Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bar
Be prepared for busy school mornings with a kid-friendly apple cinnamon oatmeal breakfast bar! The perfect, nourishing breakfast on the go – or grab from freezer to lunchbox for quick packing!
Another great quick breakfast we love is our Healthy Apple Muffins that also freeze really well!
Busy School Mornings
Those lazy summer mornings are gone in exchange for getting everyone out the door at an early hour equipped with backpacks, homework, lunches, and everything else kids need for school. One of our best strategies is to save hot breakfasts that require a lot of time for the weekends, and stick with quick, healthy and filling breakfasts for school days. It may be tempting to skip breakfast altogether, but this is why you shouldn’t:
After sleeping and growing during the night, kids need to refuel their bodies for the day ahead. Breakfast provides energy for the morning and eating breakfast can lead to increased classroom concentration. Can you imagine trying to participate in a science experiment or concentrate on solving a number problem with your tummy grumbling? It’s tough, especially for kids who aren’t allowed a snack at school. Breakfast is their only chance of eating prior to lunch.
Our favorite school morning breakfasts are those that are grab and go, already most prepared or those that just need a few things mixed in before they are done. These oatmeal breakfast bars definitely fit the menu of a busy school morning. Not only are they simple to make, but they are packed with good nutrition for your kids for the day!
Oatmeal Breakfast Bar
We love these bars because they have some of our favorite breakfast ingredients that really help fuel our kids. We always make them ahead of time, making them an easy grab-and-go breakfast.
Oatmeal: Oats are really well-balanced. They are a good source of carbs and fiber. They also contain more protein and fat than most grains. Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds.
Apples and Applesauce: Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. There have been so many studies performed on the health benefits of apples which is why the saying still rings true ‘An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away’!
If your kids are lighter breakfast eaters, this will fit the bill entirely for them. If they need more, you can serve it with a glass of milk, small bowl of yogurt or a boiled egg. You could also serve it with a green smoothie to get some veg in! I even plan to use these bars as a quick lunchbox add-in! You can easily double this recipe so you don’t have to make them all the time. As it is this recipe makes 8-12 bars, depending on how big you cut them.
We love the saying ‘A good day starts the night before’. That definitely applies to breakfast. If you already have your breakfast planned out (or made) ahead of time, then your morning is so much smoother and your kids still get to enjoy a healthy breakfast. Here are some tips for getting a healthy breakfast on the table on those busy school mornings:
- Always plan the night before. Make sure you know that you have the ingredients or foods prepped that you want to have for breakfast stocked and ready to go.
- Double your favorite breakfast recipes. Making more of things like oatmeal breakfast bars is a great way to have healthy breakfast options on hand in your fridge or freezer. We also love to make extras of these recipes: Sweet Potato Pancakes, Sweet Spinach Muffins, Protein Packed Breakfast Burritos, and Breakfast Egg Cups
- Make a breakfast rotation and print it so your family knows what is on the menu.
- Have at least 4 make ahead breakfast meals stocked in your fridge or freezer to pull out when you are really short on time.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake
- 2 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 medium apple grated
- Grease an 9×9-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If you don't have a 9×9, you can use an 8×8 baking dish you will just have to increase the cook time.
- Place 1 cup oats in a blender or food processor and process until oats turn to a flour-like consistency. Add to a large mixing bowl with additional 1 1/2 cups of oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt and coconut flakes. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, milk, maple syrup, and grated apple. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is a light brown color.
- Allow to cool slightly; cut into slices and serve with whip cream, or vanilla Greek yogurt. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Any recommendations for substitutes for coconut ingredients?
Hi Angela! I think ground up flaxseed would work for the coconut shreds. And then for the coconut flour you can add more of any of the other flours and it should work – you might need to double the amount since coconut flour is so absorbent. I use the coconut flour because of the high fiber content 🙂
Hi, these bars look great. Do you really need 4 different types of flour? Could I make do with coconut flour and almond meal/flour?
Can we add some oats to this?
