Today I’m sharing our famous homemade granola bar recipe! This easy snack for kids has been a favorite recipe on Kitchen Stewardship for a long time and we are excited to show you how simple it is!
This recipe can be adapted to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free. Plus we have a magic re-toasting trick to make your bars stay together without crumbling at all.
I get at least 20 good-sized bars from this recipe. I figure it might be the equivalent of 3 boxes of Quaker chewy granola bars, so even though butter and honey are on the pricey side, this still works out to be nicely frugal and so much healthier than storebought.
Easy Snacks for Kids (Made by Kids)
Many people are surprised that you can whip up homemade granola bars as easily as a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies. There are endless variations to this recipe, and I can almost guarantee it will become a family favorite!
In fact, there are even more tips to save time if you combine making these bars with making a batch of our healthy crunchy homemade granola.
Let’s see what your kids can do with this simple snack recipe – either the making or the eating!!
“Mooooom, I’m hungry!!”
How many times do your kids ask for snacks each day? Wouldn’t it be a relief if they were empowered to prepared their own snacks, instead of coming to you and whining about how hungry they are?
Download and print:
Can’t see the video? Click to watch “Kids Cooking: Granola Bars” on YouTube.
Healthy Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
- 1 c. butter, ghee, coconut oil or palm shortening, softened
- 1 c. honey
- 4 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Add-ins to equal 2 cups total:
- Lightly butter a 9”×13” glass pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, honey, and vanilla. Tip: If your butter isn’t softened, use a rolling pin and roll it between two sheets of wax paper, or mash it with your hands while in the wrapper. Our secret. 😉
- Add the oats, flour, and baking soda. Beat well until combined.
- Stir in add-ins by hand.
- Press mixture hard into pan. (You can use your hands!)
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 15-22 minutes until just golden brown on the edges. You will think they are too soft. They are not. Just remind yourself that there’s not even any egg in the recipe, so you can’t hurt anybody if you underbake.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in the pan before removing and serving. Store at room temperature or freeze.
Our Magic Trick for Crunchy Bars: Spread a full batch onto a large cookie sheet or a half batch in a 9×13 pan. Press firmly and bake as usual. Cool completely and cut apart, then spread individually on a baking sheet or stone and toast again for ~10-13 minutes in a preheated 325F oven. Watch carefully for browning on the edges. Now, listen closely – do not touch. Got that? Wait until the bars are totally and completely cooled on the pan before removing, and you will have sturdy, crunchy granola bars to die for.
For Stickier, Chewier Granola Bars: Melt the butter, honey, and vanilla in a saucepan and cook on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mix the liquid ingredients into the dry.
Some of Our Favorite Granola Bar Variations
- Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and skip the chocolate chips – or double up on chocolate!
- Nutty Butter: Use 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunbutter in place of 1/2 cup of butter – divine!
- Gluten-free: Just sub GF all-purpose flour for the whole wheat and it works acceptably, but more crumbly. Another option is to use a cup of mixed sorghum and brown rice flour plus a teaspoon of xanthan gum.
- Dairy-free: Coconut oil works fine in place of butter, especially in the nut butter versions.
- High protein: Add up to 1/2 cup of collagen peptides to the recipe to pump up the protein and other benefits!
- Less sweetener: Honey is expensive and the “unhealthy” ingredient in this recipe. When you heat the honey, you can definitely cut it down by at least 1/3 cup and everything still holds together. I also had success substituting natural applesauce for up to 1/2 cup honey, but the resulting bars weren’t very sweet. The chocolate chips were a necessity.
Originally adapted from a recipe in Faith and Family Magazine.
Paleovalley Meat Sticks
It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:
- 100% Grass-Fed Beef & 100% Pasture-Raised Turkey
- Never given antibiotics or hormones
- Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
- 0 grams of sugar*
- Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
- Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!
*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.
These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.
Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!
Find more cooking videos for kids here!
If you had fun with this recipe, check out our online cooking course!
What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector
2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids
Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.
3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:
About Katie Kimball
Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.
Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.
A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.