Delicious, healthy and full of vegetables, these healthy carrot cake bars are the perfect snack for children and toddlers. Even picky eaters that think they don't like vegetables will adore these tasty oaty bars.
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When my children were small we used to get through at least a packet of oaty bars a week.
They're the perfect snack for little ones. They're even soft enough for babies to enjoy.
These carrot cake oaty bars are a homemade version. You can cut them into bar-shapes if you like or chop them up into smaller squares.
These carrot cake bars:
- are low in sugar
- contain a portion of vegetables
- are vegan-friendly
- can easily be nut free
- are a good source of energy - from the oats
- contain healthy protein and nutrients in the form of nuts and seeds
- and most importantly taste delicious!
Perfect for picky eaters
Got a little picky eater? I know just how you feel. The worry about your child just not eating enough vegetables, or nutritious food in general, is so hard.
Actual conversation had with my three-year-old:
"Mummy, I don't like any vegetables. Especially not carrots."
"What, even in a cake?"
"No, even in a cake."
"I bet you'd like carrots in a cake."
I took this as a challenge to find a healthy, low sugar recipe including carrots that my son would adore.
And what did I come up with? These hidden vegetable carrot cake oat bars were the result and they went down extremely well.
So if you have a toddler who hates vegetables or you're looking for a nutritious snack to give your child while you're out and about, I hope you love these carrot cake oats bars.
The perfect healthy snack
They make a perfect snack for picky eaters, both large and small.
Great for babies
Oaty bars are also great for baby led weaning - just be sure to use maple syrup rather than honey for under ones.
And for vegans
As well as being low in sugar these barsare dairy and egg free and therefore vegan if you don't use honey.
Perfect for lunch boxes
Whether your school has a healthy lunchbox policy or not, these oaty bars are a great energy-packed addition to your child's lunch. See note below about nuts.
Can be nut free
If nuts are a concern, or if you want to make them to include in a packed lunch at a nut-free school or nursery, substitute more oats, raisins or seeds.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
- 120 g rolled oats
The smaller porridge oats or oatmeal are better than jumbo oats.
- 40 g nuts
Hazelnuts or walnuts work well or use sunflower or pumpkin seeds to keep this nut free.
- 60 g chopped dates or raisins
Medjool dates work best but raisins can be used to make this cheaper.
- 220 g grated carrot
Grate in a food processor to speed this up.
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
Agave syrup can also be used. Honey is also an option for non-vegans but should be avoided for babies under one year old. This can also be left out for young babies.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 ml sunflower oil
Melted coconut oil or vegetable oil can also be used.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- cold water if needed
To help the blending process.
Once cool you can store these oaty bars in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
They're also great for batch cooking and storing in the freezer.
Allow to cool, then freeze on a tray or board for an hour (to stop them sticking together).
Once frozen transfer to a freezer box or bag. Label and date.
Store for up to three months.
Pin healthy carrot cake bars for later
How to make healthy carrot cake oat bars:
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Healthy carrot cake bars
- 120 g rolled oats oatmeal
- 40 g nuts hazelnuts or walnuts work well or sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 60 g chopped dates* or raisins
- 220 g carrot grated
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup, optional - can be omitted for babies
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 ml sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- cold water if needed
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Grease and base line a 20cm square cake tin.
- Place all the ingredients apart from the water into a food processor or high powered blender. If you don't have one you can mix and pulse with a hand hand stick blender but you may need to add a tiny bit of water to get the right consistency. Take care that it doesn't end up too runny.
- Spoon into your prepared cake tin and smooth over the surface. Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm and slightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and immediately cut into squares or bars using a sharp knife. Then leave to cool in the tin.
- Medjool dates work best. If you have a different kind of dates and they seem to be dry, soak in hot water for 20 minutes before starting this recipe. Drain and proceed.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
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