This healthy, budget-friendly after school snack deserves an A+
Today we’re super excited to introduce you to our friend, Ana. She’s a stay at home mama of four boys with a serious passion for baking and healthy living. Today she’s sharing her recipe for Homemade Chocolate Chip ‘Clif Bars’. They’re allergy-friendly and easier on the budget and a great way to involve the kids in the kitchen (or you can put them outside and enjoy a quick therapeutic baking session like Ana does). Without further ado, here’s Ana!
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be sharing one of my family’s favorite recipes with you today. I’m Ana, a stay at home mom that loves nutrition, essential oils and baking. One of my “jobs” as a mom is making sure our four little boys get the nutrition they need to grow up to be strong healthy men. And because my husband and I have decided for me to be a stay at home mom, I embraced the challenge of creating homemade meals and snacks that are budget-friendly.
A little history first, about a year ago we started on a journey to heal our second son’s gut. Since our oldest son would also complain of stomach issues, we decided to have the whole family partake in our journey. We quickly learned that several foods were not agreeing with the boys and causing different issues. We worked hard to find the best options for each of them in the nutrition department but the effort was worth it when we saw their health improve.
A new snack is born
Our third son, Henry, is our little spitfire. He loooves Clif Bars. We’ve grabbed them for a quick snack when we we were away from home but as you know, this mama is all about nutrition + budget. Besides that, the rolled oats in the bars don’t sit well with the boys, so they weren’t the ‘perfect choice’ for us considering how often he was asking for them at home. Crunching I few numbers I could easily see that creating a batch of Homemade Chocolate Chip ‘Clif Bars’ would cost me far less than buying the packaged bars. So into the kitchen (my happy place!) I went to create “Henry’s Bars”.
I started by swapping out the rolled oats for crisp rice cereal and using sunflower seed butter instead of syrups to hold them all together. I then experimented with the add-ins which, by the way, are pretty much endless and a great way to use up what you’ve got on hand. We’ve used currants, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, collagen and more. For a little added pop of flavor I’ve started reaching for my essential oils. The options and combinations are endless and it’s fun to experiment with them. Thus far we’ve tried cinnamon bark, tangerine, clove, orange and more. I can’t tell you just how much I love these Homemade Chocolate Chip ‘Clif Bars’. They’re quick to make and everyone agrees on them which is always a win-win when it comes to feeding this many hungry bellies.
An allergy-friendly snack for kids of all ages that won't break the budget. Click To Tweet
Smarter after school snacking
The month of August, though slipping by all too quickly, is great for creating some new snack recipes for after school. In our home, since we homeschool, “after school snack” becomes “all day snack”!! Our boys are 8,6,4, & 1 years of age and as I alluded to before, they have healthy, growing appetites. A batch of these bars disappears so quickly when we have three sets of little hands grabbing for them as soon as they are finished! During the school year, we offer a few snacks throughout the day to keep the boys going. Keeping healthy options available for them throughout the day helps support better focus and happier moods for schoolwork time (which means I’m a happier mama!).
The bars keep well in a covered container or individually wrapped in fridge and they travel well in a lunchbox making them great for lunches or mid-day snacking.
Thanks for letting me share a little about myself and our favorite Homemade Chocolate Chip ‘Clif Bars’ recipe. I hope you give these a try for your growing ones or for yourself – you’re going to love how simple and budget-friendly they are.
While Ana used Young Living Peppermint Vitality essential oil in this recipe, it is optional. We here at The Real Food Dietitians do not receive any compensation for this post (or subsequent sales of essential oils. We just really love what Ana does.)
Hungry for more?
You can get the recipe for Orange-Apricot Bars here plus learn more about Ana, essential oils and keeping the entire family fed and healthy.
While you’re at it, Follow Ana on Instagram! She’s always got something delicious cooking up.
We can’t with for you to give these Homemade Chocolate Chip ‘Clif Bars’ a try!
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the sunflower seed butter and honey and stir constantly until melted together.
- Remove from heat and add the crisp rice cereal and stir until well combined.
- Fold the coconut and sunflower seeds into the cereal mixture.
- Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 5-8 minutes or let the mixture cool on the baking sheet on the counter for about 10-15 minutes or until it's cool enough that the chocolate chips will not melt.
- Add the peppermint essential oil, if using, and chocolate chips the gently fold everything together.
- Using your hands, firmly press into a rectangle roughly 9x12 inches.
- Bars will keep up to one week in a covered container in the fridge (or freeze for longer storage).
What’s your favorite budget-friendly snack? Tell us in the comments below!
Pin now to make later!
This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.