gluten free recipes for kids



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Healthy No Bake Snack Bars

Hello Super Healthy Kid fans! I’m one of you… I adore Super Healthy kids and have been a longtime reader. With four very young children I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and great ideas on ways to feed them well. I blog over at Bless this Mess where I share a glimpse of our happy small town life, budding hobby farm, and lots of family friendly recipes. My most popular post is a two week clean and healthy meal plan that is very realistic and family friendly. I thought you all might enjoy it too!

Today I’m sharing one of our very favorite snacks- healthy no-bake snack bars. They taste a whole lot like a peanut butter cup and my kids love them. You can’t beat how easy, healthy, and simply they are. They also store great! These are a perfect lunch box treat. I also love having them on hand for those times I need a treat terribly but know that I don’t really need a treat. They are perfect craving busters.

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Don’t let the dates scare you. They are kind of an odd ingredient but very easy to find (I get Medjool dates at Costco) and are a great natural sugar. I promise you’ll never know that you are eating dates once they are all mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Just don’t forget to take out the pits. The first time I used them I sure did and almost ruined my food processor! Date pits are hard as rocks. Oops.

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Thanks so much for having me and enjoy these simple but extra tasty bars.

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We keep up with Melissa on

Healthy No Bake Snack Bars


  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used natural peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Toss everything into a food processor and process until the mixture starts to go smooth and clump into a ball. The dates will be all chopped up but you'll still have bits of nut.

Turn the mixture out into an 8 or 9 inch square dish lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the dish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the bars from the pan and cut into pieces using a sharp knife. Enjoy these bars cold or frozen. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.


I think a high power blender could be used to make these, but I haven't tried it myself.

