With wholesome ingredients and not a lot of added sugar, you can bake up Healthy Breakfast Bars with a layer of yummy jam to serve for breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. This recipe is naturally egg-free and can be made nut- and gluten-free. And they really do taste better than so many store bought bars!
Healthy Breakfast Bars Recipes
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 breakfast bars with a simple smoothie or a glass of milk for an easy and yummy breakfast to share with the kids.
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 Healthy Breakfast Bars
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
Here’s a look at how to make this breakfast bars recipe.
- Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven. (photo 1)
- Grind the oats in a food processor or blender. (photo 2)
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together to form a dough. Set aside some batter. Place the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. (photo 3)
- Spread the jam on top. (photo 4)
- Crumble the remaining dough over the jam. (photo 5)
- Bake! Let cool! (photo 6)
- Lift the bars out using the parchment paper and slice.
TIP: We love the flavors of pb & j and they come through in this recipe which will likely be appealing to kids. 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!
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?
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 as those more natural versions are usually a lot less sweet.
What’s the texture like in these bars?
They aren’t crunchy or chewy, but more of a soft bar. They are thicker than a Nutri-Grain Bar and sort of similar to an Ella’s Nibbly Fingers bar in texture. 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!
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 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.)
- 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!
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below with feedback!Print
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.
- 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 3/4 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.
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.
To make these nut-free, use Sunbutter.
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!