November 24, 2010

Snack - Granola Bars

Total Prep Time: Less than 1 minute
1 Grain Products (1 26g granola bar)

When thinking of a quick school snack for Big-A, granola bars are one of the first things that come to mind.  They're easy to eat, no-mess and perfectly portable.  They're also very handy as an on-the-go snack for kids and parents.  The trickiest thing about purchasing granola bars is figuring out which brand to buy.  Not all are made the same...

We all know the number one school safety rule - NO NUTS!  This eliminates many brands from your shopping list.  You're best to avoid such brands as Kashi, Nature Valley and Fibre One when following this important rule.  These brands do not have a 'nut-free' label on their packaging, and most of the options within each of these brands contain nuts.

My family loves granola bars.  I break little pieces off for Lil-J to snack on and Big-A loves them with a cold glass of milk.  There are many different flavours to choose from, with ingredients such as fruit, chocolate chips and marshmallows.  I only purchase Quaker and President's Choice granola bars, due to the 'nut-free' symbol on the packaging.  I can then send one with Aidan for snack without concern.

Here is a comparison of these two popular brands:

Chewy Chocolate Chip1103g1g6gYes
Chewy Bumble Berry1002g1g5gYes
Dipps Chocolate Chip1405g1g14gNo

PRESIDENT'S CHOICECal/barFatFibreSugarNut-Free
Rich & Chewy Chocolate Chip1102.5g1g9gYes
Blue Menu Cranberry Apple1002g1g9gYes
Dipped Chocolate Chip1405g1g12gYes

Quaker and PC brands are very similar, with the same calories, fat and unimpressive amounts of fibre.  One important detail to look at is Quaker Dipps granola bars - they are not nut-free.  I'm very careful with purchasing store-bought school snacks that are nut-free, but I honestly didn't notice that Quaker Dipps are not until Big-A pointed it out (due to the lack of the 'nut-free' symbol on the box).  I now stick to PC granola bars for Big-A's school snacks.  I find that they also taste better and are chewier than Quaker brand.

Canada's Food Guide recognizes a single 26g granola bar as 1 Grain Product.  The guide also suggests limiting granola bars in your diet due to the high amount of sugar per serving.  Pair a granola bar with a piece of fruit or a container of yogurt for delicious, healthy school snack for your child.

Offering low-fat, high-fibre foods to your child most of the time will allow room for 'treats' like granola bars once in a while.  Use common sense and your own moderation rules when choosing snacks for your children.


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