Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars {The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet Book Review}

These chewy Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars are the ideal lunchbox treat or after school snack.
Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars - The Lemon BowlAs a mom of two young children and healthy recipe developer, I am constantly asked for nutritious kid-friendly meal ideas. The truth is, I didn’t grow up eating “kid food” and as a result, neither will my children. My kids eat what the adults eat and as a result, their food gets the same attention to flavor, ingredients and spices as mine.

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet Book ReviewWith back to school season in full force, there is always a renewed interest in getting back in the kitchen to prepare food that will give our kids the energy they need to get through busy school days. If you have ever struggled with preparing healthy lunches for your kids, you MUST pick up a copy of my friend Laura’s new cookbook, The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet

Her book is full of simple, affordable and TASTY ideas that are ideal for the lunchbox. Even if you don’t have school-aged kids at home, these lunch ideas are ideal for children and adults of all ages. Personally, I can’t wait to try the Smashed Chickpea Sandwich and Baked Raviolis!

Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars by The Lemon BowlI couldn’t resist sharing one recipe from the book with all of you so I decided to share these Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars. Packed with whole grain goodness and just the right amount of sweetness, these homemade granola bars are ideal for brown bag lunches, after school snacking or just stashing in your diaper bag for later.

With over 200 delicious lunches your kids will love, I can’t recommend this book enough!

What do your kids love to eat in their school lunches?? Let me know in the comments below – I would love to hear new ideas!

No forks required.

4.7 from 6 reviews
Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars {The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet Book Review}
Prep time
Total time
These chewy Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars are the ideal lunchbox treat or after school snack.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 heaping tablespoons raisins
  • ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking pan or glass baking dish with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the oats, cereal, salt and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small pot, melt the butter, syrup and brown sugar. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 4 minutes, making sure the mixture continues to minimally bubble while siring often. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix well to combine all ingredients. Place the mixture into the baking dish. Cover with parchment paper, and press down with your hands until the mix is well packed. (Just when you think you've pressed down enough- press some more!)
  4. Allow the pan to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Lift parchment paper out onto a cutting board and slice into 12 bars. After cutting the bars, store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 1 week.
You can find brown rice syrup in the baking aisle of your health-food store and online. Alternatively, you could use honey, but the bars will be sticky and they tend to break apart easier, which is why Laura doesn't recommend using it.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 151 Fat: 5.7 g Saturated fat: 4.7 g Unsaturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 23.1 g Sugar: 10.1 g Sodium: 54 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 1.9 g Cholesterol: 0 mg



  1. says

    Last year was my daughter’s first year eating lunch at school and it was a nut-free school. We did a lot of hard boiled eggs, mashed avocado sandwiches, mini muffins, and she always had a fresh fruit and vegetable. Thanks for this review!

  2. Rebecca Sinkhorn says

    Those look delicious! I know it’s adding an additional step, but you should try toasting the dry ingredients either in the oven or on the stovetop next time! It would give a much more pleasing golden color to your bars, plus the toasting brings out the flavor of the oats, giving it a much richer, deeper flavor! :)

  3. says

    While I don’t have kids quite yet, I really hope to be the same way you are, the kids eat what we eat. I refuse to make separate meals! I love that granola bars are perfect for kids and adults alike! I’d take these in my grownup lunch box any day. :)

  4. Suzy says

    I was excited to try these. Unfortunately my bars didn’t turn out like I had hoped. I substituted maple syrup for the brown rice syrup and my bars were crumbly and didnt hold together. Maybe next time I will try honey because I am looking for that chewy healthy granola bar! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Suzy – Yes I’m afraid the brown rice syrup is the key to keeping the bars together. Let me know how it works with honey! Hopefully they were still delicious with maple syrup eaten as granola. :)

  5. says

    Thanks for this amazing recipe! So easy + so yummy! I cut back on the coconut oil and added butterscotch chips. They were a huge hit in my house! :)

  6. Jess says

    How could I incorporate peanut butter or almonds butter? My little one tried and loved those Quaker chewy bars (thanks to grandma bringing them over!) but I don’t want to keep buying them with all the processed ingredients. I do want to keep some of the attributes that I think he loved about them, though, like the chocolate and peanut butter. At this point, I have all the ingredients ready except for the rice syrup. :)

      • Jess says

        Almost-success! After sitting overnight they stick together well but are still pretty soft. Other than that, the pb is a delicious flavor and scent but not overpowering. I also added in 2 Tbsp. of flax seed and used diced dried apricots, plums and a box of dried cranberries instead of raisins. They are so good! Now that I have a whole jar of rice syrup, a huge container of oats and a big box of rice cereal, I’ll be making these every week! :) Thanks!

  7. Jess says

    The first batch is almost gone, every delicious and wholesome bite enjoyed by every member of the family! I just made another batch with dark chocolate and peanut butter to send to my best friend a few states away. Since it can stay well for at least a week, I figure it’ll be good to travel at room temp for a few days, in a zip lock bag. Any suggestions on how to pack it?

  8. Jess says

    It’s me again! I just made another batch, this time with coconut oil and no pb. I plan on taking them over for a playdate with some new friends. It seemed to be pretty liquidy with the oil but seemed to come together just like the other batches. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!


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