On-the-go parents know that when it comes to the ultimate in-transit snack, nothing beats a bar. At once convenient, nutritious and tasty, the ready-to-go treat packs in everything your kiddo needs for a satisfying hunger fix. To help ensure you're giving your offspring the best bang for your buck, we've rounded up some of the most kid-friendly, parent-approved options out there.
One rainy day in 2003, mother-child bonding time took a productive turn for Beryl Stafford and her daughter, Bobo. The pair set out for an afternoon of baking and landed on what would become a beloved bar in more than 5,000 shops and cafés around the country. Credit that success to the bar’s small-batch baking process, its quality-ingredients-or-bust ethos, and its non-GMO, gluten-free makeup.
Inspired to create a convenient snack when she learned of her husband's nut allergy, Nicole Ledoux began experimenting with craft seed bars. Quick demand led her to launch 88 Acres, a line of vegan, non-GMO seed bars in flavors like Triple Berry, Chocolate & Sea Salt and Apple & Ginger.
It was during a routine grocery store trip with his son, Michael, when Ernie Pang came up with the idea for these bars; namely, when Michael started asking about the impossible-to-pronounce ingredients on the back of some products. Knowing things could—and should—be done differently, Pang created Junkless, a line of bars featuring four kid-approved flavors that remain free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.
These Brooklyn-made snacks are free of added sugar yet brimming with flavor, thanks to ingredients like dates, nuts and cinnamon. And that's not all. Parents can rest assured their little ones are also getting their fair share of protein, vitamins and minerals; fiber; and omega-3s, all thanks to the ingredient-inquisitive mom behind the recipe.
For parents looking to fuel their kids with as many whole foods as possible, these gluten-free, non-GMO bars are the first to be based on the Mediterranean diet. If your offspring aren't springing for Mediterra’s more savory flavors (like Kale & Pumpkin Seed and Black Olive & Walnut), opt for its sweeter options, which include Fig & Almond and Apricot & Pistachio.
Connecticut-based baker Jerri Graham is dedicated to creating snacks with high-quality ingredients like whole organic oats, raw nuts, dried berries, ginger and lemon zest. And though those items resulted in nearly 70 flavors at the onset, she's now whittled that selection down to a few favorites, including cherry cranberry almond, ginger lemon cashew and peanut butter banana chocolate.
Toddlers are bound to go bananas for these bars, a makeup of all of the good stuff—i.e., whole-grain oats, dried fruits and sunflower oil. Created by a real-life dad, the bars, which are certified organic and non-GMO, are available in a trio of unfussy, kid-friendly flavors: Bananas & Raisins, Apples & Strawberries and Mangoes & Carrots.
More than one mouth to feed? TT for Tots has you covered with all the recipes, tips and gear you need to live deliciously, family style.
Nicole Schnitzler is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers travel, food, and drink. Follow her on Twitter at @write_to_eat.
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