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 easy recipe for kids to make ahead and have ready and waiting in the mornings. I like to pair these bars 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 it’s great for families with allergies in the mix.

The base of this breakfast bars recipe is rolled oats, which is a whole grain that is a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. It also has some protein from nut or seed butter, which makes the oatmeal breakfast bars extra satisfying.

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 in their mouths, but a 2-year-old should be able to bite and chew a bar.

Along with my Cereal Bars, Homemade Granola Bars, and Banana Oatmeal Bars, these are an all-time favorite recipe to share with the kids.

Ingredients You Need

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

ingredients in breakfast bars on counter

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.

how to make healthy breakfast bars step by step process
  1. Stir together the wet ingredients.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and 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 or baking dish.
  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 combined 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!

breakfast-bars-in-storage-container

Jam to Use in Breakfast 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.

breakfast bar on countertop

How to Store

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.

Best Tips for Success

  • 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.
  • To make these nut-free, omit the nut butter and use sunflower seed butter. To make gluten-free, use gluten-free 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.
  • 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.
  • To make these vegan, use maple syrup in place of honey.

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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 228 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 133kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

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.

Video

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 sugar. (I 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 a 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!

The post was first published April 2018.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these already once and they were delicious! Wondering if you think I could use Apple Butter in place of jam? I know it’s now quite the same consistency but think it would be yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    Omg these were amazing ! Used Raspberry Chia Jam and it was plenty sweet for us ! Delicious!!! I could make these all the time ! Wow

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my, I love this recipe! And, my 4-year old loved it too. I replaced 2 cups oats with 1.5 cups oat flour and added a bit more almond butter. It is such a yum dessert for us adults too.

  4. 5 stars
    What I could use instead of peanut butter and sunbutter? My kid is allergic to all nuts, almond and seeds (sunflower, sesame,…) and coconut.

  5. 5 stars
    I used 1/8 c honey and replaced the other 1/8 with more peanut butter because my honey was hard to get out of the bottle today. With raspberry jam they taste like pbj bars and are really good would make that substitution again, also want to try with almond butter.

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious. The only thing I changed is added about 1/4 cup more peanut butter, because our first attempt at these was too crumbly.

  7. 5 stars
    Super easy to make and healthy too–we just didn’t think they had a lot of flavor. My 3 year old didn’t like them :/ but I will eat them for a healthy snack. Maybe next time I will use even more peanut butter. Always love trying your toddler foods and thanks for giving us good ideas!

  8. 5 stars
    These are so good! I eat them every day for breakfast. I’ve made them at least seven times. Great recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    My son loves these! I was looking for a morning snack because he doesn’t like muffins, pancakes or anything doughy. He’s also not an egg fan so my choices were dwindling lol. These were a hit. I also love how easy they are to make. Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    My daughter is allergic to oats so it’s hard to find any cereal bars/granola bars that work for her. Any suggestions on a good oat substitute for something like this? It looks yum!

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve been following YTF for years (so long now my kids are no longer toddlers). I’m ashamed to say I’ve not made a single recipe….until today. I opened this in an email today and thought, “I have no other sweets to go with breakfast today, why not throw this together?” It was delicious! With school starting back tomorrow, I’ll know they have something healthy and yummy to start their day off right! Simple, quick, and definitely adding to the rotation!

  12. 5 stars
    Love this!!! And so did my 14 mo old! I accidentally made it with maple syrup instead of honey LOL oops! And it was just as delicious! Thanks for this !!

    1. 5 stars
      That’s awesome! My son said he could taste the honey in it, so I bet you can REALLY taste the maple syrup. Yum!

  13. 5 stars
    These are so good. I made mine with almond butter since my son is allergic to peanuts, added chia seeds to the jam! Hopefully my kids like them as much as I do! Lol

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness SO GOOD! Recipe is not lying about moistness level. So soft and moist and delicious. I literally had to cut my daughter off she would have eaten the whole pan!

  15. 5 stars
    Honestly, I love make-ahead breakfasts for myself so I have something as soon as I get up. These were so good that my five year old asked me to make them for her class on our snack day.

  16. 5 stars
    I really appreciated a few things about this recipe: (1) it called for the amount of oats rather than oat flour, (2) the reserved topping was quantified at .75c, and (3) the substitutions were listed. The result was very good!

