Toddler-Friendly Oaty Bars

Toddler-Friendly Oaty Bars

No matter where I travel, I always have a couple of oaty bars with me. You can buy them ready-made in shops, but they are an extortionate price for five small finger snacks, and making them yourself costs next to nothing, is amazingly quick and easy, and you have the benefit of seeing everything that goes into them and adjusting to taste. They are a fabulously non-messy snack for toddlers to chew on, and contain no added sugars or fats apart from those naturally present in the fruits that you choose to include. I’ve been asked a few times how I make them, so below is the basic recipe that I use, plus a few ideas for combinations of flavours. Some adults may find them a little under-sweet for their tastes, and though they may be further sweetened with honey or similar, they might also be worth trying ‘as is’ for someone trying to reduce a reliance on their sweet tooth.

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Oaty Bars (basic recipe)

This is the basic recipe for Oaty Bars which can be added to with any dried fruits and other ingredients you fancy. Baby Awesome is particularly fond of prunes, dates, figs, apricots, sultanas and dried pineapple. If using Apricots, look for un-sulphured ones when giving to a toddler as sulphur (used to prevent the apricots from darkening) is thought to exacerbate asthmatic conditions in children.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium well-ripened bananas
  • 250 g porridge oats (pulsed/blended finer if required)
  • 70-100 g chosen fruit inclusions

Instructions

  1. Pulse/blend oats to a coarse flour consistency if required* (recommended).

  2. Finely chop any fruits/nuts/other inclusions which you wish to add to bars.

  3. Mash or blend bananas until completely smooth.

  4. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a medium-firm, slight;y sticky ball of dough.

  5. Place dough on a silicone liner/baking parchment on top of a baking sheet and roll into a 20x20cm square, or press into shape using hands.

  6. Using a sharp knife, cut square in half, then cut each dough half into 8-10 fingers, approximately 1.5cm wide.

  7. Bake at 180℃/350F for 18-20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

*Porridge oats (non-instant) can be used whole for a crumblier bar, but pulsing the oats in a mini food processor or blender until they resemble a coarse flour will produce a less crumbly (and less messy) bar that cuts easier and holds together very well.

Variations:

Pretty much any favoured combination of fruits and other favoured flavours can be used, but here are a few ideas to see you through the seasons.

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Seasonal Oaty Bar Varieties

Ingredients

Spring

  • 200 g porridge oats
  • 2 medium well-ripened bananas
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 60 g dates finely chopped
  • 30 g dried figs finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Summer

  • 200 g porridge oats
  • 2 medium well-ripened bananas
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 30 g dried pineapple finely chopped
  • 20 g dried cranberries finely chopped
  • 40 g dried apricot unsulphured, finely chopped

Autumn

  • 250 g porridge oats OR 200g oats + 50g finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 medium well-ripened bananas
  • 40 g dried apple finely chopped
  • 30 g prunes finely chopped
  • 30 g raisins
  • ½ tsp dried ginger powder

Winter

  • 250 g porridge oats
  • medium well-ripened bananas
  • 1 medium orange (rind and juice)
  • 30 g raisins
  • 30 g figs finely chopped
  • 20 g dates finely chopped
  • 20 g chopped mixed peel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, shape and bake according to basic recipe.

 



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