Feeding Frenzy

I keep a small yellow pad on the kitchen counter where anyone can record ingredients as we use them up in the kitchen; eggs, bread, peanut butter, and the like. With two teenage boys and a third pre-teen, the list has been taking on a life of it’s own.Protein dominant grocery list

According to the Today’s Dietician, “Active 15-year-old boys require more protein than sedentary 15-year-olds. Young athletes may require 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 0.45 to 0.68 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, a 125-pound, 15-year-old male athlete may require 56 to 85 grams of protein per day, depending on the duration and intensity of his physical activity.”

I like having a rule of thumb like this but in doing the math, I am astounded. My extreme athletes require 100 and 130 grams of protein respectively. And, I’m not crazy about all of the ingredients in protein bars or their price – around $1 each. I’m also not crazy about protein powders but alas, I don’t take on every kitchen battle. I’m grateful that I’ve won many.

The great thing about this no-bake recipe is the ease and that the boys can make them on their own. We’ve been wrapping them in foil and putting them in the lunch boxes for a morning, lunchtime or after-school snack. This first attempt resulted in a good tasting, dense protein bar that the kids have enjoyed. We’re definitely going to try other recipes (can you say carrot pulp?).

Protein Bars
adapted from Men’s Fitness
makes 16 protein bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup Natural Peanut butter
  • 1 cup 1% organic Milk
  • 4 Scoops Protein Powder (we used whey protein, cookies and cream flavor)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • stevia
  • broken dark chocolate pieces for topping (optional)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until a sticky batter is formed. Use a large spoon to spread evenly into the bottom of an oiled glass tray. Sprinkle with stevia. Top with chocolate if desired. Put into the fridge overnight.

Oats make these gluten free

Oats make these gluten free

IMG_2114

Mix well. It may take a few minutes.

A back of the envelope calculation puts these at about $7.25 for 16 bars or about $.45 per bar. That is clearly better for our budget.

Fit for Teen Protein

Fit for Teen Protein

What types of snacks do you and your enjoy? How do you get your protein?

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31 Comments

  1. This sounds far more delicious than store-bought protein bars. I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
    • I think they’ve grown a bit weary of them by the end of the pan but really, it’s a great alternative.

      Reply
  2. Watched over some teenage kids once for a working mother who travelled for her job. All I did was buy grocereies every couple of days and cook big meals. I was astounded at how much they ate. This seems like a good recipe. Could you add nuts or seeds or raisins to vary and add additional nutrients?

    Reply
    • Absolutely! In fact, later today we’re going for a second batch with seeds and nuts. My boys are eating so much right now that it’s seriously difficult to keep up with.

      Reply
  3. I haven’t studied whey much, just drank whatever came my way when making buttermilk or creme fraiche, or that which settled out of the yogurt. I thought I was just being nutrition wise and frugal, but now find out that it is quite nutritious, and is used to start “fermented” foods. Again, I have no knowledge, but read/heard that whey loses its value when dried. Have you heard anything of this?

    Reply
    • I’m sorry. I don’t know much about whey. Personally, I opt for the non-dairy protein but the boys love the flavor of the whey and many health gurus endorse it.

      Reply
  4. OMG! I, too, have a yellow pad on my kitchen counter and use it to list items I need from the store! I have been looking for a protein bar recipe! I love mozzarella sticks, apples/peanut butter and Greek Yogurt with oatmeal and peanut butter. I love almonds, but have a tendency to eat them until they’re gone – sad. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Let me know what you think about these. I am planning to change it up a bit on the next version.

      Reply
  5. Lisa H

     /  February 23, 2014

    Oh, these are perfect! I have been wanting to make protein/granola bars for the kids, but it just hasn’t happened. The fact I don’t have to bake them and I already have all the ingredients makes it super easy.
    I continually have a list for grocery store runs…never fails that I get home and the kids ask if we have, “_____.” Aaarghh! LOL, it’s all good, though, for the most part, they eat healthy meals and snacks. My kids are starting to crave more protein, which is ironic, since I need so much less these days. It takes some creative cooking to make everyone happy (think: make one meal; to serve, add more meat for kids, more beans for me).

    Reply
  6. That recipe looks like a keeper, Tammy.

