I have a love/hate relationship with the granola bars my kids have eaten for years. I love the fact they are convenient. I love the fact my kids love eating them. I especially love the fact – and this one’s important – that they are stamped with the little ‘nut-free’ logo. I’m sure you now know the type of granola bar I’m talking about because it’s with this last point that they are in every school lunch/snack bag across the country. Most schools have banned food containing nuts because of the high number of children with allergies. Now I’m sure you’d like to know what I dislike about traditional granola bars. Well I know they are not particularly healthy – filled with artificial flavors, preservatives, and don’t provide any sort of ‘fulness’ after eating. I really think many of the crappy convenience ‘snack’ items that dominate the market for kids lunches, do so simply because they are marketed as ‘made in nut free facilities’. I went to my local heath food store and could not find a granola bar that didn’t contain some type of nut so I literally gave up on the quest of finding a healthier bar. But recently my oldest son started eating Clif Bars – organic adult energy bars – before one of the many sports he plays. It occurred to me to ask the people at Clif Bar & Company if any of these bars were actually nut free so I could occasionally pack them in his lunch. As it tuns out – several of the flavors are nut free! Excellent news only you shouldn’t pack an energy bar into a child’s lunch every day as a regular staple item. They are heavy in carbs and protein which makes them an excellent source of energy for adults but not suitable for regular use by children. BUT WAIT! Clif Bar & Company does have the answer to my problem…and it’s in the form of a bar called Clif Kid!
So just when I thought I’d be destined to pack traditional granola bars for school lunches forever (groan… or start making them myself), Clif Bar & Company has released Clif Kid!! Here is the answer to my convenient snack problem only it’s not available for sale yet in Canada. But with cross border shopping and many of my Mommy Footprint readers being from the US, I’m thrilled to have found the kid version of the Clif Bar. I compared the nutrition facts of the Clif Kid Zbar with a traditional granola bar and there are some pretty big differences with the Clif Kid bars containing Potassium, higher Fiber, Iron, Calcium, and higher Protein. Again, I’m not a nutritionist, but in my mind this is important – especially the Fiber. And do you want to know what Clif Kids didn’t contain that the traditional bar did? Artificial flavors, Preservatives, Sorbitol (why is that in a kid’s granola bar!!?), corn syrup, or citric acid. Instead, the first ingredient listed (which you really taste in the bars) in the Clif Kid bars is organic rolled oats and the list of ingredients stays strong without the junky additives. Read the list here.
I was so excited to find Clif Kid I asked them to send me a box so my children and I have tested this product. Let me start by saying I have very picky granola bar children. They’ve been raised on the chocolate chip traditional bars so after trying one myself, I was concerned my kids wouldn’t like them. I’m thrilled that all four loved these bars and once I start getting them on a regular basis from over the border, these will be the new staple in our lunchbox.
The Allergy Information section of the Clif Bar site is an amazing resource. With so many kids having problems with gluten, various types of nuts, dairy, etc., the allergy information is very helpful. Although I don’t have children with allergies, I’m very sensitive with the items I pack in my kid’s lunches or snacks. There are several children at both of my kid’s schools that have severe nut allergies. I called my local school board today to talk about peanut policies because although the Clif Kid bars are nut free, they are not made in a peanut free facility so I wanted to make sure I’m recommending something that is safe to bring into a school. The school board assured me that making sure products are nut free is the appropriate measure. So this product is safe to bring into a school, however these bars are not a snack option for children with nut allergies since trace amounts might exist in the facility where the bars are manufactured. The Allergy Information section of the Clif Bar& Company site explains it well for anyone with concerns.
I did mention earlier that the Clif Kid bars aren’t available to purchase within Canada yet….but with the wonderful world of the internet, can be ordered online. For both Canadian and US residents, they can be purchased online:
Can’t wait to try more of the Clif Kid items – they also have twisted fruit that is another kid-friendly snack item. When you need convenient snacks, it doesn’t always need to be filled with junky ingredients…I was so happy to discover the Clif Bar & Company product line!! What are some of the healthier convenience type foods you’ve discovered? Please share them on the Mommy Footprint fan page.