Finding the Right Breakfast Bars

We’ve already filled you in on the best choices for snack bars and energy bars. Now we’re scoping out the most popular brands of breakfast bars to find out which ones are a healthy breakfast choice.
Related To:

We’ve already filled you in on the best choices for snack bars and energy bars. Now we’ve scoped out the most popular breakfast bar brands to find out which are the healthiest breakfast choice.

What Is a Breakfast Bar?

These types of food bars are often referred to as “cereal bars.” Instead of being packed with nuts, granola, or oodles of protein like snack or energy bars, they typically have a softer texture and may try to replicate some common American breakfast foods like pastries and cereal. Some varieties have fruit fillings or icing on top, which might be a sign of high amounts of sugar.

Any kind of food bar provides grab-and-go convenience and portion control; this definitely makes them handy for a fast breakfast or a between-meal snack. Just walk through your grocery store, and you'll see that there’s an astounding range of choices -- some healthy and some not so much!

What to Look For

Most breakfast bars range from 90 to 150 calories. This isn’t really enough calories for breakfast, so if you do choose a bar like this, eat it with some fresh fruit, non-fat or low-fat yogurt or a glass of milk to complete the meal.

When it comes to the ingredients, look for products that include items you can pronounce. I found a lot of these packaged bars are loaded with sweeteners and preservatives.

      What you DO want:
    • Whole grains for nutrients and fiber
  • Real fruit

I did some research to find the highest quality bars out there; here are a few that I like:

Make Your Own

When you do make them yourself, you get to control the quality of the ingredients (no high fructose corn syrup in these recipes!) and pick and choose your favorite flavors. You probably don’t have time to whip up a batch of these in the morning before you head out to work, so cook them ahead of time. Wrap them individually and store in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Or pop a few in a plastic baggie and keep them in your desk at work.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Holiday Brunch for Everyone

With family and friends visiting during the holidays, you’re bound to have a few folks who need a special meal. There’s no need to stress, we’ve got you covered with brunch recipes for special diets.

Dining Out: Diners

The wide variety of foods at diners means there is something there for every customer, but the options usually aren't the healthiest. You don't have to settle for the baked potato or cottage cheese and fruit salad though.

Weekly Bits: Rise and Shine

Breakfast: It's the most important meal of the day, and you all shared some great ideas for starting the day off right. Find out if yours made our weekly tops list.

5 Ways to Eat Pizza for Breakfast — Comfort Food Feast

Satisfying breakfast pizzas change the game (no cold pizza leftovers here!), so you don't even have to wait for your delivery person to start his or her shift to get your fix.

Spotlight Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

Ellie Krieger dubs these her "breakfast cookies" -- thanks to the added rolled oats and bran flakes. They work well as a mid-morning snack, paired up with herbal tea, or a breakfast on the go.

Get Your Plate in Shape: Breakfast

We're giving you 5 breakfast options that fit into the USDA's MyPlate guidelines in honor of National Nutrition Month.

Spotlight Recipe: Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

Straight from the kitchen of the Barefoot Contessa, these muffins are high in fiber but don’t taste like a typical bran muffin. Grab one for a quick breakfast or serve a bunch at your next brunch.

Breakfast Anytime — Meatless Monday

Spice up your usual lunch and dinner routines by cooking up Food Network's breakfast-style dishes for late-day meals on Meatless Monday.

Steel Cut Oats Are Trending

Add steel cut oats to your breakfast or dinner menu.

Cheesecake Pancakes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

Food Network Magazine has created exact copies of the dishes, like this week's Most Popular Pin of the Week: Cheesecake Pancakes.