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Pumpkin Spice Granola bars are a delicious little snack that’s equally awesome crumbled up over yogurt in the morning with fruit. Just pretend the white chocolate chips aren’t in there.
I believe that pumpkin is one of the greatest fall flavors ever. EVER. It’s so warm and cozy. And then there’s McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice. I love that stuff. It makes my life so much easier. Oh and granola, gosh I love granola. Maybe it’s my Pacific Northwest roots. Or maybe it’s just crazy delicious. Either way, it’s totally worth my time and yours. We seriously devoured this stuff, and that includes the girls. They looooved it. Which makes me a happy mama.
Granola Bars to Start Healthy Habits
In fact, I made these granola bars with a purpose. My little 1st grader, P comes home so hungry every day after school, and I totally get that. I would just rather have something healthy and delicious, than crappy chips or fruit snacks. (Totally fine if you like those. I still love you lots) In fact, I was recently at an event with the UT/NV Dairy Council where we listened to Adam Brumberg talk about healthy choices for kids. He mentioned how when we give kids a bunch of choices, especially snacky junk foods that the kids don’t really stop when they are full, they eat past that point and then stop. Adults do this too. We don’t actually realize when we are full. In fact, in one study people said they knew they were done eating when their bowl was empty, but when the bowl was rigged to continuously fill, the people ate up to 71% more!! We just don’t pay attention at all to our bodies needs.
Too Many Choices or No Choice Equals Poor Decisions
Also, how if we set out one or two good choices and let our kids choose, versus forcing something upon them, they will do it/eat it more willingly. For example, would you rather have carrots or celery. Or, would you rather clean your room now or after dinner. The kids may not loooove this choice versus chips or not cleaning their room, but providing two choices makes them feel like they are still choosing and winning. Make sense?
So, I was thinking that if I made something that makes the house smell awesome with P, let her throw in a few white chocolate chips, and then have these granola bars and maybe an apple as an option when she gets home, it will help her to start picking one of two healthy snacks versus eating all afternoon before dinner because it’s not filling her up, and there are so many choices that she wants to just keep eating.
This is not about weight, it’s about helping our kids to make healthy choices, which turn into habits, which shape who they will become. And guess what, we totally need help in our society when it comes to healthy habits.
So, make some snacks with your kids. Let them be involved and have fun. A child/Adult is more likely to eat something when they help prepare it plus it helps to build strong relationships and create confidence to create things.
Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
4 Cups Instant Oats
1/2 Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Honey
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Pepitas
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup Flax Seeds (We used King Arthur’s)
1 Tablespoon Wheat Germ
1 1/2 Cups White Chocolate Chips
Heat the oven to 325 degrees and place parchment in a 9×13″ baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats and canola oil. Add the pumpkin, honey, brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into the parchment lined baking dish and bake for 30 min. Remove from the oven and using a heavy spatula or large spoon, press down on the granola bars. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.