Look no further, this list of homemade DIY snack bars, granola bars, and energy bites will satisfy any snacker. By special request, I was asked for my favorite recipe recommendations – keep reading to see them all!
Second breakfast, mid-day snack, sweet treat, dessert – call ’em what you will but no matter what name you bestow upon between-meal munchies, they’re a fact of life. Very few people go through their daily routine without turning to snacks at some point or another.
Snacks serve a purpose when done with mindfulness and care. While they can be an easy outlet to let our cravings run wild, the same general rules of nutrition still apply. Snacks are an opportunity to squeeze in some bonus nutrition that we aren’t getting in our meals. For most people, this is usually something in the fruit or vegetable category, but I also think of FIBER. Spoiler alert: There’s no shortage of fiber in this roundup.
One person who really knows the value of this is none other than my father. Dad has pretty much run the gamut of [less than] high quality snacks – I remember growing up it when was Nutty Buddy bars slathered with extra peanut butter or gas station hot dogs on the long drive home from work. Good [tasting] stuff, but not necessarily the most healthful choice. Thankfully for his arteries, his colon, and his dietitian daughter, he’s been converted!
I’m such a daddy’s girl. So I’m over the moon he’s taking care of himself for many more years of good health. And just take a look at how adorable we are when we go on adventures together.
And here’s one more from a slightly more recent time period minus the terrible hair:
I mean, if Dad asks me for a list of snack bar recipes, you can bet I’m going to deliver.
So that’s enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff! When I’m on the hunt for a recipe that delivers great taste AND great nutrition, who else to turn to besides my creative and credentialed colleagues?All of these recipes were developed by registered dietitians, and I’m excited to share them with you. I hope they make snack time a little more convenient, a little less stressful, and a lot more delicious!
We might have our store-bought favorites but they have the unfortunate side effect of doing some damage to the food budget. The convenience sometimes outweighs the cost but they can get pricey. If you want to stretch your grocery dollars further, try these homemade versions instead!
Homemade Fruit & Nut “KIND” Bars from Erica Julson
Peanut Butter Cereal Bars from Better Is The New Perfect
Homemade Larabars with Chocolate Frosting from Happy Healthy RD
FOOD ALLERGY FRIENDLY
Food allergies and sensitivities to dairy, nuts, or gluten mean you might face limited options. No so with this bunch! These recipes offer delicious choices for gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free snacks. NOTE: reference the recipe carefully before making and ensure your ingredients (like oats) are also compliant to avoid cross-contamination.
LEAP Friendly Cereal Bars from Russell Nutrition
Sunflower Chocolate Chip Chickpea Bars from Bucket List Tummy
Chewy Pumpkin Hemp Granola Bars from Bucket List Tummy
Protein-Packed Nut Free Chocolate Granola Bars from C It Nutritionally
FOR THE SWEET TOOTH
Sometimes snacks can play a dual purpose of providing nutrition while also satisfying a sweet tooth. If you’re dreaming of dessert, give these a whirl and they might become your new favorite!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Snack Bars from Back to the Book Nutrition
Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars from Byte Sized Nutrition
Chocolate Nut Bars from Chard in Charge
No Bake Almond Joy Bars from Kara Lydon, The Foodie Dietitian
FOR THE FRUIT LOVERS
Dried fruit provides the perfect sweetness in these recipes and creates the binding materials so your bars don’t crumble and break apart while eating. No one wants a lap (or car seat) full of crumbs!
No Bake Cranberry Almond Energy Bars from One Hungry Bunny
Apple Cinnamon Oat Bars from The Nutritionist Reviews
The Everything Bar from Smart Nutrition
No Bake Sesame Orange Snack Bars from Abby Langer Nutrition
Vegan Cherry Latte Energy Bar from Euphoria Nutrition
Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Bars from Euphoria Nutrition
Mixed Fruit and Nut Energy Bar from Bite of Health Nutrition
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER LOVERS
If you just can’t get enough of that creamy, peanut butter-y flavor, look no further than these recipes. They might not match Nutty Buddy bars with extra PB but I think that’s probably a good thing!
Peanut Butter Yogurt Bars from Hungry Hobby
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bars from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars from Smart Nutrition
Energy bites are the perfect batch cooking option that don’t require any actual cooking at all. Adjust these recipes to make as many or as few as you need. I’ll make these in advance, freeze them in smaller baggies, then pull them out as needed so I can munch on them all week long. Plus, any of these recipes are versatile enough to shape into bars if you prefer.
Almond Pistachio Cocoa Bites from Amy Gorin Nutrition
10 Minute Healthy Energy Bites from Nourish Nutrition Co.
Cranberry Orange Energy Bites from One Hungry Bunny
So what do you think? Will Dad have enough options to tame that craving for a PB slathered Little Debbie snack?
If there’s a favorite recipe you like to use, drop it in a comment below! I’d love to see what you’re reaching for when snack time rolls around. Happy snacking!