Back To School Breakfast Bars

Less than two weeks to go and our house is in a frantic rush to:
  1. Do everything fun we haven’t had time for yet this summer.
  2. Enjoy the guilt-free chances to stay up late because we can sleep as late as we want the next morning.
  3. Complete the millions of back to school preparations without letting them put a damper on the last days of summer.

On top of the above mentioned list, I have begun to feel the pressure of providing my kids with “Back to School Food.”

How does that differ than regular food?  It needs to be already prepared, so it fits into the Grab-It-And-Go category that is essential for kids and food during the school year.

So over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you my favorite school recipes that work for our family.  Both quick breakfasts and our favorites for the lunch box as well.

Hopefully, we will all benefit by having a bit less craziness and a lot more time to pretend it is still summer :)

These bars are hands-down my kids favorite recipe.  I first posted a more “treat-like” version of this recipe a few years back that I packed full of mini M&M’s, chocolate chips or mini marshmallows.  Again, my kids adore them.

Awhile back, I decided to play with the recipe a bit to make them more appropriate for breakfast and this was my grand slam result.  Tons of dried fruit, ground flax seed, less sweetener and butter.  Still amazingly chewy and addicting!!!

Please don’t tell me your kids won’t eat dried cranberries, apricots and dates.  YOU JUST NEED TO CHOP THEM SMALL ENOUGH….they will never know.  Even my boy who “hates raisins” devours these because when he asks if there are any raisins in them, I can honestly tell him “no” :)

Back To School Breakfast Bars
recipe by Carole Jones
**You can also double this recipe and bake it in a 1/2 sheet pan for 18 minutes

1 1/2 C quick oats – or pulse whole oats in a food processor
1/2 C Rice Krispies
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/2 C dried apricots – diced small
1/2 C dried cranberries – diced small
1/2 C dates – diced small
1/3 C coconut
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tb honey
6 Tb butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together all the ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed.  Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan and press down firmly all over until the bars are level and well packed into the pan.
3.  Bake for 16-18 minutes.  As soon as it is removed from the oven, use a bench scraper or metal spatula to press down into the bars to score them into the desired size.  Once they have cooled completely, then use a knife to cut on the scored lines.
***For gluten-free, be sure to use gluten free rice krispies.


  1. says

    ok…so I just made my 3 round of these bars!! My family loves them!! I added 1/2 cup of chopped raw almonds and 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds. They loved them with a bit of crunch. I also made a batch with dried cherries instead of the cranberries. Real good, too. I’m thinking down the road I may try adding a bit of orange zest for the holidays. Just don’t want the family to tire of them. They are great before practice and workouts!!

    I also cooked mine a bit longer to get a tiny bit of golden color on the outside. LOVE them!! Love all your recipes…You’re terrific!!

  2. says

    forgot to tell you….I had a friend I was taking a meal to and I took some cut bars and wrapped each one in a piece of wax paper with a cute sticker to hold it closed. wrapped 6 up with a ribbon and gave them with the meal for quick breakfasts. They sent me a message how much they really loved having them.

    I know I am babbling…but was just had to share. They look so darn cute all wrapped up and make them portable, too. Sorry for my wordiness!!

  3. says

    I’m not crazy about dates, so I added apricots, cherries and golden raisins! Delicious! I left my fruit in bigger chunks because I’m a big girl and I like my fruit! LOL Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  4. says

    rdnance- I think just adding cinnamon to the recipe would be a great idea. I agree that the dried apples would be spongy, but I wonder about diced apples that are cooked just a bit. They might be too wet, but it is worth a try!

  5. says

    Would you consider adding Carb counts to your recipes when posting them? It can be done at home by the person following the recipes, but it is so nice to be able to see it before hand! I have a newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic 4 year old who was also diagnosed with Celiac at the same time, and it would be so lovely to see the Carb counts without having to go check out each ingredient in the recipe and add and divide :)

  6. says

    I made them without coconut and added mini chocolate chips. Did I do something wrong because they are falling apart? Do I need to press them harder? They are awesome!!! My 6 yr old says it burns her tongue. I hope they learn to love them like we do.

  7. says

    Paula: did you use quick oats or whole? Whole would result in a more crumbly bar, as would baking them too long or too hot. Also, yes, I do press them down very firmly.

  8. says

    Viktor- I would not make that substitution. Yes, the brown sugar adds sweetness but more importantly, it adds chewiness and stability to the bars. If you do you an artificial sweetener, I would suggest adding some agave syrup or honey as well. Your result won’t be the same but it will be your best bet.

  9. says

    I would like to thank you so much for this recipe. My friend referred this program to me: “body building for beginners” and I’ve been doing it for a week now. So far, I haven’t been advised to avoid any of the ingredients on your list, so I think I’m safe to eat this. I will definitely try this at home, together with my little sister who also loves oats. Thanks again for your recipe!

  10. says

    My children love these breakfast bars. Good to know it’s healthy for them, because I’ve been trying hard to feed them fruits and vegetables. They’re fussy eaters, so I’m trying to do every technique I could find on the net, just to give them healthy snacks!

  11. says

    Thank you! Our family nutritionist advises us to eat these bars for snack. She even sent us this link just in case we wanted to make them at home instead. I’m so glad this works for us. Thanks again!

  12. says

    I have tried this recipe and I can assure that it is very delicious. Well, I’m always on the go and this kind of bar snack is very appropriate to my kind of lifestyle.

  13. says

    Bringing lunch box to school is what I hate most because it’s bulky and I don’t like carrying things using both of my hands at the same time. The recipe is great and I know that it will taste really good.

    • says

      Sarah- i would suggest two things. Make sure you press the mixture really firmly into the pan before baking. Secondly, score your bars very well as soon as they come out of the oven so they don’t fall apart when you cut them later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *