Finding the Right Breakfast Bars

by in Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, June 17, 2009

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We’ve already filled you in on the best choices for snack bars and energy bars. Now we’ve scoped out the most popular breakfast bar brands to find out which are the healthiest breakfast choice.

What Is a Breakfast Bar?
These types of food bars are often referred to as “cereal bars.” Instead of being packed with nuts, granola, or oodles of protein like snack or energy bars, they typically have a softer texture and may try to replicate some common American breakfast foods like pastries and cereal. Some varieties have fruit fillings or icing on top, which might be a sign of high amounts of sugar.

Any kind of food bar provides grab-and-go convenience and portion control; this definitely makes them handy for a fast breakfast or a between-meal snack. Just walk through your grocery store, and you’ll see that there’s an astounding range of choices — some healthy and some not so much!

What to Look For
Most breakfast bars range from 90 to 150 calories. This isn’t really enough calories for breakfast, so if you do choose a bar like this, eat it with some fresh fruit, non-fat or low-fat yogurt or a glass of milk to complete the meal.

When it comes to the ingredients, look for products that include items you can pronounce. I found a lot of these packaged bars are loaded with sweeteners and preservatives.

    What you DO want:
  • Whole grains for nutrients and fiber
  • Real fruit

I did some research to find the highest quality bars out there; here are a few that I like:

Make Your Own
When you do make them yourself, you get to control the quality of the ingredients (no high fructose corn syrup in these recipes!) and pick and choose your favorite flavors. You probably don’t have time to whip up a batch of these in the morning before you head out to work, so cook them ahead of time. Wrap them individually and store in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Or pop a few in a plastic baggie and keep them in your desk at work.

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Comments (98)

  1. Krikri says:

    Breakfast is hard to skip. Paradoxically, it is also the meal that needs to be done quickly as you rush off to work. So a new need arises – something healthy and quick to prepare. Breakfast bars answer these needs by providing such meals. The precaution is however present – "What you DO want" and "What you DON’T want". TLC Cereal Bars are extremely useful especially with the fruit flavors like apple.

    • Tony T says:

      There is a way to make a low calorie healthy breakfast bar with just the ingredients you want…..it's very simple and has the ability to be made in batches of 128 bars!

      If you would like some free recipes go to youbube & search: pugbread
      (Watch the 4 min Overview Clip first)

      I hope this would be a help to someone……

      Thank You and God Bless You,
      Tony T

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I've been eating these FiberOne granola bars recently…what do you think of those?

  3. Hi Jennifer – The best way to check out any bar is to read through the nutrition facts and ingredients. Many companies have the info online so you can do your research before you head to the store.

  4. August says:

    Does anyone have a comment on the South Beach Breakfast Bars. I like them because they're 140 cal and have 10 gr of protein.

  5. Monika Moore says:

    Thank's for your suggestions. I like Luna Toasted Nuts'n Cranberry 10g protein 3g fiber, low glycemic, calcium 35%. Calories 180, 35 from fat. I will try some of your suggestions like this fig walks into a bar…

  6. Kelly says:

    Dude! Great post!!! Trader Joe Bars are my absolute FAVORITE!!! I'm completely hooked on them. I tend to buy 4 boxes (one in each flavor) at a time to last me the entire month! They are a perfect on the go snack, energy booster when the day is dragging, quick nutrients after Yoga or a good workout. They're whole grain & all natural organic ingredients – they can't be beat in my opinion! I'm glad to see someone else out there agrees!

  7. Kelly says:

    I like the Kashi bars. The Fiber One bars have quite a bit of fiber, but they also contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the South Beach bars have artifical sweeteners. I purchase items with as few ingredients as possible and I completely avoid HFCS, partially hydrogenated oils, and artificial anything. This gets crazy…but is doable.

  8. jill says:

    I love the Enjoy Life caramel apple cereal bar. It's allergen free(no gluten, soy or nuts) and tastes great.

  9. Leanne says:

    All of you!! Please try Lara Bars!!! They only have 4 or 5 ingredients, are organic, and absolutely fabulous!! They come in Banana Nut, Pistachio, Chocolate, Apple, and several others. Oh yea, the Lime Coconut is my absolute fave!!!

  10. danawhite says:

    Thanks for your comment Leanne – one of the newest Lara Bar flavors -Peanut Butter Cookie- is pretty awesome too!

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