Cheerio Granola Bars are delicious, simple, and filling! Perfect for your kids’ lunches, these bars are sure to be a quick meal-prepped staple that you’ll find yourself whipping up weekly.
We all get in our ruts, and recently I’ve been tired of putting the same old things in my kids’ lunch boxes. They’re getting tired of eating the same foods every week, and I’m getting tired of making them!
It got me thinking, what is one cereal that every kid loves (or at least I think every kid loves – mine sure do!) and will fuel them for the second half of the school day? Cheerios! I also wanted to try to make this snack somewhat healthy, but not healthy to the point that they would refuse to eat it. Does anyone else have that problem?
These Cheerio Granola Bars were a hit with my kids! Not only did they love them, but I also loved their simplicity. They’re so easy to prep ahead of time and then grab and go when you need something quick. These are also a great breakfast treat for those busy mornings when multitasking just isn’t enough.
Ingredients to make your bars
A requirement for this recipe was simplicity, so these bars are made mostly with ingredients already in my pantry. I don’t know about you all, but I don’t have the time or bandwidth to go out looking for rare ingredients.
Cheerios are obviously the base for this snack, but you’re also going to need some rolled oats, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. This will give it more crunch, protein, and a touch of sweetness.
You’ll need any oil of your choice and honey to bind it all together. Don’t skip out on a bit of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt though! They’ll make the flavors compliment each other perfectly!
How to make cheerio granola bars
Now that you’re ready to make your bars you really only have two steps.
First, line your baking pan with parchment paper (I use 13×9 size). Then combine your cheerios, cranberries, almonds, and oats in a large mixing bowl.
In another bowl, combine your oil, honey, vanilla, and salt. Pour this mixture over the dry mixture, stir until it’s all combined, and pat the mixture firmly into the pan you’ve lined with parchment – then bake!
When done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely before cutting it into bars.
Storage and substitutions
I tried many methods to bind the ingredients together and honey won out – but these bars best hold their shape when kept cold so I store them in the refrigerator.
As for other substitutions – let’s get creative! If your kids don’t like almonds or dried cranberries, throw in something else for crunch and sweetness!
The beauty of this recipe is that you have a solid base but you can always switch out the other ingredients every once in a while so no one gets sick of it. For a special treat, maybe you could throw in some semi-sweet chocolate chips!
More Delicious Snack Ideas:
- Easy Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Apple Peanut Butter Granola Sandwiches
- Homemade Guacamole
- Homemade Pico de Gallo
- Pepperoni Pizza Sliders
Cheerio Granola Bars
- 3 cups Cheerios
- 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup oil of choice (if using coconut oil melt first)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Combine Cheerios, cranberries, almonds and oats in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine oil, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Pour over Cheerio mixture and stir well. Pat firmly into prepared pan. Bake at 325°f for 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely before cutting into bars. I found these hold their shape the best if kept cold.
- STORAGE: Store these granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It is best to store these in the refrigerator. My original recipe called for corn syrup but after many comments asking for an alternative, I changed the recipe and replaced it with honey. I tried many methods but couldn’t create a bar that held its shape well at room temperature. So these hold their shape best when cold.
- FREEEZER-FRIENDLY: Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Nutrition is calculated using coconut oil.