    I don’t worry much about protein ~ I’m persuaded that vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet. As long as we consume enough calories to maintain our weight, we’re getting enough protein. Most people eat more than twice the protein they need. That said, we do rely on beans, seeds, and nuts to boost the protein in fruits, veggies, and grains.

    Reply
  7. Beth

     /  February 23, 2014

    That looks yummy, Tammy. My 18 year old son is a distance runner and tries to get at least 75 g of protein per day so we will try this recipe. Protein is so important for recovery in the young athlete! He starts every day with a smoothie recipe from the Athlete’s Palate cookbook. His doctor told him no protein powder and this recipe seems to fit the bill. Frozen fruit, yogurt, soy milk, pasteurized egg whites, pineapple juice and chia seeds in a blender (15g protein per serving).

    Reply
  8. Since I have girls, my lists get filled with things that are sweet. I think they’d like the bars, but chocolate wouldn’t be optional!

    Reply
  9. Your shopping list looks like mine! Mine is all about protein, chicken and eggs. These young adults can certainly put away a lot of food and they know exactly what they want! xx

    Reply
  10. Whey powder is a great way to give the kids their protein. I eat eggs every day for the extra protein I need, plus protein in the evening :)

    Reply
  11. Lucky kids with a mom who has done research and the maths for a healthy family . Thanks for sharing this helpful info and inspiration!

    Reply
  12. Wow, I can imagine this is a crazy in regard of feeding! Your protein bars sound like a super smart idea! :)

    Usually I drink tea with almond milk between meals, if I need something more substantial I’ll eat some spoonfuls of brown rice or beans which I always pre-cook in larger batches and store in containers in the fridge.

    Reply
  13. Tammy,
    I keep a mental list until the day I’m going on base and will plan to hit the commissary–then everyone chimes in, usually with chocolate! As it is sled hockey season I’m 7 minutes away from a Costco every Monday night, so I for example tonight I know I’ll be getting some blocks of cheddar and oats. My spouse worries about his protein intake and did the math for his PB&J lunch/oatmeal breakfast and realized he’s doing just fine. As none of us are extreme athletes, I’m pretty sure we get plenty of protein. It’s pretty cool to see how kids, in puberty, crave what their bodies need. Both of my kids went from being carboholics to “meat, give me meat”. I’ve got whey in jars in the freezer, leftover from cheese making, that I slip into things here and there (still need to work on incorporating more of this leftover whey into dishes).
    Now I’ve got a hankering for oats and chocolate–thanks!

    Reply
  14. And these bars are good & fit for me!!!’ OOOh Yeahhh’.they must be delicious. 😉

    Reply
  15. That’s a lot of protein!

    Reply
  16. I like sesame seed butter for protein. My boys love it, although they are much younger than yours. I know, this will be our household in about 10 years. I have an outstanding cookbook called “Mad Hungry” the chef has three boys and the recipes are delicious, pretty simple, and protein filled. I love it. Great post, going to try those protein bars to curb my every growing and wild boys appetites!

    Reply
  17. This is very, very cool! I’m going to try using my home-made granola in this. I’ve been wanting a recipe for a bar like this. And I don’t even have teenagers in the house. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  18. Sally

     /  February 24, 2014

    Great recipe. I always used homemade granola but blended in dates and dried carrots. Lots of them and dried apricots. Sesame seeds in the form of tahini and walnuts and almonds with chocolate chips. Make balls and roll in coconut shaved fine. The boys loved them.

    Reply
  19. With those hungry active sons constantly adding to the grocery list, your grocery bill could be challenging. Your protein bars look great—I’m going to try them for my vegetarian husband who needs a bit more protein in his diet. Thank you!

    Reply
    • You’ll need to play with it and mix it up a bit. This was our first try and I’m going to keep at it.

      Reply
  20. Wow… your boys eat so healthy… you are so very lucky! ;o)

    Reply
  21. The Editors of Garden Variety

     /  March 5, 2014

    What a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    Reply
  22. Love protein bars! I am a runner and baker so this meets all of the needs! Happy Baking!

    Reply
  23. I’m with you on the protein powders. Real and whole foods have proven themselves the best, time and again. Instead of adding powder, what about serving a bar + a couple homemade chicken fingers. Saute a big batch of chicken fingers that can be stored in the fridge for several days, maybe topped with a BBQ sauce without additives.

    Reply

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