  17. 4 stars
    Accidentally made these with out the flour 😵‍💫 and they turned out delicious!! Def can’t wait to make them again the correct way! Crumbled it up and put it in yogurt!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

    1. If they aren’t too liquidy, that may work. You’d want them to be really thick to make sure the bars aren’t wet once baked

    1. I haven’t tried them that way so I don’t know for sure if it would work. It usually absorbs liquids and moisture more intensely than wheat flour, so it may dry out the batter a bit.

    1. I think so! It may take a few more minutes to bake simply since you’ll be starting with the whole thing very cold.

  23. 5 stars
    These might be my favorite of Amy’s recipes so far — so easy and so delish. I used raspberry jam. My crust was a little sticky so I just pat it down using the sides of the parchment paper in the tin. Easy peasy!

  24. 5 stars
    Simple, easy to make, and delicious. I used homemade strawberry chia jam and the PB&J flavor is so yummy. Will definitely make again!

  25. What if I don’t have oats of any kind? Can I use just flour? I want to make these for my niece when she misses school breakfast.

    1. I haven’t made this without oats so I’m not sure if it would work the same with flour but you can sure try it!

  26. Would I be able to make these with no peanut butter (or sun butter). My little one doesn’t care for any nut butters (or sun butter)?

  27. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. My 2 year old was just diagnosed with a cashew and so many of her favourite granola bar recipes have “may contain tree nuts” in them so I have been looking for an easy homemade recipe that has some protein to it to keep her full. These were super fun to make with her and she is absolutely inhaling them now with her lunch. Thank you! We will be making these regularly to keep them stocked in our freezer.

  28. 5 stars
    These were easy to make and so delicious. I love that they use natural and healthy ingredients. Definitely keeping these in the regular rotation.

  29. Do you think it would work to use whole grain oat baby cereal instead of ground oats? I haven’t baked with baby cereal yet so I’m not sure if it would come out the same.

    1. The texture would be different and I am not sure that they would hold together well enough to slice and pick up as a bar. Baby cereal is really fluffy and doesn’t make through easily in my experience substituting it for regular oats.

  30. 5 stars
    These are super easy to make and are delicious! I may have eaten way more than anyone else, LOL! 🙂 I actually made these at my parents’ house while we were visiting them, and my mom had a strawberry “european fruit spread” – pectin vs. geletin, I think – and it reminded me so much of the freezer jam she used to make when I was growing up. 🙂

  31. 5 stars
    I made these in my Pampered Chef snack bar maker so they turned out like individual granola bars. Reduced the bake time to 16 minutes. Will be making them again! Thank you!

  32. 5 stars
    These are easy and delicious! I used sunflower butter so they can go to daycare with my 16 month old. I also used an apple that I steamed and mashed instead of jam, the jam I had was too sweet. The apple worked perfectly!

  33. 5 stars
    These were really tasty! We ate ours still warm because they smelled so good. Both my 2yr old and I loved them. These will go in the recipe box. I did add a TBS of ground flaxseed for a little extra nutrients.

  34. The 3/4 of the batter you set aside…is that what you use for the bottom layer or is that what you use to crumble on the top?? The directions are a little confusing to me

  35. 4 stars
    Made these last night for a quick on the go breakfast this morning and they were AMAZING! Even my husband asked me to make more! Excited to experiment with all the flavours!! Thanks

  36. Hi is this okay to ship as a care package? I would like to make it for my daughter but she live in MI so I have to mail it from CA.

    1. I’d think so. Wrap them as tightly as possible and try to make sure they don’t move around in the package so they don’t all break. Hopefully the mail won’t take too long to get there!

  37. I don’t have whole wheat flour. Would regular flour work? What about tapioca flour? I really want to whip these up today with what I have on hand.

      1. 5 stars
        I made it with maple syrup this morning for my 10 month old. We ate them still warm and soft and he loved it!

  38. The dough for these is so sticky—I recommend using a sheet of parchment paper between the dough and your hands when you’re pressing it down.

    1. I usually don’t recommend it as a sub for regular flour since it absorbs moisture differently and the mixture may end up too dry. You can certainly give it a shot though! (Maybe increase the wet ingredients a smidge.)

