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Better Kid Snacks: Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

Yes, your kids probably would like to have about half a package of Oreo cookies. Nonetheless, nutrition-wise that might not be wise. The cookies also will take a chunk out of your food budget. Instead, why not opt for some homemade Peanut Butter and Banana Bars that include ingredients that are nutritious and that, eaten in moderation, won't send your kids into sugar orbit? These are great bars to make at the end of the week when you have to deal with those bananas that nobody ate and won't now that the bananas are turning brown. The bars bake up high, moist, and squishy and with a nice nubby texture from added peanuts. The mini chocolate chips spread the chocolate taste throughout the bars without going overboard (like adding a whole bag of chips). The bananas and a little sugar add sweetness to the bars but not in excess, and white whole wheat flour and oats add fiber and nutrients. One of these bars, warm from the oven, with a glass of milk will make a far better and less expensive treat for your little ones (and you!) than that package of Oreos.

Healthy Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

Peanut Butter and Banana Bars -- Makes a 9 x 13-inch Pan

4 large bananas

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of canola oil

1/2 cup of peanut butter

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour

2 cups of oats (Old Fashioned/regular)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 cup of roasted peanuts

1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil with the spray. In a large bowl, mash the bananas (a potato masher works well). Whisk in the sugar, salt, canola oil, and peanut butter until well blended. Whisk in the eggs. With a wooden spoon, stir in the white whole wheat flour, oats, and baking powder until everything is barely moistened. Stir in the roasted peanuts and mini chips until they are distributed throughout the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes until just firm to the touch and lightly browned. Let the bars cool a little before cutting them into squares.

Healthy Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

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