These look delicious BUT we can’t have almonds 🙁 what could I substitute the flour with?
I know this is an old thread, but i am curious I find the rice and tapioca flours can be omitted and just increase the almond and or coconut flour. Our bodies have severe reactions to rice. And we just avoid tapioca.
Would substituting whole wheat flour work?
Could you substitute the milk with almond milk?
That should work Crystal!
These bars are so delicious! I made a double batch with hopes they would last a little while, but I’m sure they will be gone within a few days. I topped them with coconut flakes when i put them in the oven and they are so pretty! I also used almond milk since we are dairy free. Turned out great and my kids love them! Would use a little less honey next time. Otherwise so yummy!
Am I missing something when reading mthe ingredient list? The only “flour” I see is the oats which are finely ground. Why are people talking about coconut, rice and tapioca flour?
I plan on making this soon for my husband when he starts harvesting the corn and beans in about a month, Our five year old son will love it too for snack food when he joins daddy on the combine.
Sorry, this is an old recipe, that we’ve updated, so the old comments don’t really apply anymore! The new recipe has been tested to work better!
Instead of putting 1 cup of the oats in a food processor (I don’t own one) can you just use oat flour??
That is a whopping amount of carbs and sugar. Once the kids get to school, they will have a sugar dive and will be sleepy and cranky.
Natalie, can you tell me the serving size of this recipe? 25g of sugar is higher than I’d like to serve to my toddler.
These are great! I substituted almond milk for the milk and added some chopped strawberries since I had a small apple. I also used unsweetened coconut. This was perfect for all of us, including my husband and I.
Wow! That’s a lot of sugar! Can I leave out the honey entirely?
You can try it, but I haven’t. Let me know if it’s sweet enough if you omit the honey. I’d probably start with just using half the amount!
Can you freeze these ?
We haven’t tried freezing them – I’m not sure how the texture would hold up. But you can refrigerate them and they will last longer. Good luck!
I made a batch today and my 9 year old loved these. I used less honey than called for in the recipe (1/3 of a cup) and I think I could have reduced the sweetener to 1/4 cup and it would have been fine. There is lots of sweetness from the applesauce. I tend to prefer less sugar in snacks and desserts.
Thanks for the great recipe!
Made these tonight only I used almond milk (skipped the coconut flakes) and added some
Very finely grated carrots & zucchini
Then once in the pan I sprinkled a dash more cinnamon on top and for my picky son (who wont turn down something with chocolate) I had grated a tiny bit of unsweetened dark chocolate on top of it.
They came out fabulous. I definitely want to try and make a peach version for my daughter who prefers peaches (and doesnt like chocolate)
Thanks for sharing, Holly!
I’ve love these. So moist & not too sweet. I added chia seeds, cranberries & pumpkin seeds.
Are these bars supposed to have a spongy texture? It seemed way to soft and unpleasant. I’m just wondering if I made it wrong or if it was supposed to be that way.
It should be closer to a chewy texture.. sorry about that!
We’re not crazy about the texture of coconut flakes… if I omit it, should I add the amount of another ingredient? Or what could be a suitable substitute? Thanks!
You can just leave it out!
my apple obsessed two year old loves these! i just cut down on the honey slightly and add some hemp hearts and a little ground chia instead of the coconut flakes. super big thumbs up! thank you for this awesome recipe.
Great for our toddler who has started turning his nose up at veggies. I made a bunch of modifications and still turned out great for us. Added a handful of fresh spinach, used fresh apple instead of applesauce and added about 1/2 cup of steamed zucchini left over from dinner. Puréed it all and added it in. Only a small squeeze of honey…probably a Tbsp at most then tossed in some blueberries to the batter at the end. Hubby would want them sweeter but our 2 year old loves them.
I am allergic to honey. What could I use instead?
You can substitute maple syrup!
Any substitute for coconut flakes?
You can just leave them out!
Do we have to use unsweetened apple sauce or can we use sweetened?
You can use sweetened!