I love granola bars. When you find the right ones, they are nutritious, delicious, and a super convenient snack. Pack one for before track practice and your daughter will be sprinting like Flo Jo. Well, unless your kid has a peanut and tree nut allergy, like mine. Then most granola bars are off-limits.
It’s rare to find granola bars without nuts—nuts are what make the bars protein-rich—and when you do, they are often made in a facility that processes nuts. The chance of cross contamination is just too risky. You can, of course, make your own nut-free granola bars, but for me, that takes away the convenience. So these four kid- and mom-approved nut-free granola bars are a lifesaver, and two are completely free of all eight common allergens. Yay!
1. Don’t Go Nuts Gorilla Power Bar
Don’t Go Nuts is a company created by the parents of a child with a tree nut allergy, so they really understand the need for safe food that also tastes good. The Gorilla Power Bar flavor (top) is my daughter’s top pick for granola bars, so much so that I order them by the case every month (because they’re way easier to find online, at least in my neck of the woods). These also happen to be the highest in calories, fat, and sugar, so it’s not a surprise that they taste really good, but with all organic ingredients, no GMOs, and healthy oats, they aren’t exactly junk food. Or at least that what I’m telling myself.
2. Enjoy Life Foods
Enjoy Life Foods wins bonus points for making foods that are safe for kids with most food allergies. The products are free of the eight most common allergens—wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish—and made in a dedicated nut-free and certified gluten-free facility. They are also non-GMO and never made with artificial ingredients. A win all around.
Again, my chocolate loving daughter chooses the S’mores Decadent Bars as the best of all flavors (I happen to like the Sunbutter Crunch most), but with lower calories, fat, and sugar than the Don’t Go Nuts bars, they are a great option. Plus, they are available at most local grocery stores.
3. Vermont Nut Free
Founded by the mom of a boy with a peanut allergy, Vermont Nut Free Chocolate Company makes really great chocolate and granola bars in a peanut- and nut-free facility. I’ve been a fan of Vermont Nut Free since discovering that my oldest daughter has a peanut allergy. The chocolate is not only safe, but it’s also truly excellent, which is why I order all of our holiday chocolates from them.
The Tanabar granola bars are made with rolled oats, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and other nutritious ingredients. The downside to these are the price and availability. At $2.25 per bar, or $24 for case of 12, they are the most expensive and have to be ordered online.
4. Made Good Food
I just discovered MadeGood at my local Whole Foods and I’m in love—so are my kids. The granola bars are made in a dedicated facility free from the eight common allergens. We especially love the Chocolate Chip flavor, though they’re all tasty and made with gluten free oats and vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms). Don’t worry: You’d never know about those extra veggies by the taste. These are the smallest of the bars and make a great snack for little ones or added to a bento box meal.