March 3, 2014 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids
Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids
March 3, 2014 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids. Chewy granola bars, full of nutrition and nut-free!

Food allergies are the worst!  Not only are you restricted in what you can bring in your home that is safe for your child, but you also have to worry about their environment when they aren’t at home!

A Food allergy is an immune system response to a substance found in food that is normally harmless.  Certain immune responses see the food substance and attacks it in the same way our immune system attacks bacteria and viruses.  While it’s a devastating diagnosis, there is promise for the future.  New treatments are being studied, and do look promising for kids with peanut allergies, but there is still along way to go.

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids. Chewy granola bars, full of nutrition and nut-free!

When Your Child Has a Nut Allergy

A child who is allergic to peanuts, does not necessarily have an allergy to tree-nuts (almonds, cashews, or walnuts). However about 25-40% of them are allergic to both, and many physicians will recommend avoiding both.  The best practice as a parent you can be in is to read your labels.  Checking labels for the allergen itself, as well as cross contamination of the allergen is vital for allergy management.

Then, if your child is in school, inform the teacher, as well as the front office about your child’s allergy.  From my experience, teachers are great about protecting your child and informing the rest of the parents that may bring food into the class about the allergy.  This helps to control their environment for contamination they may not see or even ingest.   Secondly, it’s very important as well to teach your kids to be their own advocates and know what foods are safe for them.  From a very young age, they can question  the source of their food when other safety barriers have broken down.

For a complete list of what to check for on a label, whether you have a peanut or tree-nut allergy, print this document! from Food Allergy.org  It’s very simple and comprehensive, plus it contains helpful label reading information for other allergies.

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids. Chewy granola bars, full of nutrition and nut-free!

So, to keep our schools safe, as well as for those kids who just love a delicious homemade granola bar- this recipe is for you!  Our favorite granola bar recipe here has peanut butter to hold it together, so this is our alternative- and really, it’s just as delicious! I PROMISE!! (full recipe below)

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids. Kids love these chewy granola bars, full of nutrition and nut-free!

 

Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids. Chewy granola bars, full of nutrition and nut-free!

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Delicious and Chewy Homemade Granola Bars for Nut-Free Kids

Serves: 12
  • Nutrition per serving   % daily value
  • Calories: 225 11%
  • Fat: 6 g 9%
  • Carb: 40 g 13%
  • Fiber: 3 g 12%
  • Protein: 4 g 8%
  • Sugar: 22 g

Ingredients

  • 2 cup – oats, dry
  • 2/3 cup – coconut sugar
  • 1 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup – honey
  • 2 tablespoon – coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup – sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup – pumpkin seed kernels

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients and press into greased pan, 9X13. Dough will be VERY dry and crumbly. It's OK, it will still turn out.
  2. Press until dough forms with pan.
  3. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Take out and let cool entirely.
  4. Cut into strips and store in snack size bags.
  5. Optional: Drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

Notes:  Only add sunflower seeds as long as they are processed in a nut free plant! If not, just leave them out!

Can't have coconut either? This recipe was modified from the one found here with no coconut products in it.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 225 11%
  • Fat: 6 g 9%
  • Carb: 40 g 13%
  • Fiber: 3 g 12%
  • Protein: 4 g 8%
  • Sugar: 22 g
written by
Amy Roskelley

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Comments(60)
Jessica says:

Gluten Free sub for whole wheat flour?

Amy says:

Jessica- You could try oat flour! just take some extra oats and put them in a blender until you have 1 cup of oat flour. Let me know if you try it!!

Kendra says:

Any substitute for coconut sugar?

Nicole says:

Could we throw some sunflower seed butter in these to moisten them up a bit? My son has nut allergies (among many others), and I tend to replace peanut butter with sunflower butter in recipes. Maybe in place of the coconut oil?

Amy says:

@Kendra- you can use any sugar.. I make it with brown sugar all the time.

@nicole- it’s actually pretty moist to begin with! You can leave out the coconut oil altogether and it won’t be a problem. I’ve done it many times.

Toni says:

They were great. I used homemade applesauce instead of oil. Thanks for the recipe

Trish says:

What about adding chia seeds? 1-2 tbsp?

Amy says:

Definitely Trish!
@toni- glad you tried it already!

Karin ouellette says:

Most kids with nut allergies should avoid coconut as we’ll

andy says:

agreed…not really nut free.

Jamie Edwards says:

That is actually not true. Coconut is not a botanical nut but a fruit. Most people can safely tolerate as long I. There is not cross contamination.

I like your post very much…

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

Nice post, i hope everyone will like your post..

Awesome post, thanks for sharing this post..

Jennifer R. says:

Please provide a link to explain this statement. My allergist and nutritionist both have cleared coconut as ok for nut/peanut allergies.

missy says:

It is true. When my daughter was first diagnosed, we were told it was severe enough that we should stay away from coconut. That was ten years ago. Two years ago, she wanted to be tested to confirm. Sure enough, she is allergic to coconut. It is heavily debated whether it is a nut or not…allergist are also concerned about the bucket effect when it comes to coconut.

maggie says:

Rolled oats or will steel cut woRk?

Karin Ouellette says:

our allergist said to avoid coconut as he considers it a nut and my daughter does react to it

Amy says:

Maggie- Rolled or quick oats is best. I wouldn’t use steel cut.

Rachel says:

Could you use rice flour instead of whole wheat flour?

