Homemade Chewy Granola Bar – Cooking with Kids Recipe

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars - Super yummy and packed with nutrition for the kids!

”It’s yummy in my tummy!”, Mason yells.  The kiddos absolutely love these granola bars for snack time (or anytime).  And there’s NO BAKING!

Ingredients can be easily swapped out to fit your family’s likes or allergen needs.  Common substitutes are almond butter for peanut butter or raisins for the dried cranberries.  My kiddos love pecans but you can easily swap or eliminate them all together.  If you remove the pecans, increase your dried cranberries by ¼ cup or add a new ingredient to make up the difference.

We started this recipe on a Sunday evening before bed (yikes), so you’ll see Lily in her PJ’s.  But we did it because it’s pretty easy and fast.  All they need to do is DUMP, STIR, PRESS and FREEZE.  I love it when everyone can participate in a full recipe from start to end.

OK, let’s hop to it. Here’s a list of supplies you will need:

  • Cutting board (for smashing pecans)
  • Meat tenderizer or rolling pin (for smashing pecans)
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Spatula or spoon
  • 8 in. x 8 in. baking pan
  • Optional: Plastic sandwich bags (to cover their hands while pressing mixture into pan)


Every child’s ability varies depending on maturity or cognitive and physical ability.  Parents need to use their own discretion when assigning tasks.  These are general guidelines for the Homemade Chewy Granola Bar.

18 months – 3 years old:

  • Name and count ingredients with child
  • Add ingredients to bowl
  • Assist with mixing ingredients together
  • Assist with pressing mixture into pan

Ages 3 – 5 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Measure and count ingredients
  • Break pecans with rolling pin or meat tenderizer into smaller pieces
  • Mix ingredients together

Ages 6 – 7 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Completely all tasks independently

Ages 8 – 12 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
Mason adding oats to the bowl

Mason adding the oats

Lily adding the honey while Mason observes

Lily adding the honey while Mason observes

Lily and Mason adding the dried cranberries

Lily and Mason adding the dried cranberries

Pouring granola mix into pan

Lily pressing granola mix into lined pan

Lily pressing granola mix into lined pan

Granola pressed into pan

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars


  • Wash everyone’s hands!
  • Clean all work surfaces before starting.
  • Leave tasting until the end. Your child(ren) might not understand the difference between a ready-to-eat ingredient and a raw unsafe ingredient.
  • It is okay for your kitchen to get a little messy.
  • Keep in mind that your child is learning, so patience is key!

Homemade Chewy Granola Bar

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 108kcal
Author: Stacey Weichelt, RDN, CD


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup Cheerios
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed ground
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground


  • Line an 8 in. x 8 in. baking pan with parchment paper for easy release. It is helpful to line the pan in both directions, using 2 sheets of parchment paper.
  • Add oats, cheerios, pecans, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir until evenly combined.
  • Add honey and peanut butter to oat mixture and stir until it is evenly distributed.
  • Sprinkle in cinnamon and ground flaxseed. Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  • Press into a lined 8 in. x 8 in. pan and freezer for 1 hour.
  • Cut the pan into 12 pieces (2x6).


Tip: Wrap each bar individually and store in airtight container in freezer, unless consumed within 3 days.
Tip: Place sandwich bags, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, on the child’s hands to prevent ingredients from sticking.
UPDATE (2.4.18): These granola bars do crumble easier than ones you would typically get from the store. To prevent this from happening, try bringing the honey and peanut butter to a boil before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You could also try baking them for 350F for 10-15 minutes.


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