This list of healthy store bought granola bars for kids that are actually healthy for kids features top picks for healthy snack bars from a Registered Dietitian. All have seven grams of added sugar or less and include some protein and fiber.
*Originally published April 2019. Updated July 2023*
This list of healthy store-bought granola bars for kids comes highly requested as a lot of people are looking for healthy granola bars for kids and quite honestly has really been a labor of love. I spent hours looking at the nutrition labels of various granola and snack bars on the market, analyzing the label, reading the ingredients and researching all the options. And believe me, there are A LOT of bar options out there.
While I typically don’t recommend a bar every single day, I recognize that they’re convenient and that there are some nutritious options out there that can fit nicely into a child’s diet. So I did my research and wanted to help cut through the clutter and give you some good options.
Choosing Granola Bars For Kids That Are Actually Healthy
Like anything when it comes to feeding your kids, you are in charge. Do your own research. Read the labels. Check out the ingredients. Then decide what you feel comfortable feeding your kids.
And if you need more store-bought snack ideas, check out:
Snacks from certain stores:
- Healthy Amazon Snacks
- Best Trader Joe’s Snacks
- Best Healthy Walmart Snacks
- Healthy Snacks At Costco For The Whole Family
- Best ALDI Healthy Snacks
- Best Healthy Snacks at Target
Types of snacks:
- Best Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks
- High Protein Snack Ideas
- Healthy Store-Bought Tortillas
- Healthy Fruit Snacks
- Best Boxed Mac and Cheese
- Healthy Crackers for Kids and Adults
- Best Low-Sugar Yogurts
- Lower Sugar Cereal For Kids
- Best Frozen Waffles
- Individually Wrapped Snack Ideas
- Peanut & Tree Nut Free Packaged Snacks
These bars would also make great lunch box additions. If you need more packed lunch ideas, check out my guide: A Month of Easy Packed Lunch Ideas For Kids!
*This post was updated July 2022. Several of my choices have been discontinued since I originally published this list in 2019 so if you see bars in the pictures that aren’t on this list, it’s because they’re not being made anymore!
Here’s a quick video to show you a few good options I found recently at my local Meijer & Kroger:
Healthy Snack Bars For Kids
Similar to what I discussed in my Lower Sugar Cereals for Kids guide, for posts like this, there has to be a cutoff. Otherwise, the list would be too large and overwhelming. Similarly, this is not an all-inclusive list. There are just too many options out there to cover them all.
Are granola bars healthy? Are there any healthy granola bars?
So what are the best granola bars for kids? Are there any out there that aren’t just glorified desserts? I think so! Here are the criteria I used for my list:
Grams of sugar per granola bar:
7g or less added sugar
Previously, companies didn’t have to indicate how much of the sugar on the label was added so it was sometimes hard to tell how much was sugar was naturally occurring from things like fruit versus added sugar.
Updated nutrition labels break out the amount of added sugar so that’s what I focus on instead of total sugar. In addition, you can look at the order of ingredients in the ingredient list. If sugar is listed before fruit, you can assume that more of the sugar is added.
Grams of protein per granola bar (and fiber!)
At least 2 grams of each
Note that fiber can come from oats, fruit, nuts/seeds, but in some bars, it is added in the form of inulin, chicory root etc. Similarly, protein can come from whole ingredients or it can be added in the form of whey protein, egg powder, etc.
Best Store Bought Granola Bars On The Market
I did my best to choose bars with ingredients I think are wholesome. Is every single ingredient in each bar on this list perfect? No. But overall, I feel like the ingredient lists are good. If you’re overly concerned with ingredients, you may be better off making your own bars at home!
Many of the bars on the list come in multiple flavors. For this list, I’ve picked one flavor of each. Remember that sometimes other flavors might have differences in ingredients, amount of sugar, etc. You can compare nutrition labels and ingredients between flavors on the websites.
