Recipe: A Back to School Power Snack!

Post by Olivia Martino, Registered Dietitian and Co-Owner, Nourish Northwest


Happy first day of school to Portland parents and kids!!!  We often get requests for healthy kid-friendly snacks that will keep the kiddos energized.  Many packaged snacks tend to be heavy on the processed carbohydrates.  As a dietitian, one thing I am constantly talking about with people of all ages is the importance of balance in snacks.  For sustained energy, satiety and blood sugar control, it’s super important to make sure your snack contains a high fiber carbohydrate (ex. whole grains, fruits, legumes) and a source of protein (nuts, seeds, legumes, meat/dairy etc).  If possible, snack time is also a great time to incorporate some veggies into your day.

Below is a recipe for a granola bar that contains a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein, as well as provides 11% of your daily value of iron.  Another added bonus: it’s free of the common allergens, gluten, dairy and peanuts.  Make a pan of these on a Sunday and portion out for your child to pack in their lunch all week.  It’s kid approved!

If you are interested in learning more about healthy snack and lunch ideas for your children, register for our Back to School Workshop Series on  September 21st and 28th.

Granola Bars

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Adapted from

Makes: 8 bars

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (including chilling)


  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened rice puffed cereal
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with coconut oil.
  2. Spread oats, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the seeds are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Mix cereal, currants, apricots and raisins; toss to combine with toasted seeds and oats.
  4. Combine sun butter,  honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. Immediately pour the sun butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Press the mixture down firmly with your hands (you can use a sheet of parchment paper as a barrier) to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.

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