I took them apple picking this past fall and now they ask for them whole all the time.

  • Aubrey K

    We grab Go-gurts or dried fruit. And this time of year clementines are perfect. I’ve been looking for a good granola recipe and can’t wait to try this.

  • Kristy

    We like fruit since there is no trash to be left in the truck as well as they always keep water bottles with them.

  • LibbyB

    My son’s favorite on-the-go snack is cherry tomatoes. In the winter I have a washed container he can pick from in the fridge and in the summer time, he likes to pick them right off the vine while he is outside playing.

  • Amanda

    I have found that my boys love trail mix. I can’t keep it stocked, about every other week I’m making a big batch and tossing new things in for the boys (1 & 3) to try. Their favorite is te banana chips :)

  • Katie

    What is the nutritional content of these if you leave out the nuts, or substitute sunflower seeds? We have peanut and tree nut allergies in our house, so cannot use nuts. It is much harder to get protein without the nuts! Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  • Carrie

    English cucumbers (partially peeled
    make them pretty and more appealing to little kids) and red peppers – our healthy snack of choice!

  • http://www.howcanigetpregnant.org/ Angie

    I’ve gotten my kids into some real “healthy snacks,” which I’m really happy about because most of the “snacks” I see people are corn+sugar+corn+sugar+etc.

    One thing my kids really love is cubed heirloom tomatoes with chopped basil, olive oil, a little balsamic and salt. They think its funny that the tomatoes are different colors, and I think if they grow up eating food like this they’ll be happier and not addicted to sugar later.