This recipe was adapted and inspired by Almond Joy Bars from One Lovely Life

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08/30/2014 8:47am
A Larabar with chocolate! I've had a non-chocolate version of these, and they are not only super yummy, but super easy to make. Can't wait to add chocolate!
08/30/2014 9:01am
Could another type of nut be used instead of cashews? I'm extremely allergic
08/30/2014 11:17am
I have made these without nuts. I just added extra coconut and flax seeds!! You could also use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. If you want to substitute with a different nut, pecans are a similar consistency and a suitable replacement for cashews.
08/30/2014 11:18am
I've made raw brownies that is a similar recipe and it calls for walnuts. However if you have a nut allergy you could try sunflower seeds maybe.
08/30/2014 11:22am
Pecans are wonderful in these as well
08/30/2014 11:22am
Pecans are wonderful in these as well
08/30/2014 11:41am
yes, almonds and peanuts work really well. Pecans seem to be a little more oily so don't use them.
08/30/2014 9:14am
Ugh - dates I knew it. I will pass on this one.
08/30/2014 10:49am
Thank you- I've been looking for something just like this!
08/30/2014 12:31pm
PLEASE DO NOT Say that these are a lunchbox treat. They contain nuts. Most schools are nut,free.
Andrea Steele
08/30/2014 3:50pm
You don't have to add nuts!!
08/31/2014 8:43am
I live in Manatee county in Florida and do not have one nut free school.Come to think of it there are none in the next county over. I am sure the parents(or they should) know not to put these in there kid's lunch boxes if not allowed. Also, you do not have to add nuts...there are plenty of substitutions mentioned. Have fun and be safe! :)
08/31/2014 4:32pm
I live in Manatee county in Florida and do not have one nut free school.Come to think of it there are none in the next county over. I am sure the parents(or they should) know not to put these in there kid's lunch boxes if not allowed. Also, you do not have to add nuts...there are plenty of substitutions mentioned. Have fun and be safe! :)
Sherry Johnson
09/24/2014 8:54am
All schools across Canada are NUT Free! I need to substitute the nut butter in the recipe not just the nuts. Any suggestions. Actual suggestions and not the ridiculous debate about schools, thank you.
08/31/2014 3:41pm
Most schools are not 'nut free' - PLEASE DO NOT tell someone how to write their own posts. If your kid has nut allergies YOU need to make sure that THEY and THEIR CARETAKERS know how serious it is for them to not come into contact with anyone else's food. Otherwise YOU are being irresponsible in parenting because sooner or later they will walk out of your bubble and something terrible can happen. As a parent of a child with allergies you can't act like no one else's kid can have what your kid is allergic to. And don't say kids don't listen-kids that haven't been taught to listen don't listen. BTW-They look delicious!
09/24/2014 10:26am
Try Nutiva Coconut Manna, Artisana Coconut Butter or an avocado. You are just trying to replace the fat in the recipe. Enjoy!
Crystal W.
09/24/2014 5:45pm
Lol...I live in Canada and the school my kids go to is NOT nut free. Don't be spreading lies! Check your facts. My kids take nuts and peanut butter to school. This recipe is fantastic! Don't be a hatet!
09/25/2014 9:16am
Most schools are most certainly NOT nut free hahaha! How ridiculous! Fair enough, I'm in the UK, but I have never ever come across a school which is nut free. Or egg, or shell fish or anything else free for that matter. If a person has an allergy, it is theirs or their care givers responsibility to inform the people who will come into contact with the sufferer, of the allergies. Why would you even say this??
08/30/2014 1:19pm
Awesome! I'm always perplexed, though, how snacks with nuts are listed as being perfect for lunch boxes... who has kids that go to a school that allow peanut/nut products? Shame, as there's so many healthier treats I'd love to make but much of them can't go with my kids to school.
08/31/2014 1:26pm
Actually, lots of people. I personally live in a country where nut allergies are almost unheard of and kids get peanuts and sesame as first foods. ( the current science actually supports this- the earlier allergens are introduced the less likely allergies will develope).
09/01/2014 3:59pm
Yes I agree with and have read up on this too. Apparently you can also reverse nut alleges through very careful addition of minute quantities of nuts over a period of time. Wouldn't advise this though without consulting the professionals.
09/01/2014 12:15pm
My kids go to a school where the nut free moto is classroom specific. We so far have never had an issue and take peanut butter every single day.
09/02/2014 3:51pm
You could substitute WOW Butter for the peanut butter if it's available in your area. I have made "peanut butter" cookies with the WOW Butter and they turn out great. Tastes just like real peanut butter only it's safe to bring to school. My kids go to a nut-free school and it's a big pain to try to find treats that don't have nuts. If you don't have WOW Butter, i'm sure there is another product similiar.
09/24/2014 10:59am
We have Never had a nut free school. A few class rooms once or twice have asked to be careful but that is it. The have the allergy table where the kids eat. And if the allergy is bad enough to be air Bourne then the eat in the office. My kids have allergies to almost everything but nuts. So no one is taking that away too. But really if you have an issue with it anything can be subbed out. Sun butter and pumpkin seeds are great.
08/30/2014 4:15pm
I used WOW butter, the peanut butter alternative that is allowed in schools. I left out the cashews and used pumpkin seeds instead. Great!
08/31/2014 1:10am
Where do you get this WOW stuff? I don't know that my son would eat it as he already has developed a mental block against anything that tastes like PB because he has gotten sick on the real thing. So even when I tried sunflower butter, he didn't want to eat it! I wouldn't mid trying though!
08/31/2014 10:46am
09/02/2014 8:43am
There is also a product called Biscoff that you can get at Wal-Mart that it DELICIOUS and replaced peanut butter for people with peanut allergies.
08/30/2014 5:58pm
My children's school are not nut free. My sons elem school used to be but they changed it because they thought it gave a false sense of security for children with allergies because they simply could not guarantee it. They now will do peanut free zones if kids need them. These sound interesting:)
08/30/2014 9:01pm
What can i use to replace dates. Tnx
08/30/2014 9:02pm
I just made these, used peanuts instead of cashews because that's what I had on hand. My family thinks they taste just like "Almond Joy."
08/30/2014 9:22pm
Thanks for the great recipe. My kids have gone to 3 different schools and none have been peanut free. So I think there are a lot of us that could send this recipe to school. Lots of different health concerns out there, no one person could have a recipe that would be perfect for everyone.
08/30/2014 11:31pm
