If your child has a food allergy, specifically a nut allergy, the immune system response can be incredibly scary and not one you want to deal with twice. A lot of schools are completely nut free, or have a nut free section in the lunchroom.
If your child has a nut allergy or you are just wanting to send your kids to school with a nut free granola bar, this is your recipe!
It’s chewy, super delicious and packed with nutritious ingredients!
There are only 5 main ingredients in this granola bar recipe! You can play around with add-ins until you find the right combination that your kids love. I have found that mini chocolate chips and craisins are definitely a winner at our house.
Oats – Oats make a great whole grain base for granola bar recipes. They are mild, slightly sweet, have a great texture and are packed with fiber and vitamins.
Honey – I love honey in this recipe because it acts as a binder while providing sweetness. Because honey is so intensely sweet, you don’t need very much to go a long way. It also doesn’t harden completely which is why these granola bars can stay chewy!
Coconut Oil – The mild hint of coconut flavor from the oil in these granola bars is so delicious! If your child is allergic to coconut, you can always substitute another oil its place.
Pepitas – These little green crunchy seeds are actually pumpkin seeds……but they only come from specific types of pumpkins. They provide a yummy crunch, but aren’t nuts and so are a great alternative if your child has a nut allergy.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon gives these granola bars a warming, spice flavor and adds depth to the overall taste of these yummy bars!
Question: What type of oats should I use? I recommend using rolled oats for the best texture. Quick oats will work, but I would not use steel cut oats.
Question: My child is allergic to coconut. What can I use instead of coconut oil? You can use a neutral flavored oil like avocado or canola. You can also try using butter.
Question: How should I store these granola bars? We have found that they hold up best when refrigerated, but you can store them in an airtight container in your pantry or counter.
Question: Can I substitute sunflower seeds for the pepitas? Yes! This would just be a taste preference for which one you use. The recipe won’t change.
Question: Does this recipe call for roasted or raw pepitas? Roasted – the flavor and crunch are better for these granola bars when you use roasted.
Question: Can I substitute the honey for rice syrup or maple syrup? You can use either of these syrups in place of honey – it may change the flavor a bit and taste sweeter.
A child who is allergic to peanuts, does not necessarily have an allergy to tree-nuts (almonds, cashews, or walnuts). However about 25-40% of them are allergic to both, and many physicians will recommend avoiding both. The best practice as a parent you can be in is to read your labels. Checking labels for the allergen itself, as well as cross contamination of the allergen is vital for allergy management.
Then, if your child is in school, inform the teacher, as well as the front office about your child’s allergy. From my experience, teachers are great about protecting your child and informing the rest of the parents that may bring food into the class about the allergy. This helps to control their environment for contamination they may not see or even ingest. Secondly, it’s very important as well to teach your kids to be their own advocates and know what foods are safe for them. From a very young age, they can question the source of their food when other safety barriers have broken down.
For a complete list of what to check for on a label, whether you have a peanut or tree-nut allergy, print this document! from Food Allergy.org It’s very simple and comprehensive, plus it contains helpful label reading information for other allergies.
Nut Free Trail Mix – a mix of salty and sweet, this trail mix is perfect if your kids have a nut allergy!
Homemade Animal Crackers (Nut Free) – Crackers can be a great snack for kids- especially, crackers that are homemade, full of nutrients, and tastes great.
Flax Carrot Apple Muffins – These muffins load up kids on nutritious ingredients like whole grains, fruits, veggies and seeds. Make these muffins ahead for a quick weekday morning breakfast or school-safe packed lunch option.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine oats, salt and cinnamon.
In small saucepan, combine honey and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla.
Pour honey mixture into the oats and stir until well combined.
Stir in pepitas and dried cranberries if adding. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add in chocolate chips.
Spoon mixture into your parchment lined pan and spread evenly. Spray a small amount of cooking spray onto your hands and press the mixture firmly into the pan so that it stays together.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the bars with the parchment paper and cut into 12 even bars. Enjoy!
Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
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.
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