These healthy flapjacks are free from refined sugar and are perfect for kids. They make great picnic or lunchbox fillers, or a healthy dessert for small people.
What are flapjacks?
Wikipedia goes into some detail about the difference between a flapjack, a cereal bar and a granola bar in various places in the world. All you need really need to know is that a flapjack is an oat based bar. They’re usually square, sometimes rectangular, and contain dried fruits. Flapjacks should be chewy.
Flapjacks look deceptively healthy but they’re not really a healthy snack option. Yes oats are good for you but your average flapjack is made with bucketloads of butter, sugar and golden syrup. Tastes fantastic but not necessarily a healthy snack – especially for children.
How do you make healthy flapjacks?
I really wanted to recreate a chewy flapjack for my kids that had a lot less sugar in it than a traditional recipe. In the process I tried many different variations on this recipe and this healthy flapjacks recipe that I’m sharing with you here is the best I’ve come up with.
It’s a very flexible flapjack recipe. I’ve used apple, dried fruit and a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten it – and that’s it for sugar. Remember that babies under one shouldn’t have honey – it can contain a toxin which leads to a disease called infant botulism – so use maple syrup if you have a baby. You can use whichever dried fruit you prefer and sub orange juice and zest for the lemon if you fancy a different flavour.
Now I’m typing this I’m thinking about lime zest – now that would make a wonderful tropical flapjack. However, I digress. The key to getting healthier flapjacks to stick together properly, and remain chewy, is to pulse them slightly in a food processor or high speed blender. I’ve tried making these healthy flapjacks without processing them but they don’t stick together well enough – think granola rather than flapjack. Not a success at any rate.
My kids love these healthy flapjacks and I love that they’re getting an energy-filled snack without too much added sugar. These are perfect for taking along as an after-school snack and they’re nut free so perfect for popping in a lunchbox too. They’re chewy but soft enough for baby teeth to manage so these flapjacks would be ideal for baby led weaning too.
If you’re looking for vegan flapjacks simply replace the butter with dairy free spread and use maple syrup in place of honey.
The dad to the two little Rs likes these even more than they do, meaning that they always disappear in a flash in our house.
How to make healthy flapjacks for kids:
Healthy flapjacks for kids
- 200 g oats
- 150 g raisins or other chopped dried fruit
- 40 g desiccated coconut or seeds eg sunflower, pumpkin seeds
- zest of a lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 apple peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey remember no honey for under ones
- 60 g butter or dairy free spread
- 40 ml sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C(fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
Place the oats, raisins, coconut, lemon juice and zest and grated apple into a food processor or high powered blender. Pulse until slightly broken down and well combined yet with some of the oats and raisins still whole. Set aside.
Place the honey or maple syrup, butter and sunflower oil into a medium saucepan and heat gently until melted.
Scrape the oat and raisin mixture into the saucepan and stir well.
Pour into the prepared tin and use a spatula to flatten down the top. Bake for 20 minutes until starting to turn brown.
Remove from the oven and cut into slices in the tin using a sharp knife. Leave to cool completely then cut again before removing from the tin.
If you like this you might like:
Pin healthy flapjacks for kids for later
Thanks to my friend Sarah for giving me the idea for these in the first place, and sharing her recipe (which I’ve slightly altered).