Updated: June 4, 2015
Breakfast Bar Reviews:Choosing Healthy Breakfast Bars - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also happens to come at the most inconvenient time of day. For those of us who are rushing to get to work on time, rushing to get our kids to school on time - or both!, or for those who don't want to sit down and have a big breakfast first thing in the morning, we more often end up skipping breakfast altogether. While we know that our bodies need nutrients to refuel, we just don't make the time. This is why breakfast bars are so convenient. If you choose well, you can pack a lot of nutrition into a quick and easy bar. Which is the best for jumpstarting our day? Which breakfast bars are just filler that will leave us hungry in an hour? What should you look for in a breakfast bar?
What is the Right Breakfast Bar for You?- Breakfast bars are different from protein bars, mainly in the caloric content and the texture. Breakfast bars, also called cereal bars, typically have a softer texture and some sort of a fruit filling. The goal is to try and combine two breakfast favorites - cereal and pastries - into one healthier and compact package. If you walk into your grocery store, you will see boxes and boxes of breakfast bars staring back at you. All will help with portion control (if you eat just one!) because they typically contain between 90 and 150 calories. But not all offer healthy nutrients. You can have 150 calories of protein and fiber or 150 calories of fat and sugar. All calories are not created equal. So how can you be sure you're getting the best breakfast bar?
*Most breakfast bars are relatively low in calories. We tend to eat backwards, with small breakfasts and big dinners. Really, we should be eating bigger breakfasts and small dinners. A cereal bar with 90 calories or so may be better suited for a mid-day snack than a breakfast meal. Choose a nutrition-rich breakfast bar and don't worry about cutting calories in the morning. It's better to cut them later in the day.
*Look for whole grains, fiber, protein, and calcium. Try to get 5 grams of protein and 3 grams fiber to ensure you have quality energy for the day. You'll also want at least 25 percent of your daily recommendation of calcium in a breakfast bar.
*Try to stay away from high-fructose corn syrup, saturated fat, and artificial sweeteners. Choose a breakfast bar that has less than 15 grams of sugar.
You can browse the best selling breakfast bars online here.
Best Breakfast Bars:Over 66 percent of Americans eat breakfast bars, which is a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle. Or it can be if you choose well. Here are some great choices to consider:
Nature's Choice Cereal Bar. This was chosen by HealthyEats as one of the most nutritious breakfast bars. It weighs in at 150 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. It is a little low on protein, but if you eat it with a banana or an apple, you're getting a very healthy breakfast and sufficient healthy calories. You can find Nature's Choice Cereal Bars in Triple Berry, Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Cherry, Raspberry, and Strawberry. They are also wheat-free for those with allergies. A box of 6 bars will cost about $4 in a grocery store; you can find them at Amazon for bulk prices. If you buy a bulk pack of 12 boxes, you can get them for just over $36. MedicineNet recommends Nature Valley Crunch Granola Bars for a quick breakfast on the go. Nature Valley bars come in packs of 2 thin, crunchy granola bars. They have 4 to 5 grams of protein (excellent for giving you quality energy) and are low in sugar. They have 2 grams of fiber, so pair it with an apple to get the best overall nutrition. The 2 bars have 180 calories. Nature Valley has a lot of choices, including Peanut Butter, Oats 'n Honey, and Oats 'n Dark Chocolate. You can eat chocolate for breakfast and feel good about it! These bars cost about $4 for a box of 12 (which means 6 packs); again, you can find them on Amazon in bulk for a bit less. A case of 6 of these 12 bar packages costs just over $20. The next favorite is also from MedicineNet, but it's not technically a "breakfast" bar as we've defined it. It is more akin to a protein bar. So why consider it? A protein bar will be a better meal replacement, meaning that it typically will have more calories - and good calories from nutritious ingredients - than cereal bars. The Power Bar Harvest bars typically have 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and about 240 - 250 calories. They come in a variety of flavors; the lowest in sugar is the Cherry Crunch bar. Power Bars tend to be a little more expensive: a single bar costs about $1.60 or more. You can get 15 bars for $20. Another great suggestion for a protein meal replacement bar is Luna Bars. These typically have 2 grams of fiber and a whopping 10 grams of protein. They're low in sugar and have about 180 calories. Pair this one with an apple, and your breakfast is complete. Most breakfast bars will lack the calories and nutrients you'll need to stay satisfied and energized until lunchtime. This is easy enough to remedy with a piece of fruit, a glass of milk, or a small container of yogurt. Breakfast bars are also great snacks because they are portion-controlled, low in calories, and should provide a protein and fiber boost. View the most popular breakfast bars here. You don't have to skip breakfast; eating well can be as easy as tucking a few breakfast bars into your bag, briefcase, or purse.