What Are the Best Protein Bars for Kids?
When your family is busy running errands, it is not easy to plan healthy meals and snacks. There are times when you just grab ready-to-eat takeout foods. Or, maybe you head to a convenience store and let your kids get the snack they like.
But you do not need to keep it that way all the time. It will help if you look for a smart alternative to quick snacks. This way, you can still keep your kids healthy and energized throughout their daily activities. These may include protein bars. In this article, we let you know what the best protein bars for kids are, so you can make sure you are feeding them the right snack.
What Are Protein Bars?
Protein bars are a popular snack designed to be a convenient source of nutrition. A protein bar can be helpful when kids need a quick boost of energy after school or extra-curricular activity. While protein bars cannot be more than a balanced meal or snack, they can be the best healthy choice over fast food, concession and vending foods.
People consume protein bars as an easy way to add protein and other nutrients to a busy, active lifestyle. It can vary in terms of calories, fat, sugar, additives and other ingredients. If you do not read labels carefully, you may end up eating something that looks more like a candy bar than a nutritious, high protein snack.
What Are the Pros?
Protein bars are convenient. They do not need to be prepared and refrigerated. You can store bars at home, in the car, at the office, or in your bag, so there is always a healthy option waiting for you.
Some of the newer bars contain less than 8 grams of sugar and are made with organic and mostly raw ingredients. With our busy lifestyles, these little supplements are the perfect choice for making sure we are getting the right protein intake every day.
Nutrients are essential to fuel our bodies to function correctly. Things like fat, fiber and carbohydrates work incredibly well when consumed along with protein.
While protein bars can be a simple and relatively hassle-free option, there are some drawbacks to offering protein bars to children.
What Are the Cons?
Intake of Sugars and Calories
Research for the healthier bars in the market and buy it. Doing this may prevent you from choosing a high-sugar variety when you go to a convenience store. Not many people know that many protein bar brands have more than 30 grams of sugar. When it comes to calories, some types of bars can contain even more than a regular candy bar bought from a vending machine.
Some protein bars contain many hard-to-pronounce food additives, including partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sugars, food coloring and high fructose corn syrup. To avoid these, look for low-sugar alternatives made with whole ingredients.
What to Look for in a Protein Bar
Don't know where to start? Follow these tips to identify a healthy protein bar:
- Check for real foods in the ingredient list. It's best to feed your kids with natural foods, such as dates, oats, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, honey and nut butter.
- Keep added sugar low. Try to minimize added sugars per bar and look for only natural sugar sources (honey, dates, agave, etc.).
- Look for fiber and protein. Fiber will make your kid feel full before their next meal, while protein is one of the most critical micronutrients beneficial for your child's growth.
Recommended Protein Bars for Kids
There are hundreds of bars in the market, but here are my five suggestions when you stock up your protein bar stash:
This brand tastes great without sacrificing nutrition. These bars have the simplest ingredient lists. It has slightly less protein and calories than adult varieties.
Kid bars contain:
- 130 calories
- 4 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of protein
- 9 grams of sugar (0 grams of added sugar)
You can enjoy a variety of choices that we know all kids (and adults too) will love!
Proti Protein Bars
These might be the best bar you have never heard of. This delicious gluten-free diet bar contains 15 grams of protein and only has 160 calories per bar. It works great to keep your kid full and satisfied so they will not be tempted to overeat! Proti bars are available in a variety of delicious flavors that will satisfy all your sweet and savory cravings.
Start the day with all the balanced nutrition of a Zing Bar in a smaller 100 calorie size.
- 2 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- 10 grams sugar (0 grams of added sugar)
It is also gluten-free, GMO-free, wheat and soy-free, vegan, and it has no artificial sweeteners.
Clif Kid Z Bar
The Clif Kid Z Bar is a gluten-free treat where kids can choose from three different flavors: chocolate mint, chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate.
These are made with:
- Organic brown rice
- Organic rolled oats
- Whey protein
- Natural flavors
LaraBar Minis are the perfect size for kids. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and non-GMO.
Plus, it contains (per bar):
- 100 calories
- 2 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- 8 grams of sugar (0 grams of added sugar)
Protein Bars for Your Kids
Instead of choosing between a cookie and a muffin, give the protein bar option the next time your kid asks for a snack. Now, which protein bar do you think will be your child's favorite?