These Homemade Granola Bars have become such a staple in our house that I knew I needed to share—because I’ve made these over a dozen times since my second daughter started solids. They are so super easy to make they that might just be the easiest homemade granola bar ever. And they don’t require any special ingredients that need to be ordered or otherwise procured from distant lands. Yippee!
Healthy Granola Bars for Kids
These homemade granola bars are loaded with good stuff and minimal sweeteners, which makes them a nice alternative to the store bought kinds. Plus, they are soft enough for little eaters to safely eat whether at home or on the go at breakfast or snack time. Nutrition-wise, these have whole grains and fiber from oats and a little fat from the nut butter, chia seeds, and coconut for staying power. They’re egg-free, dairy-free, and are easy to make gluten-free by choosing gluten-free oats and a gluten-free flour blend. I love that I can make a batch of these for a fraction of the price of packaged ones—and that I know exactly what’s inside them.
Easy Homemade Granola Bars
I know how hard it can be to do anything in the kitchen with little ones underfoot, so I always try to streamline recipes when possible. This one does call for a food processor (though see my note at the end if you don’t have one!), but after you get it out, you can simply dump all the ingredients in. So easy!
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the easy process involved in making this granola bar recipe.
- Gather your ingredients and add to a food processor.
- Grind until the mixture starts to hold together. You’ll see it pull together and you can also check it by squeezing a bit between your fingers. Add a little more water if it’s not sticky enough to press and hold together.
- Pour the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, press flat so the batter is about 1/4-inch thick, and score pieces with a knife. This makes them easy to break into squares once baked.
- Bake! Let cool! Eat!
Can I make these without chia seeds?
Sure! See the variation at the bottom that calls for omitting them and slightly increasing the nut butter. This keeps a good amount of healthy fats to ensure that the bars hold together and that the kids get a nicely balanced snack.
What ingredients are in these homemade granola bars?
This recipe has rolled oats, coconut (which you can leave out and simply use additional oats if you need to!), a little flour, chia seeds, honey (there’s a sub for babies under 1!), and some seasoning. These have a texture that’s similar to Ella’s Nibbly Bars, which are a classic toddler snack, but are much more affordable—and I love that they’re such a good source of balanced energy from whole grains and healthy fats. If you’re feeling fancy, you can press chocolate chips into the top before you bake them, or even add 1/4 cup cut up raisins or dried cherries to the batter before rolling it out.
How long do these granola bars last?
I store our homemade granola bars in the fridge (because I like them cold) in an airtight container and serve them up until we run out. They’ll stay fresh for about two weeks. If you store them at room temperature, they’ll last about 1 week. You can also freeze half of the batch in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.Print
We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Warm the honey and peanut butter for about 15 seconds if not stored at room temperature.
- Place the oats and coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to grind into a coarse texture (like quick oats).
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the peanut butter and honey, and blend well. Add 1/4 cup water and blend until batter comes together like thick cookie dough. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice to get things fully incorporated. You should be able to press the batter together between your fingers and have it stick together. If it doesn’t, add a bit more water.
- Place batter onto the center of the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to press thin, about 1/4-1/2-inch thick and about 8×8-inches big. I measure roughly using an 8×8-inch baking pan. (You can also roll out the dough—just cover it with a piece of parchment paper first to make sure it’s easy to do.) Use a knife to lightly score lines for squares in whatever size you like.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely on the pan.
- Break into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or a week at room temperature or in the fridge.
*For kids under one, you can substitute brown rice syrup for the honey. You can also try using applesauce.
To make these without coconut, omit and use additional oats.
To make these without chia seeds, omit and increase the nut butter to 1/4 cup.
Add chocolate chips to this recipe by pressing a few into the top of the rolled out batter just before baking.
Use room temperature honey and nut or seed butter to make the batter come together easily, or warm them briefly.
Wet your fingers or use a piece of parchment to press the batter down if it’s sticking to your hands.