Super soft and chewy, healthy pumpkin bars with oats are delicious for breakfast with nutrition that will last your kids all morning!
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Healthy Food In Different Forms
Sometimes kids will eat a food prepared in a specific way, but not another even though it has the same ingredients! Texture, flavor and visual presentation all have a big impact on kids acceptance of a food. These pumpkin bars are really similar to a baked oatmeal, but they are just ‘packaged’ differently.. as a bar that is familiar for kids to eat and taste delicious!
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bars
To make these, simply combine your oats with pumpkin puree, sweetener of choice (we used honey) and spices in a mixing bowl. Stir together and add chocolate chips at the end if you want! I think they taste really good with the chocolate since pumpkin and oats aren’t naturally sweet. It gives a little depth to the flavor. Press in an 8×8 pan and bake! If you like a thinner bar, you can use a 9×13 pan. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Healthy Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a deep orange color which tells us it is rich in nutrients and a great thing for kids to eat to get nutrition packed in a small amount of food.
- Vision- Pumpkin is a really good source of beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A and is really important for good eye health and vision.
- Immunity- Because there is a large shot of Vitamin A in pumpkin, it can help boost your kids’ immune system and ability to fight infections and viruses.
- Skin- Vitamin A and C really help give you a boost in skin health. Carotenoids which pumpkin is high in have been shown to help prevent cell damage, premature skin aging and other skin diseases.
- Besides Vitamin A, pumpkin is also a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues. It helps your child’s gums stay healthy and strengthens your child’s blood vessels, minimizing bruising from falls and scrapes. In addition, vitamin C helps cuts and wounds heal, boosts the immune system, and can help your child’s body get an infection . It also can help your child absorb iron.
Breakfast on the Go
These pumpkin bars make a great grab and go breakfast and can be made ahead and stored for an even quicker option! We love the chewy texture of baked oats, and combined with nutrient packed pumpkin they are soft and easy to chew even for little toddlers who don’t have a lot of teeth! The oats and pumpkin both provide a really nutrient dense bar that is a great portable breakfast option when you have those mornings where you are in a big hurry. There are only a few ingredients which make it a great option if you have food allergies in your home. There is no dairy, no gluten (if you use gluten free oats) and no eggs!
Give these a try for breakfast or even to pack in a lunch or an after school snack! You can also include other add-ins like dried fruit, coconut, or chopped nuts. Yum!
Chewy Baked Pumpkin Breakfast Bar
- Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; stir well.
- Press into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is golden and it is firm to the touch.
- Let cool, and slice into bars.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 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