granola bar for snacks and school lunches

How to choose a better granola bar

Carol Harrison Healthy Snack Ideas, Time and Money Savers, Tips, Yummy Lunch Club Leave a Comment


So here’s my dilemma.


I’m not a fan of promoting granola bars as a regular snack choice. Why? Despite the health halo owing to the word granola, most granola bars are sugary. Some bars have up to 15 grams or 4 teaspoons of sugar.

My big issue? When eaten regularly, granola bars take the place of healthier snacks kids need to grow and thrive. However…

Research shows kids love to eat cereal bars after school

And yes with three kids of my own I get the appeal of grab and go, won’t go bad by the end of the day choices. So how can you choose a better (note, I did not say healthy) granola bar and what else can you send for a snack?

Choose granola bars with:

  • “Whole grain” listed first on the ingredient list.
  • No more than 8 grams (that’s 2 tsp) sugar.
  •  2 or more grams each of fibre and protein to help curb hunger.
  • A clean ingredient list- the shorter the better.

7 healthier and cheaper snacks

Hands down these snacks out beat a store bought granola bar:

  1. Carrot sticks and dry whole grain cereal
  2. Apple and chunk of cheese
  3. Popcorn (it’s a whole grain) and tangerine
  4. Pear slices and sunflower seeds
  5. Fruit-yogurt smoothie in a thermos
  6. Canned fruit cup and leftover French toast cut into cubes
  7. Roasted chickpeas and pepper strips

Get my dietitian’s tips: What makes a healthy snack?

What granola bar snack alternatives can you suggest?

What other topics would you like to see covered in the FAQ’s?

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