5 healthy back-to-school snack bars
We put these satisfying snack bars to the test
Clif Crunch in Blueberry Crisp
Clif Crunch crunchy granola bars in Blueberry Crisp are made with 70 percent organic ingredients and no artificial flavours or preservatives. Each package has two 21-g bars and each bar has 95 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1.5 g protein, 5.5 g sugar, 1.5 g fibre and 55 mg sodium. Other varieties are Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Peanut Butter. ($5 per box, 5 x 42 g)
I find most granola bars try to straddle the line between healthy snack and chocolate bar, and succeed in being neither, but I like Clif bars-their healthy, organic, whole-food ingredients fill me up when I’m craving a boost. The Blueberry Crisp flavour delivered on the crunch with chunks of almonds and oat flakes, and I liked the hit of creamy white chocolate.
-Jennifer Masseau, Associate Editor
The Simply Bar in Caramel Peanut
The Simply Bar in Caramel Peanut is a protein bar with a crispy soy base. One bar has 150 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 16 g protein, 3 g sugar, 4 g fibre and 135 mg sodium. Made in Canada, they are also milk and gluten free, and serve as a good source of fibre. Other varieties are Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Raspberry, Cocoa Coffee, Lemon Coconut ?and Cinnamon Pecan. ($3 per 40-g bar; $32 per box, 15 x 40 g)
I’m not gonna lie-usually I’m not a fan of snack bars. I don’t like how sweet some of them can be. So I was a little hesitant about trying this. But much to my surprise, I liked how crunchy and filling it was without that über sugary taste. Plus, it packs a lot of protein at 16 g. Now I’m excited about trying the other flavours it comes in. -Stephanie Han, Art Director
Special K Granola Bars in Dark Chocolate
Special K Granola Bars in Dark Chocolate are a low-calorie snack that is perfect for chocolate lovers. Made with rolled oats, these bars are a good source of fibre. For those who need an occasional indulgence but are watching their weight, a 27-g bar has just 110 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 7 g sugar, 4 g fibre and 85 mg sodium. Also available in Chocolatey Peanut Butter. ($3 per box, 5 x 27 g)
The one thing I can’t resist is dark chocolate. So when this bar landed on my desk, I had high hopes. It turned out to be chewy and rich with lots of chunks of dark chocolate. And at 110 calories, it just tastes sinful. With the antioxidants I’m getting from the dark chocolate, it’s definitely a sweet indulgence I don’t have to feel guilty about. -Jennifer Shenouda, Editorial Intern
Dole Live Right Bites in Cranberry Almond
Dole Live Right Bites in Cranberry Almond are made with all-natural ingredients such as rolled oats and almonds. Each 34-g package includes two bites for a total of 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.4 g saturated fat), 3 g protein, 13 g sugar, 2 g fibre and 70 mg sodium. Other varieties are Mixed Berry & Almond, Peanut Butter Banana and Dark Chocolate Coconut. ($4 per box, 5 x 34 g)
I like to have “a little something” with my 10:30 coffee at my desk, and the fact that this comes in two bite-size pieces is perfect, as I can squirrel away the second for later. I like that this is low in saturated fat, too. It didn’t taste too sweet, even though there are 13 g of sugar; that’s probably because of the fruit. It was also very oat-y and healthy tasting.
-Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor
Quaker Harvest Crunch Ancient Grains Granola Bars in Cinnamon, Apple & Almond
Quaker Harvest Crunch Ancient Grains Granola Bars in Cinnamon, Apple & Almond features grains such as Kamut wheat, spelt, barley, oats and quinoa. A 35-g bar has 150 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 3 g protein, 8 g sugar, 3 g fibre and 95 mg sodium. Also available in Honey, Cranberry & Almond. ($3.50 per box, 5 x 35 g)
I don’t like dry snack bars since they can make a crumbly mess. But this granola bar was moist and chewy with a bit of crunch. The apple and cinnamon flavour definitely satisfied my afternoon craving for something sweet, but the grains gave it that healthy balance. I like that it’s not packed with calories, and one bar is really all you need for a snack-although I was a little tempted to have a second.
-Melissa Greer, Content Producer