  39. these sound super yummy! I just included them in one of my blog posts about healthy snacks for kids because I think these would make great snacks too! Thanks for sharing. =)

  40. 5 stars
    My 18 month old loves these! I made them once, and actually cried when I couldn’t find the recipe again. I finally found it again though, yay! I love these too, and I love that they are low sugar.

    1. Coconut flour doesn’t absorb liquid the same as regular wheat flour, so I wouldn’t recommend you try it here. And the flour I use here is standard flour, not self-rising.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way so I can’t say for sure. It’s possible that 1 egg would work in place of the 1/4 cup nut butter if that’s an option for you.

  41. 5 stars
    These are delightful. I loved being able to make the dough entirely in the food processor. My kiddos and I really liked them. Thank you!

  42. 5 stars
    I just made these!, turns out I had no jam so i blended a banana, some blueberries and a little cinnamon and used it as the jam. They came out so good and just the perfect amount of sweetness. My toddler loved them! I also used quik oats and maple syrup instead of honey.

  43. 5 stars
    When the crust base is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes while you finish the jam.

  44. 5 stars
    I really love how these turned out, but because I made them for my 17-month daughter I thought 2/3 cup jam was too much in sugar (using Strawberry Darbo jam) so I only used 1/4 cup. Definitely wishing I didn’t skimp on this…will be making these again soon!

    1. You could try using a lower sugar jam or something like apple butter next time to lower the sweetness. One person even did half jam mixed with applesauce and had good results (you’d just want the applesauce to be very thick to start with so it’s not too watery).

  45. My son and I love these, but unfortunately my son can no longer eat gluten (his new diet has been such a headache for me to try and figure out). Have you tried any other options apart from gluten free flour (I’m not a fan of some of the ingredients they add in gluten free flours). We also have to avoid corn and rice. I was looking into cassava flour, buckwheat flour, coconut flour… although I know these are not direct substitutes for wheat 🙁

    1. I think you could try it with all oats (or all oat flour) or with buckwheat. Just be sure to let them cool totally in the pan before you lift them out as they may be a little bit more delicate.

  46. 5 stars
    This was perfect!I’m not even a baking kind of mom, and I will be making these all the time. I usually buy the breakfast bars in store, but they have so much garbage in them, I figured I would try some online recipes. I’m so glad I found yours. The only thing I changed, was I added maple syrup as a substitute for the vanilla, as I have a vanilla sensitivity. They turned out great! So much flavor!

  47. Waiting for mine to cool rn! Looks amazing so far. My batter was SUPER sticky, to the point where i could barely get it in the pan, because it was mostly on my hands :). Wondering if maybe i did something wrong?

    1. The batter is pretty sticky. You can wet your fingers next time to help press it down without it sticking too much!

    1. Yes, I think so. Jjust grease the pan with nonstick spray and let cool fully before trying to slice and remove from the pan.

  48. 5 stars
    I just made these, they are delicious!! I used strawberry preserves, it was the perfect amount of sweetness. I added all of the dry ingredients together in my food processor and then I warmed the peanut butter with maple syrup (just a tase preference). I combined the rest of the wet together and blended everything into the food processor with the dry. I will definitely be adding this into my breakfast/snack rotation for my family. Thank you!

  49. I added raw sunflower seeds with the oats when grinding into course flour. Kids enjoyed it even as raw dough! I also found wetting my hands to press down the mixture into the pan helped it not stick to my hands. They are now cooking and I’m excited to see how they turn out!

  50. 5 stars
    I’m a cook for a preschool program, and I made these for breakfast this week – they were such a big hit! Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe, a great addition to my breakfast rotation!

  51. 5 stars
    Love these! I added some frozen spinach into the pureed strawberries (squeezed out all the water and forked it in) they look amazing! Can’t wait to dive in!

  52. 5 stars
    I’m so glad to have found your recipe, thank you! I made it with the intention to give to my 19 m/o – who loves it, by the way!
    However my taste-testing hubby gobbled up over 1/2 the pan before our daughter was up to eat!
    So another batch was made that same day, with his comment “way better than store bought!”

  53. Amazing! I’m obsessed with these bars! Made them for my 1 year old and he loves them too. This recipe will be a staple in our home now! Thank you!