Lunch box bars recipe

Lunch box bars

These tasty, healthy lunch box bars can be made in advance and frozen, making them a brilliant time-saver your children will love.

Taken from Mumsnet's Top Bananas! cookbook (page 67) this recipe is flexible and can be adapted to your child's taste. For example, you can substitute some or all of the seeds for desiccated coconut or nuts. If you do add nuts, remember to check first if your child's school has a ban on nuts. These bars contain honey, so don't serve them to babies under one year of age.

Lunch box bars


100g unsalted butter, plus more for the tin

200g porridge oats

200g mixed seeds

3 tbsp honey

100g light brown sugar

100g dried fruit, chopped into bits if large (anything you've got: raisins, glacé cherries, sultanas, apricots…)

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)


You will need: 18 × 25cm tray-bake tin.

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3. Butter an 18 × 25cm shallow tray-bake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • Toast the oats and seeds, separately, in a baking tray in the oven until lightly brown; this will take five to 10 minutes. Watch them carefully, as they burn quickly.
  • Warm the 100g of butter, the honey and sugar gently in a saucepan. Don't let it boil, or it will become like glue.
  • Add the toasted oats and seeds and the dried fruit, plus the cinnamon, if you like it, to the saucepan. Mix until everything is nicely coated.
  • Tip into the tin, press down lightly and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow the bake to cool in the tin before you slice it into 10 bars, otherwise they will crumble.

The health bit

Sweet though these may be, they are healthier than plain flapjacks because of the seeds and dried fruits. Nonetheless, you might want to keep slices relatively small.


Cool the bars completely after cooking. Open freeze in a single layer, then transfer to a freezer bag for storage.

Want more foolproof family recipes?

Top Bananas! is not your average cookbook. All the recipes are from Mumsnetters who've been there and bought the ketchup stained t-shirt. Every recipe has been tried and tested by more Mumsnetters before the book was published – so you know that the recipes work.

As well as 120 family recipes, there are tips for encouraging fussy eaters to explore new foods, health advice on salt, fat and sugar and information about spotting food allergies.

You can buy your copy of Top Bananas! here.