With wholesome ingredients and not a lot of added sugar, you can quickly bake up Healthy Breakfast Bars to serve for breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. And they are SO good!

breakfast-bars-on-white-cutting-board

Healthy Breakfast Bars

Having easy breakfast options on hand can make mornings with kids so much easier. We love this healthy recipe for kids to make ahead of time and have them ready and waiting in the mornings. I like to pair these healthy with a simple smoothie or a glass of milk for an easy and yummy breakfast to share with the kids.

This recipe is naturally egg-free and can be made nut- and gluten-free so they are great for families with allergies in the mix.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

The base of this breakfast bars recipe is oats, which makes it a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. It also has some protein from nut or seed butter. The sweetness comes from a little honey and the jam layer, but otherwise the ingredients are simple.

ingredients in breakfast bars on counter

Ingredients You Need

To make this breakfast bars recipe, you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned” oats at the store.
  • Nut or seed butter: I usually use peanut butter, but almond or sunflower seed butter can work, too.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking powder
  • Honey: This helps the batter hold together well. You can use maple syrup if preferred.
  • Jam: I usually use jam labeled “all-fruit”, but any kind you like will work, even this homemade Chia Jam.

TIP: I can almost always make this recipe from ingredients I already have in my pantry and my kids love to help mix up the batter.

how to make healthy breakfast bars step by step process

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this breakfast bars recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

  1. Stir together the wet ingredients.
  2. Mix together the batter for the base of the bars.
  3. Make sure it holds together easily when you press a little between your fingers.
  4. Set aside ¾ cup of the dough. Press the rest into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread the jam on top of the base dough. Crumble the remaining dough over the jam.
  6. Bake and let cool.

TIP: We love the flavors of peanut butter and jelly, and they come through in this recipe. You can use Sunbutter if you need the bars to be nut-free. I highly recommend serving these with milk—or your own tea or coffee!

Can I make these without a food processor?

You can! Just use instant oats instead of rolled oats and stir the batter together in a bowl. It works really well this way!

amy-and-tula-with-breakfast-bars

What’s the best way to store these bars?

I tend to like these bars chilled so I recommend storing them in the fridge for 3-5 days, though there’s no reason that room temperature in an airtight container wouldn’t work just as well. You can also freeze them, once fully cooled, in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Let thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature before eating.

Can I make these breakfast bars nut-free?

Yes! See the recipe and use Sunbutter instead of the peanut butter. It works pretty much the same, though it will taste more like Sunbutter than peanut butter, of course.

breakfast-bars-in-storage-container

What kind of jam is best for these bars?

I’ve made these with natural strawberry preserves, raspberry preserves, leftover cranberry sauce, fig jam, and lower sugar Chia Jam and they all work. As long as the jam or preserves aren’t too runny or liquidy, it should work well.

I suggest using a “natural” jam “fruit-juice sweetened” or “honey sweetened” (or something along those lines!), rather than a conventional one if you’d rather these not be super sweet.

What’s the texture like in these bars?

They are soft and easy to chew, so not crunchy. You may want to cut them into bite-size pieces for a 1 year old to make sure they don’t get too much into their mouths, but a 2 year old should be able to bite and chew a bar—served with a drink on all accounts!

breakfast bar on countertop

Tips for Making the Best Breakfast Bars

  • If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
  • Use “natural” or honey sweetened jam or preserves for mellow sweetness. You can also use Blueberry Chia Jam if you prefer.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper so the bars are easy to lift out of the pan and slice.
  • Store in an airtight container or freeze them for future eating. They freeze really well!
  • To make these nut-free, use Sunbutter.
  • To make without a food processor, use instant oats instead of rolled oats and stir the batter together in a bowl. You may need to really press it to get it evenly mixed.
  • If the mixture seems crumbly and isn’t holding together well, add a tablespoon or two of water and that should take care of it!
  • You may also like Oatmeal Bars, Soft-Baked Granola Bars, After School Snacks, and Favorite Preschool Snacks.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below with feedback!

The post was first published April 2018.

breakfast-bars-on-white-cutting-board

Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam

Use Sunbutter to make these nut-free. You can cut these into smaller bars if desired. If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
4.99 from 105 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 133kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or Sunbutter)
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup all fruit jam

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhang on two sides so you can easily lift the bars out when they’re cooled.
  • Place the oats into the bowl of a food processor or blender and blitz to grind into a coarse flour. 
  • Place the honey and peanut butter into a medium bowl and warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
  • Add the oats and the remaining ingredients except the jam to the bowl with the peanut butter and honey and stir together. Use clean hands to bring the dough together as needed to form a thick, cookie dough like texture. It will hold together when pressed between your fingers.
  • Set aside ¾ cup of the batter.
  • Place the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and press down evenly to cover.
  • Spread the jam on top.
  • Crumble the remaining dough over the jam and press down slightly.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely in the pan. (You can speed this up by sticking the pan into the fridge.
  • Lift the bars out using the parchment paper and slice into bars.

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or freeze in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. (They freeze really well!)
  • If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
  • Use “natural” or honey sweetened jam or preserves so these don’t wind up with a lot of added sugars. (I actually find them to be too sweet when made with super sweet jam.)
  • You can use chia jam if you prefer a less sweet option.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper so the bars are easy to lift out of the pan and slice.
  • You can also use almond instead of peanut butter.
  • If the mixture seems crumbly and isn’t holding together well, add a tablespoon or two of water and that should take care of it!
  • Nut-free: Use Sunbutter.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten free flour blend and certified gluten free rolled oats.
  • To make without a food processor: Use instant oats instead of rolled oats and stir the batter together in a bowl. You may need to really press it to get it evenly mixed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 133kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 37mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Would a seed butter work in place of the peanut butter? I have the seed butter from Nuttzo (only seeds like chia seeds, flax, sesame, etc. , no nuts). Thanks!

    1. If it has the same consistency as peanut butter, it should. I have not tried that particular brand, but I have made it with sunflower seed butter. Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Easy and tasty! My toddler has yet to try them despite being offered several times (which is pretty normal for him with new things), but my husband and I both tried them and think they are pretty tasty.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! I just made these for my 670 month old husband and he said “ok, I could eat that”. This is a huge endorsement! The man has a serious aversion to oats unless it is in the form of a cookie. I added freeze dried strawberries to the batter and flax to the strawberry jam because why not? I left them in the oven after I turned off the heat to soak up any moisture that might make the bars resemble oatmeal. THANK YOU!!

    1. I haven’t tried that, but I imagine they would be too dry and not flavorful enough without the sweetness in the middle. Let me know if you try it though!

  4. Hi I’m making these for my 2 year Old, but I forgot to add the wheat flour 🤦‍♀️ will these still come out okay?

    1. I’m not sure, they may be a little crumbly? Let them cool fully before trying to slice and we’ll hope for the best!

  5. 5 stars
    Super tasty and not too sweet, so I didn’t have any guilt letting my little one have them for breakfast! I didn’t have any jam so I kinda made my own with frozen blueberries, a little maple syrup for sweetness and thickened it with a tiny bit of xanthan gum and it worked beautifully! Trying it again with proper jam this time.

    1. We usually thaw at room temperature or in the fridge and eat cold, but you could also put on a plate and warm in 15 second increments in the microwave if you prefer.

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