Healthy Store Bought Granola Bars For Kids
- Rx Bar Kids Double Chocolate
- Larabar Mini Peanut Butter Cookie
- Happy Tot Strawberry Banana Sunflower Seed Butter Oat Bar
- Thunderkids Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Skout Apple Cinnamon Energy Bar
- Health Warrior Chia Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter
- KIND Healthy Grains Almond Butter Dark Chocolate
- KIND Breakfast Bars Honey Oat
- Kashi CHEWY Peanut Peanut Butter
- Bobo’s Original Chocolate Chip Oat Bites
- Happytot Fiber and Protein Banana Carrot Bar
- 88 Acres Cinnamon Oat Seed Bar
- That’s It Fruit Bar Apple Blueberry
- Perfect Kids Bar Chocolate Chip
- Enjoy Life Breakfast Ovals Apple Cinnamon
- Simple Mills Soft Baked Bars Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (*these have 8g added sugar)
- Made Good Granola Bars Mixed Berry
- Zing Minis Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Dinobars Blueberry Pear Banana
- Blake’s Seed Based Bars Blueberry Lemon
- CLIF Nut Butter Bars Peanut Butter
- Dave’s Killer Bread Trail Mix Crumble Snack Bars
If you like a brand or bar that’s not on my list, it might be because it has more than 7g added sugar per serving. Those bars are fine to eat, I would just recommend treating them a little more like sweet treat due to the amount of added sugar.
Here are a few where the ingredients are fine for the most part but I don’t really feel like they’re worth eating. They’re quite low in calories and don’t really offer anything in the way of fiber or protein so they won’t be very satisfying or have a lot of staying power unless paired with another protein source:
- KIND Kids Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Annie’s Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Cascadian Farms Kids Chewy Oatmeal Raisin
Healthy Granola Bar FAQs
Are granola bars good for you? What are the benefits of granola bars?
There are certainly granola bars out there that can be good for you. Like anything else, a lot depends on the ingredients. Granola bars can often be marketed as a healthy choice, especially for kids, but if you look at the nutrition facts and ingredients you’ll see that they’re often fairly low in protein and fiber and high in added sugar.
In my opinion, many granola bars on the market are more of a dessert-like treat than a filling and nutritious snack but there are some good options for you especially those that contain oats for fiber, nuts and seeds for healthy fats/protein and are sweetened more with fruit than added sugar.
Is it ok to eat granola bars every day?
Again it depends which bars you’re choosing. If you can find one with a solid nutritional profile, it can be a great snack but just like anything else I recommend focusing on a varied diet and trying to incorporate a variety of healthy snack options throughout each week.
Is it ok to eat granola bars for breakfast? Can granola bars replace a meal?
For most people, especially kids, a granola bar is not enough to be a complete breakfast. However, you could pair a healthy granola bar with a cheese stick or cup of yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit to make a balanced breakfast or light meal!
How long can you store granola bars?
Granola bars are a great shelf-stable option to keep in your pantry. They last for months and don’t need to be refrigerated. Store them in a cool, dry pantry until the expiration date on the package.
Are KIND bars healthy?
KIND bars are some of my favorite granola bars to recommend for adults. They have some great low sugar options but some also have large pieces of nuts that can be hard for younger children to eat. But they also have some options that are more grain-based and chewy options that are easier for kids – as recommended above. They also have some great gluten-free options if that’s something you need.
Are oat bars healthy? Are oat bars good for digestion?
Oats are a nutrition powerhouse and can be a great addition to your diet. They’re a whole grain protein, source and also contain vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber which can help with digestion.
Is a granola bar a healthy late-night snack?
In most cases, I would recommend pairing a granola bar with a protein source to help keep blood sugar from spiking, especially before bed. Have one with a glass of milk, slice of turkey or a cheese stick for a more balanced late night snack.
If you’re looking for more snack ideas, be sure to check out my 60+ HealthyPackaged Snacks for Kids!
I think that’s it! Remember this isn’t an all-inclusive list and it’s just based on my opinion. You do you! Make choices you’re happy with feeding your family and let others do the same 🙂
Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!