Tina says:

Making items like this for my peanut allergic child is a huge challenge, because it’s proven impossible to find things like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds that are processed in a peanut free environment, and we obviously can’t buy them in bulk stores either due to cross contamination issues there. Can you provide a brand name for these? The most popular US brand (gerb’s) isn’t available in my country (Canada). Even finding raw tree nuts that are peanut safe is impossible. Also, Coconut is not a nut, botanically, so just fine for children who aren’t allergic to it specifically. I find that most adults understand not to give my child peanuts but give no thought to cross contamination or the supply chain for ingredients.

Karen says:

Here is my issue. My daughter has a TREE NUT allergy & a COCONUT allergy. . .which I am told are two unrelated allergies, but in any case I can’t use coconut anything. I struggle to find healthy recipes which she can eat along with my other girls? I also struggle to find any information on suitable substitutes when these types of ingredients are called for that won’t change the recipe?

missy says:

I am in the same boat! Let me know if you find good recipes!

Amy says:

Oh Karen- that is definitely a challenge. I honestly don’t have many resources for you.
The only site I’ve ever used is this one: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcesnew.php

Amy says:

@Rachel- I’ve never tried it with rice flour. I am not even sure how to use it.

karrie says:

I will be making a lot of these for my boys, but I am on a tight budget. Is there a substitute for the honey or at lease some of it? Raw organic honey is a bit pricey here.

Amy says:

Karrie- Agave is a bit cheaper here. You can try that for an equal substitution.

Jennifer R says:

My allergist said that coconut is a separate reaction, as they are not technically nuts (they are seeds). The nutritionist at Stanford University that I consulted agreed.

Jennifer R says:

How about this place:
http://www.mygerbs.com/

angie p says:

Please consult with your allergist first, every child is different. If they a nut allergy they may also have a coconut allergy as well. It’s best just to be safe, after all consider the consequences

Jeanne says:

This recipe looks great. Thank you for providing the alternative and the resource sheet/website. Can you give an estimate of the shelf life for these? Thanks again!

Erica Hebert says:

Would these freeze well? Thank you for the great recipe!

Lisa says:

What can I substitute the oats and the wheat flour for? My daughter can’t have gluten and oats are not gluten free here in australia. Thx.

Kat says:

I used oat flour instead of whole wheat flour and they didnt hold. Turned out more like a crumble. Great on yogurt. Would the wheat flour hold it together better? The flavor is great though.

Nicole says:

Can these be frozen and thawed when ready to use?

Amy says:

I’ve actually never frozen granola bars Nicole. But if others can be frozen, these should as well.

Amy says:

Kat- I would add a bit more honey if it didn’t hold together for you (or oil)

Amy says:

Lisa- have you tried quinoa flakes? That could work!?

Amy says:

Jeanne- I wouldn’t’ keep them longer than a week.

Kat says:

Thanks! I will give that a try.

Lisa says:

I haven’t no. Ill give that a try today! thx amy

Valerie says:

Your recipe is NOT NUT FREE because you are using coconut products (oil & sugar) which are considered tree nuts.

Judy C says:

A great little story book that can help children and their friends learn about food allergies is called “Marty’s Nut Free Party” by Katrina Roe. It’s about a little monkey named Marty who is allergic to peanuts and how his friends help him to not miss out on the fun.

Rebecca currie says:

Could Stevia replace the coconut sugar (I don’t buy)… How about olive oil instead of coconut oil? Thanks!!! Recipe sounds yummy!!!

Amy says:

Rebecca,
I haven’t tried those, but if I were to make changes, I would really just use regular sugar to replace the coconut sugar and grapeseed oil to replace the coconut oil.

Sara says:

In the oven! Modified: no seeds, added chocolate chips and chia. Wish me luck! I have 2 picky eaters that only like to eat from packages!

Amy says:

How did it go Sara?

Sara says:

Amazing! My daughter loves them! Thank you so much!

Jen says:

Could maple syrup be used in place of the honey for a different flavor?

Jen, I’d love to hear if you try it. I haven’t yet.

Bekah says:

Do you use raw sunflowers seeds and raw pumpkin seeds, or roasted? Just want to be sure so it’s not over-salted. Thanks!

Bekah- I’ve used both, and I didn’t think the roasted ones made the bars too salty. But it works with raw as well.

Johanna says:

Hi,
Just thought I’d let you know, I’ve just made these, replacing honey with rice syrup (cheaper) and they are delicious! A little sweeter than I want to give my toddler, so will try cutting back on the sugar next time I think. But yum!

Hi Johanna- we have some rice syrup. Will have to try that next time.

Iuliana says:

Just tried these tonight and love them. I followed the original recipe except I cut back on the sugar and added some sesame seeds as well. I have a question about the raw honey part: aren’t the enzymes of raw honey destroyed by baking, making it not much better than processed honey? Cuz if this is the case, it would probably make more sense to use regular honey since it’s not as expensive. I did use raw honey cuz I didn’t have another kind in the house, but just wondering, for the next time I make these. And there will surely be a next time.

Honestly Iuliana- I actually use regular honey because of the price. Some people however like the fact that raw honey is less processed and not pasteurized.

Ashlie says:

This was way too sweet. Next time I will leave out the coconut sugar altogether and just use the honey.

Melinda says:

I made these gluten-free by using quinoa flakes instead of oats and used mostly sorghum flour and a bit of tapioca flour in place of the wheat flour. They were yummy! I did find them a little too sweet for my tastes. I would reduce or eliminate the coconut sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe, I’m sending them for school lunches today!!

Laura Delegard says:

68g of sugar per serving? 19g of fat? 676 cal? Is this for real? This is an anything-but-healthy kid snack! Tell me this is a mistake, please!

Hi Laura! Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We failed to put in the correct number of servings for this recipe, so the numbers were based on our system’s default. I have fixed it and the numbers should be a little more appealing. Have a great day!

Karen says:

22g of sugar is not healthy! Shame!

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