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Kid-Approved Recipe: Whole-Grain Fruit Bars

Whole Grains Council

Watch out for label terms that sound like whole grains but are not:

  • "multi-grain"
  • "seven-grain"
  • "unbleached wheat flour"

Grain products may also be colored darker with molasses to appear healthy.

Rye and pumpernickel breads also may be made from refined grains.

Look at the ingredients list for the word "whole" or the yellow Whole Grains Council Stamps to make sure a baked product contains whole grains.

Eating whole-grain snacks is a great way to get more fiber into your family's diet for lower cancer risk and long-lasting energy.

Here's a delicious, kid-approved recipe from AICR's campaign, Healthy Kids Today—Prevent Cancer Tomorrow. Help your child prepare this recipe. And share some fun facts from our Toolkit:

Whole grains contain all three parts of a grain: the bran, inner germ and endosperm. The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of the grain.

"Refined" grains, like white flour and white rice, are stripped of the healthy bran and germ, so all you get is the endosperm and fewer nutrients.

"Enriched" grains have had nutrients added back in, like iron and B vitamins. But they do not have all their original cancer-fighting fiber and are lower in several nutrients and plant compounds. Fiber, found in all plant foods, also helps you control weight and is digested more slowly. This keeps blood sugar levels healthy to reduce risk of diabetes.

Examples of whole grains are:

  • whole-wheat bread, pasta and tortillas
  • brown rice
  • popcorn
  • oats, as in oatmeal.

So it's best to choose whole grains! Make at least 50 percent of all your grains whole grains.

Whole-Grain Fruit Bars with the Super Crew®!

Tools:

  • 9 x 9-inch square pan or glass baking dish
  • 1 large bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife
  • Plates
  • Napkins

 

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 5 Tbsp. apple juice, divided
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam or cherry jam (use all-fruit preserves, if possible)
  • 1 package (7 oz.) dried apricots or dried tart cherries, chopped

fruit bars

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 9 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In large bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda until well combined.
  • In small bowl, whisk oil and 3 tablespoons juice together and pour over oat mixture, blending well until moist and crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup for topping.
  • Press the remainder evenly into prepared pan.
  • In small bowl, blend jam with remaining 2 tablespoons apple juice.
  • Stir in dried fruit.
  • Spread evenly over crust.
  • Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over dried fruit, lightly pressing down with fingers.
  • Bake 35 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool in pan on wire rack.
  • Cut into bars.

 

Makes 16 bars.

Apricot option, per 1 bar serving: 162 calories, 5 g total fat ( 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 63 mg sodium.

View AICR's other Healthy Kids Today toolkits with recipes and healthy nutrition and activity ideas you can use today!

Published on September 12, 2013

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