My pantry

Super Yummy, Healthy Muesli Bars for Rugrats and Rascals

March 27, 2012

It’s so hard to find good snacks for munchkins that are easy to pack and carry and are not full of preservatives and hidden nasties.

Muesli bars are awesome to throw in your handbag but I made the fatal error of buying a whoop from the supermarket after discovering their popularity. It wasn’t until I was home that I read the ingredients – rookie error. I found that a certain brand, synonymous with ‘health’ were so chocked full of sugar, oil, additives and fake fruit that I really couldn’t in good conscience feed them to D Man (company shall remain nameless although may rhyme with Muncle Schmobys). Then upon further investigation of yummier ones with less additives I discovered they were a million dollars per bar and over a couple of weeks could bankrupt you.

My household is a peanut butter lovin’ household and I’m sorry to say I can’t go past a bog standard salt added, sugar added version….although I do buy light as it makes me feel slightly better about my addiction (hell, if that’s the only one I have left I’m doing ok!), but recently a very dear friend of mine of singing the praises of all natural, all singing, all dancing pressed peanut style peanut butter. I got all righteous about it and decided not to start off with a little jar, no, I bought a whacking great bucket and decided, from now on, my family would only eat healthy peanut butter………Mister H turned his nose on day one, and D Man shortly followed suit, leaving me with a big tub of the stuff sitting in my pantry……. so I got to thinking, mmmmmmm, peanut butter muesli bars????

If you’re a nut free household you can omit the peanut butter but you will need a little more honey to keep it from crumbling into a million pieces upon first bite!

For something I’ve never made before I’ll often poodle around on google for a while and check out a couple of different recipes to see how the basic structure of said thing is (i.e. : what’s needed to keep it all together and not fall apart upon first bite) and then I’ll amalgamate and tweak until it’s mine.

So, after extensive muesli bar consumption, and a lot of dried fruit wind, here’s what I came up with.

Yield : 20 bars, so perfect to take for play with friends

Makes 24


  • 125g butter
  • 1/4 cup honey (1/2 a cup for no peanut butter version)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • 1.5 cups puffed brown rice (avail in either cereal aisle or health aisle at major supermarkets)
  • 1.5 cups raw quick cook oats (these are smaller pieces and easier for little jaws and digestive tracts to handle)
  • ¼ cup mixed seeds, pepitas, sesame, sunflower, whatever you want
  • 1.5 cups dried fruit of your choice. I love cranberries, sultanas, apricots and dates
  • ½ cup shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Mine is 34cmx22cm to give you an idea of how big you need.
Combine honey, peanut butter, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and stir for about a minute to let it thicken a little. Remove from heat and set aside.
Throw all your dry ingredients into a big bowl together and make a little well in the centre. Pour over your syrup and stir it until all dry ingredients are well coated and combined. Spoon into tray and I press down firmly with a big spoon to make it nice and even but also to compact it as much as I can before cooking. Pop it in the over for about 20 minutes, depending on oven, maybe 25 minutes, until it’s golden. Remove from oven.
At this stage, I get a clean cake tin and I press this puppy down as much as possible. The first time I made it I was picking up puffed rice from all manner of nooks and crannies so I reckon this step is imperative unless you want to eat outdoors or you have a dog that likes muesli. Leave to cool, put it on a board and cut into desired size.
I get about 20 pieces but I may be known to cut them chunky…..cos I’m a pig.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.


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  • Reply Rebecca March 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Yummo! I was just thinking the other day that I need a healthy muesli recipe for my girl! Here’s one for you… A 12 month old who will not eat any form of disguised meat… Or fish… No matter where I hide it, in pasta, squished up in sauces etc, she always finds it and spits it out. There’s only so much ratatouille on pasta I can give her before he turns into a tomato-y flavoured egg plant… Help!!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 28, 2012 at 4:00 am

      ok, give this a try, and if it doesn’t work let me and I’ll give you more ideas…..mash some potato and cauliflower together with some butter and a little cheese. Stir through a spoon of bolognaise, or tinned tuna and watch her try and spit that out!
      She may love it, she may hate it, but if she refuses it, offer it again in a week, if she liked it, add more of the protein, and then again a week after that, same goes….if she continues to refuse then just order her a pizza or something.
      Do let me know – I have tricks!

  • Reply Foxy Mumma March 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Yippee! So excited to give these a go. I know one little man who’s perpetually hungry tummy will appreciate this recipe. Thank you!
    PS tried the pesto pasta today… huge hit!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      This post was for you, Foxy Mumma!!!
      Pleased the pesto was a hit. Do keep me posted on what you’ve tried and what is enjoyed!

  • Reply Ali Hodges March 28, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I would get them chuny – cos I’m a pig too 😀

    • Reply Ali Hodges March 28, 2012 at 5:31 am

      chunky even- was just about to start breakfast and couldn’t type that fast enough

      • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

        why does that not surprise???
        You would also coat them in chocolate and make them soooo much better!!!!!

  • Reply mandy jackson April 2, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Hi i actually made mine with a box of Hubbards Muesli as half way through making your receipe realised I didn’t have any oats so had to improvise. It came out great. Thanks for the receipe. Have made them before but without peanut butter – huge hit..

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