I mentioned Larabar in my last post about healthy kid's snacks, but I felt like they really needed a post of their own- due to the fact that these bars have been a mainstay in our house for so long. Larabar bars are really unlike any other kind of "snack-bar" I have experienced. I think this is why the Larabar take a little time to get used to- because the first experience is a surprise texture-wise.
Larabar is known for its very limited ingredient list. For instance my 22 month-old's favorite flavor (Apple Pie) has an ingredients label that reads: dates, walnuts, unsweetened apples, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon. That is it. Nothing else. No preservatives, no added sugar, color, nothing. Even more impressive are the Cashew Cookie bars that only have 2 ingredients: dates, cashews.
How do they taste? I really do like so many of their flavors. My favorites (in order): Peanut Butter Cookie, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bar, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, and Pistachio. The Apple Pie and Cherry Pie flavors are particularly good if you heat them up in the microwave (10 seconds) and then add a few scoops of Vanilla Ben & Jerry's on top. Very good. Not exactly healthy, but very good.
I am not a huge fan of the many chocolate Larabar flavors. "Chocolate" and "healthy" never really work for me in a food product though. I like to consume real dark chocolate bars and pretend like the antioxidants from the dark chocolate cancel out any ill-effects the cocoa butter may have :).
My 22-month-old and 4-year-old LOVE the Apple flavor. It is also the only flavor they will eat. On a busy morning my 22-month-old eats the Apple Pie Bar in the stroller for breakfast. We had far too many mornings like this during last school year. My 6-year-old will not have anything to do with Larabar- any flavor. Of course, that is standard protocol for her when it comes to snack bars.
Larabar will soon be coming out with a new line of organic bars especially designed for children called Jamfrakas- which is set to launch late summer/early fall of this year. I am excited to find out what my kids think of these.
You can typically find Larabar at Costco- in the Apple pie/Cherry Pie/Cashew Cookie variety pack for around $18. You can find an assortment of flavors at Vitacost for $18 + $4.99 flat shipping. Amazon also carries Larabar- for between $20-$25 a box (eligible for super-saver-shipping). For your first experience, I would recommend visiting a health food store (like Whole foods/Trader joes) where they are sold individually so you don't have the whole box commitment until you find a flavor you like.