As kids get ready to go back to school in the next few weeks, I’d like to share this recipe for an extra-special homemade treat to boost your child’s health and send along some love during the school day. Even though my kids are homeschooled, they greatly enjoy taking a homemade snack along on a field trip or to a co-op class. Annabel Karmel is a cookbook author I’ve enjoyed for a while- she takes simple, healthy ingredients and prepares them in kid-friendly ways that are innovative but not too time consuming. Her cookbooks are full of cute pictures of bagels shaped as dragons, teddy bear chicken burgers, and faces on muffins.


Promise not to judge this photo… It was taken early on in my food photography career, and I’ve since evolved beyond using flash!

Granola Bars

This granola bar recipe is one we’ve made a number of times, and is easily customizable to your family by varying the fruit or nuts you choose. I love that you can control the sugar and skip anything artificial that is typically added to processed snacks. Karmel is British and her ingredients are a bit different, so I use honey in place of the syrup.  If you happen to be gluten-free, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats and gluten-free rice cereal (oats themselves do not contain gluten, but are typically contaminated in processing unless special care is taken). You could take out a second mortgage to afford buying gluten-free snacks, so keep a little extra in your wallet by making them yourself. It’s not too labor intensive, and one of those fun recipes that begs to let the kids get involved. After it has cooled, I invert the pan onto the counter so it’s easier to work with, and cut them into individual bars or squares (a pizza cutter works great). Then I wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap, and store in the freezer in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. As backpacks are getting packed for the day, it’s easy to toss one in frozen and know it’ll be ready by snack time.

Individual bars, ready for the freezer

Individual bars, ready for the freezer

If you have a favorite snack recipe, share your recipe below.  To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook. Peruse past blogs and keep current with new blogs at