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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