No-Bake Chocolate Lunch Box Treat
This post is being sponsored by our friends at General Mills cereals and we are excited to share their big news! (Scroll down for the news)
I remember growing up, my mom would pack my lunch almost everyday in Elementary school. She would usually include a sandwich, fruit, and maybe some other things, but the thing I always looked forward to was the treat she would include. It was always something homemade and I loved it – and so did my friends! They were always wanting to trade me for their hostess ding dong. Food trading was alive and real when I was a kid and oh boy was it a big deal! A homemade treat is like sending just a little bit of extra love. Our No-Bake Chocolate Lunch Box Treat is packed with love, nutrition and a whole lot of YUMMY!
Some of the key players in our lunch box treat are sunbutter, oatmeal and Rice Chex. We make our own sunbutter because it is incredibly easy, but it is definitely something you can buy. With all of the nut allergies these days, sunbutter is the perfect alternative to peanut butter. It still provides that creamy nutty flavor and also protein, healthy fats and vitamins.
And let’s talk about cereal for a minute. Cereal is typically thought of as a breakfast food. But we have found we like it as a snack – and not just with milk! It is great to throw in a trail mix, or as part of a recipe like our lunchbox treat. Which is why we are so excited about General Mills big news! For the past few years, they have been working to make whole grain the first ingredient and reduce sugar across all their cereals. Now, they are working to remove all the artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. More than half of General Mills cereals (like our favorites,Cheerios, and Chex ) are already there, but now they’re working on cereals like Lucky Charms and Trix too. A world with less artificial ingredients is a better place in my mind!
Out of the eight Chex cereal options, seven are gluten free; they contain no artificial colors, flavors and no HFCS. The first ingredient in Chex is whole grain rice and we are pretty big about whole grains around here. It seems like my kids never stop moving and fueling them with whole grains is important to me. Plus – Chex has that amazing crunch and goes perfect in this recipe!
My oldest is starting first grade and this is the first year I will be packing a lunch everyday to send to school. She couldn’t be more excited to eat lunch at school, and I’m feeling a lot of pressure! When you have a child that is picky, you have to make sure every bite counts! I know she won’t eat everything that I send, but if I can make sure there are at least one or two healthy, nutrient dense foods she will eat, then I know she will have enough fuel to get her through the school day. I feel like this lunch box treat is something she will definitely eat (because it is a treat…..and amazing by the way) and packed with nutrients it is.
If you aren’t in the packing lunch stage yet, this is a yummy treat to have in the afternoon when your sweet tooth comes alive, and you just feel like something sweet. Store them the fridge, and they will stay good for up to 2 weeks! They are crunchy, chocolatey, and have that creamy nutty taste that makes any treat amazing.
No-Bake Chocolate Lunch Box Treat
- 1/2 cup sunflower butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 ounce baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup oats, dry
- 2 1/4 cup rice chex cereal
- In a medium saucepan, combine sunbutter, honey, and unsweetened chocolate pieces.
- Heat over medium-low heat until melted. Stir in vanilla.
- Add quick oats and stir until combined.
- Last, add rice chex and stir. It is ok to break the pieces while stirring.
- In a 9×13 pan, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom with the sides hanging over the edge.
- Press the chex mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Lift the parchment paper out with the mixture and set on a flat surface.
- Cut into bars. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 2 weeks.
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
Thank you so much for this nut free/ allergy safe recipe. With 1 in every 13 kids having a severe allergy, moms (and dads) are searching for healthy, safe alternatives to PB to put in their kids
‘ lunch boxes. thanks for helping keep our kids safe AND healthy.
These look yummy! Do you think you could sub cocoa powder for the unsweetened chocolate chunks? I’m dairy free and can’t find dairy free chocolate chips unless I drive 30 miles away and pay waaay too much money for a small bag. Thanks for the recipe!
Yes I think you could. Unsweetened baking chocolate shouldn’t contain any dairy though – read the back of the label, but I don’t think there is dairy in it.
This looks delicious, thank you! I will be making this for my husband, and he adores peanut butter. Can I sub peanut butter for the sunbutter?
Yes you definitely can!
Hi, this recipe looks yummy! I just made this recipe and I think the measurements of your listed ingredients may be incorrect. I used the 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal and 2 1/2 cups of rice chex and it made a very small amount….defintely not enough to line the 9 x 12 pan you said to use. I increased the rice chex to 6 1/2 cups and that seemed to line the whole pan then. But now they are not sticking together as well. You said this makes 24 bars, in a 9 x 12 pan what size bar would that be? The only way I could get 24 bars out of this pan is to make them like 1 inch by 1 inch. Help! I needed these for a school party tomorrow. 🙁
Sorry….I meant 1 1/4 & 2 1/4 cups above.
Interesting. I have made this recipe lots of times and it works just fine for me. We cut these a bit smaller because they are so rich and so get more out of our pan 🙂 Sorry they didn’t work out for you!
Rice Chex are not healthy for a kids snack. They have GMO sourced sugar and BHT. Maybe there’s an organic rice cereal that could work? I’d much prefer that option and think this recipe as written is disappointing.
I just subbed organic brown rice crisps for the chex and it turned out great.
Do you think corn Chex would work here? I have those in the house. I haven’t made them with rice Chex so I don’t know the chrunch/flavor that your recipe, as written is going for.
I wonder if I could use Brown Puffed Rice cereal?! I have some on hand ?