Many granola bars are, unfortunately, candy bars in disguise. How do you pick one for your child that isn’t essentially candy? I look for three things.
• Whole grains—find a bar where the first ingredient is a whole grain, such as whole-grain oats, or a combination of whole grains, such as whole wheat, rye and barley.
• Fiber—Granola bars vary widely in the amount of fiber they have. Aim for a brand with at least 3 grams of fiber per bar. The Kashi brand is among the best I’ve found, with most varieties coming in at 4 grams per bar. Quaker Chewy Granola bars come in at a measly 1 gram.
• Calories—The amount of calories in the bar should depend on how you plan to use it. If it’s a snack, try to keep the calories under 150 calories per bar. If it’s a meal replacement or for a very active teen, it’s OK to go up to 200 calories per bar.