One of my family’s New Year’s resolutions this year is to eat healthier. And that means cutting out junk food and reducing our sugar intake. So I’ve been in the kitchen coming up with new snacks my kids will love that aren’t filled with junk. If you’re in the same boat as me right now, you’re going to love these gluten free Cheerio bars!
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These simple Cheerio bars are made with only four ingredients. They’re delicious, low in sugar, and make a healthy alternative to other sweet treats your kids may be craving.
The combination of honey, Cheerios, and peanut butter is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. And while these Cheerio bars may be a little healthier than other kids-friendly treats, I’m sure even the pickiest eaters in your family will love them!
How to Make Cheerio Bars
To make these easy Cheerio bars, you’ll only need four ingredients:
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Chips
While these simple bars are no-bake, you will need to heat the sauce on the stove before mixing all the ingredients together. So, grab a small saucepan and add your peanut butter and honey. Heat the ingredients over medium low heat, stirring constantly. When the peanut butter is melted and the ingredients are mixed well, remove the pan from the stove.
Pour your Cheerios in a large bowl. Make sure there is plenty of room left in the bowl to stir your ingredients!
Pour the honey and peanut butter mixture over the top of the Cheerios. Use a wooden spoon to carefully stir the ingredients until all the Cheerios are coated with sauce.
Spread the cheerio bars in a square pan. I used an 8×8 pan for my Cheerio bars and got nine thick bars from the pan. A larger pan will result in thinner bars, but you may be able to get more Cheerio bars from the pan.
To make removing the bars from the pan super easy, line it with parchment paper before adding the Cheerio mixture. Let the edges of the parchment paper hang over the edges of the pan so you can easily pull the bars out of the pan when they’re set.
Finally, add chocolate chips to the top of your Cheerio bars. Give your bars a few minutes to cool before adding the chocolate chips to the top to keep them from melting. Then, use your hand to press the chocolate chips into place. Note: if you’re trying to cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet, these chocolate chips are totally optional! The bars will still taste great without them!
After adding the chocolate chips, place the Cheerio bars in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. When the bars have set, remove them from the refrigerator and pull the bars out of the pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lifting up. Place the Cheerio bars on a flat surface and use a large knife to cut the bars.
Cheerio Bar Variations
This easy recipe for Cheerio bars is delicious and simple! But one of the best things about this quick recipe is that you can change up the ingredients to make it your own!
Add Different Toppings
Chocolate chips taste great on top of these Cheerio bars, but there are tons of other additions you can make to this recipe, like:
- Chocolate covered candies. Sprinkle some M&Ms over the top of the bars to add a pop of color and make them a little more festive. If you’re trying to make these bars gluten free, be sure to stick with plain, peanut, or peanut butter M&Ms.
- Dried fruit. For a healthier topping, try adding dried fruit to the top of the bars instead of chocolate. Raisins or dried cranberries would taste great and reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe!
- Nuts. Since this recipe has peanut butter in it, adding nuts on top would enhance the flavor even more. Chopped peanuts, almonds, or pecans would all be delicious on top of your Cheerio bars.
- Butterscotch chips. I love the combination of butterscotch and peanut butter! Mix some butterscotch chips with the chocolate chips on top of your Cheerio bars to add even more flavor to this recipe.
Swap out the peanut butter
If your kids are allergic to peanut butter, there are a couple of substitutions you can make. Swap out the peanut butter in this recipe for almond butter. Or use Nutella — just be sure to cut down on the amount of honey used. Nutella is much sweeter than peanut butter and has a thinner consistency, so you won’t need as much honey to sweeten the bars.
Use different cereal
I used plain Cheerios in the yellow box for this recipe. They’re made with whole grains, are gluten free, and are low in sugar. That makes them the perfect base for a healthy snack bar. But you can swap out plain Cheerios for pretty much any other cereal! Chocolate Cheerios would be delicious!
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 3 cups original Cheerios
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by lining with parchment paper.
- Place peanut butter and honey in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until peanut butter is melted and ingredients are well combined.
- Pour cheerios into a large bowl and cover with peanut butter mixture.
- Spread mixture evenly over parchment paper lined pan. Press the mixture into the pan until firm.
- Allow cereal mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then top with chocolate chips. Press the chocolate chips into the mixture to secure the chips in place.
- Place pan in the refrigerator and allow to cool for at least one hour before serving.
- Remove bars from pan by pulling the edges of the parchment paper. Set on a flat surface and use a sharp knife to cut into nine equal bars.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 6g
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Emily is a midwestern mom of two boys. She loves all things DIY — from home renovations to kids birthday party planning. Whether she’s making a new farmhouse craft for her home or helping her kids with a cool activity, you can bet she’s in the middle of some kind of DIY project (or three) right now!