My little one is 16 months old and picking up new words and meanings very quickly. He gets particularly excited when offered a snack, largely due, I’m sure, to the rewarding responsibility of choosing the snack himself. What he calls “his” snack drawer is the drawer in the pantry containing suckers (my snack) and granola bars (probably from 2012), along with random bits of parade and Halloween candy. Junk, mostly, but I’ve let him eat a couple crumbly, generic, granola bars simply because he was so proud of himself for finding them. I guess it’s finally time to clean out and restock the drawer.
I’ve wanted to try making my own granola bars, but since I rarely eat them myself, I haven’t been motivated. Now that my son has decided they’re his thing, I got excited about throwing together a sticky oatmeal mess of simple, mostly nutritious ingredients. After surveying the recipes already offered, I settled on my version of soft, no-bake, cinnamon raisin. I’m no fan of crunchy granola bars. When I see the label “crunchy” on those things, I just think about the crumbly, inevitable mess that will either be all over my kitchen floor, living room carpet, baby’s carseat, baby’s diaper, or in my shirt poking my pregnant belly. I’m not up for that. So, for the chewy, no-bake kind, I already had most everything I needed in my pantry, and chances are you do, too. I did have to ask the husband to bring home some puffed rice cereal which I don’t generally keep on hand (and now I’m fascinated by the prospect of making puffed rice myself…I just realized how simple it is). The process for these granola bars is super simple, quick, and rewarding. They turned out really delicious, and my little one loves them. However, I will try adding less brown sugar next time. They already have so much flavor, I’m not sure they need all that sugar – I’m sure that WE don’t need all that sugar. Still, they’re much better for my little man than those mystery granola bars in my pantry. I hope you enjoy making and eating them!