I have a toddler who seems intent on living off of air, sippy cups of water, and the occasional bowl of black beans. I've also got two older kids whose after school schedules are crammed full of activities, so said toddler spends a lot of time on the go with us. Have you ever tried to feed an 18 month old black beans in the lobby of a gymnastics place? It's not pretty. Enter the portable, mess free (sort of) food bar!
I tried a couple of different, easy to chew, seemingly small kid friendly bars, none of which the toddler seemed to care for. Then I spotted Clif Kid Organic Chocolate Chip Z Bars at Publix for the low price of only $3.65 per box of six. I like that most of the grown up Clif Bars, so I decided to give these a whirl. According to the box, these bars are made of whole oats, are low fat, and contain no artificial ingredients. Closer inspection of the wrapper showed that organic rolled oats is actually the first ingredient listed and later down the line I found good sources of fiber like oat bran. I wouldn't want to feed my little girl something I wouldn't eat myself, so I took one for the team and tried the Z bar first. Ding, ding ... we have a winner! These taste remarkably like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. The consistency is good - not too dry, but not so moist as to be squishy. The oats and little chocolate chips are visible throughout the bar and the taste wasn't overly sweet. But what will the toddler think?
She actually took a bite, said mmm (which is a big deal when she only says like six words total at this point) and proceeded to suck down the entire thing ! Yay! A portable snack she'll actually eat. She did manage to smear the chocolate that's drizzled across the top all over her face, but I can live with that.
Each bar is 36 grams, about the size of your standard cereal bar, and have 130 calories and 12 vitamins and minerals, the most significant of which are 35% of a day's vitamin C and 30% of the RDA of calcium. Combine that with 3 grams of fiber, a manageable 11 grams of sugar, only 1.5 grams of saturated fat (4 grams total), and you've got a pretty good treat for children and adults alike. My only complaint is the protein count, which at 3 grams is a little low.
Overall, the Clif Kid Organic Chocolate Chip Z Bars are yummy, very affordable and I will definitely buy them again. They are available on Amazon.com at $21.93 for 36 bars - don't mind buying it in bulk, it's so worth it. And if my ultra finicky toddler turns against these down the road, I'll be more than happy to eat them on her behalf.