Looks yummy. Can I skip the cocoa? I'm allergic to chocolate :( any suggestions to substitute?
08/31/2014 5:17am
Yes you can Michelle- No substitute necessary, just leave it out.
Gee Jay
09/01/2014 6:17pm
Can you use cacao instead of cocoa? Or would this change the taste too drastically? Cocoa not so good for you!
09/02/2014 12:25pm
What about carob chips?
09/02/2014 10:21pm
Carob powder would work great.
08/31/2014 2:19am
Look great! Nothing odd about dates, they are a great ingredient!
08/31/2014 5:44am
Would desiccated coconut also work (or something else?). I don't have any shredded.
08/31/2014 6:45am
Yes Robyn- that would work as well.
08/31/2014 10:33am
We have something very similar in the UK called Nakd bars, they're lovely :) (They also don't taste particularly "date-y" ffor those concerned about the dates!)
08/31/2014 5:02pm
Helen do you have the recipe?
09/01/2014 7:58am
They're a product that's sold here, they come in lots of different flavours!
08/31/2014 1:14pm
Just made these. They are fantastic even my picky kid -the one who doesn't eat nuts, coconut, dates-loved them. My daughter told him they were a healthy brownie and he loved them. Wondering if anyone has tried oats in them? Thinking they may taste like a no bake cookie with oatmeal:)
08/31/2014 2:31pm
Can I substitute anything for coconut?
09/02/2014 8:42am
I used hemp hearts cause I had them and dislike coconut
Heather Harris
09/25/2014 9:52pm
What are hemp hearts?
09/26/2014 7:01am
Shelled hemp seeds (Heather)
09/01/2014 4:39am
Can I use raisins or sultana’s in this recipe instead of the dates…only because thats all I have on hand atm.
09/01/2014 2:18pm
I used dried figs , cutting each in about 6 pieces before processing, and mixed in a Vitamix. They were fantastic, I liked that it has no added sweetner and is high in fiber. Perfect!
Mother of five
09/01/2014 2:48pm
People you don't have to ask permission to switch things up in a recipe. It's trial and error. You might like it even better! I just used what I had on hand. I substituted craisins for dates, almonds for cashews (because I like them better) peanut butter (because I was too lazy to whip up almond butter) left over colored and sweetened coconut from a birthday cake made for my son and I used my Vitamix because I don't have a food processor. They turned out delicious! If anything they could have used bigger nut chunks like you would get using a food processor. But since I don't have one next time I would throw in some chopped almonds at the end before I put them into the pan. A delicious after school snack. ;)
09/01/2014 8:07pm
In Australia there are many nut free schools. Common sense must prevail. If your school is nut free - use an alternative. I am also a blogger and understand the complexities of sharing insights and recipes. Bagging the blogger can be demoralizing and is uncalled for. It is easy to add a positive message such as " could you please suggest an alternative for nut free schools" Thanks for reading my rant! Thanks for the recipe also - Bless This Mess :)
09/02/2014 8:41am
I used wow butter and added hemp hearts as well as the cashews and it was super yummy.
Sarah Burns
09/02/2014 10:20am
I used raw almond butter and they are awesome!!
09/04/2014 8:33am
These are great! Just made them, and bringing them to my in-laws as an after lunch treat. They are in the freezer (as i need to leave soon!) to cut down on chilling time, but I tasted the dough and they are delicious! I only had one cup of dates, so I added one cup of raisins. I also didn't have nut butter on hand (and didn't have time to make some) so instead I put in a banana! I put a little more cacao powder for extra chocolatiness :-) I love how this recipe is totally adaptable to individual tastes. I love playing with different ingredients! Maybe one time I'll stir in some dark chocolate (70% cacao) chips..... Mmmmm! Oh one thing, in case anyone else runs into this problem. Before putting the dates in the food processor, I usually will soak them for 15 minutes in warm water to soften. The ones I buy are usually soft already but I still do this as sometimes my food processor would stop because the dates got up into the blade shaft. I would have to clean it out, then try processing again. Not fun! Thanks for the great recipe!
09/09/2014 7:12am
Thanks Irene! Great advice.
Sherry Johnson
09/24/2014 9:01am
Irene, I would love your recipe... can you please post it? In Canada all schools and hospitals are nut free. If you wouldn't mind posting your version, it would help me a bunch:D Thanks so much for posting:D
09/05/2014 7:31pm
Should the cocoa be sweetened or unsweetened?
Sarah Burns
09/06/2014 9:20am
I would recommend unsweet because you are using dates.
09/24/2014 8:59am
This looks fabulous. Could you suggest an alternate ingredient in place of peanut butter and raw cashew? I'm thinking flax seed powder instead of cashew. What could I use instead of peanut butter? Sunflower see paste? Or pumpkin seed paste? I've never made pastes of them? Would it work?
09/24/2014 11:04am
My kids aren't a fan of coconut (flavor and texture for my aspie) what would be a good sub for that. Also do these have a super date like flavor? They won't eat health bars like kind or Lara bars. Thanks
09/24/2014 1:02pm
My kids don't like coconut either, but if you get it chopped up very fine and let it sit with the other ingredients for an hour or so before forming, it's not noticeable. My daughter thought they were nuts and loved it ;-)
09/24/2014 11:21am
Sunflower butter is a great substitute for peanut butter. And honey plus oats could work well for the dates (or another dried fruit). Made some "energy balls" with similar ingredients and they were gobbled up. Oats, sunflower butter, honey, flax seed, chocolate chips (enjoy life brand is allergen free), coconut, and vanilla.
Debbie Kraus
09/24/2014 11:26am
use wow butter if for a nut free school.... it is a not peanut healthy and natural substitution for peanut butter that can be sent to school.
Steven Orme
09/24/2014 3:48pm
Use raisins if you don't like dates.
jane lewis
09/24/2014 4:28pm
I would probably add some walnuts, hemp hearts, chia seeds and some jojobas ... energy bars
09/25/2014 9:58am
do you know that calorie count of these?
09/26/2014 7:04am
I don't Sue, but you can calculate it at
09/25/2014 6:04pm
These are sooooo tasty! I followed the recipe to a T, bit after refrigerating, they are crumbly. Should I add more nut butter? Not sure what I did wrong!
09/25/2014 6:47pm
These are sooooo tasty! I followed the recipe to a T, bit after refrigerating, they are crumbly. Should I add more nut butter? Not sure what I did wrong!
09/26/2014 7:04am
I don't think anything Jill- Maybe they just need to come up in temperature just a bit in order to be more pliable. I know Melissa says to eat them cold, but I like them at room temperature, and they always stay sticky.
09/26/2014 9:41am
They were crumbly. I decided to add a little water and remix them and that worked!
09/26/2014 2:28pm
My food processor doesn't seem to want to process the sticky dates…any tips
09/28/2014 6:21am
Michelle, You could try soaking them first. Have you ever done that?

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