My children have always loved snack bars, but so many of them are just junk, even less healthy than the cereals so many of them are based on (read what I think about children’s cereals here). However recently there have been a lot more nutritious snack bars on the market, some of which can help meet a vegetarian child’s nutritional requirements as well as fill the gap.
Before I go any further, please don’t think that I am some kind of health nut who never allows her children to eat anything fun or sweet. I love chocolate as much as (ok, more than) the next woman and my kids have sadly inherited my sweet tooth along with my brown eyes. What I can’t stand though, is when junk masquerades as healthy food. If I want to eat junk I will, and so will my children, but I don’t want them to be under any illusions that it’s good for them.
Anyway, back to the healthy snack bars… The following are favourites in our whole family, and well worth the extra cost:
They’re absolutely gorgeous (a worthy replacement for chocolate when necessary) but the main reason I love them is that they contain vegetarian omega 3 and 6. I’m more than happy for my children to have them on these grounds alone! They also supply all sorts of other vitamins and minerals though, thanks to the nutritious seeds they are made from.
9bars are also free from artificial additives and don’t contain wheat, gluten, dairy, lactose, yeast or egg, so would be ideal for vegan children or kids with food allergies.
You can buy them in packs of 3 for between £1.60 and £2.29 and they are usually found in the Free From sections of supermarkets, at Holland & Barrett and at some independent health food shops, though varieties other than the Original are hard to come by.
These bars contain crisped rice, nuts, seeds and honey together with a variety of dried fruits, yoghurt or chocolate. They do contain a fair amount of sugar but have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and are also delicious. The cranberry, macadamia and dark chocolate is mine and my children’s favourite, but my husband prefers others. There are a lot of different flavours!
They are vegetarian and gluten free, but not suitable for vegans. The bars are sold individually (about 75p in Sainsbury’s) or in packs of 3 (about £2.05), but not every flavour is available in both. Eat Natural has also recently brought out Lunchies, which are smaller bars in a pack of 4 (£2.39 in Sainsbury’s), which I’m testing out as a lunch box treat at the moment.
These are probably the most natural bars of the three, containing no sugar, just raw fruits, nuts and spices. The ones we like are called “nudie bars” and come in a variety of flavours. Various family members have different favourites and preferences and one of my sons is quite picky about which ones he’ll eat, but he does love those.
These are also sold individually (about 75p in Sainsbury’s) or in packs of 4 (£2.39). On the NAKD website they’re available in bigger boxes.
I don’t think that snack bars are necessary for children, but when it comes to these three they are a yummy treat as well as providing some goodness, so I don’t mind shelling out for them now and then for packed lunches and snacks. The only problem is that I work from home and they’re a constant temptation to me!