These no sugar added baked oatmeal bars are a great healthy finger food for babies and toddlers.
I can’t tell you how long I searched on Google to find a recipe for no sugar added baked oatmeal bars. And I don’t just mean a recipe with no cane sugar. I mean one without maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar, etc. Because you know what? They’re all sugar, just different names. And for babies, it’s important to avoid all added sugars in their diet.
But I kept coming up empty handed. Most recipes that claim to have no added sugar or are “naturally sweetened” still have a sweetener like maple syrup. That is deceiving!
So, here we are. My very own recipe that I’ve made countless times for my baby girl. I experimented A LOT before I came up with a recipe that had the right flavor and texture. This is the winner!
I like to freeze most of the batch after I slice and cool the bars. I love having them on hand when I need a quick meal or snack for her. Oh, and did I mention that these are not messy? That may be my favorite part. I get to feed my baby oatmeal without a sloppy mess all over her face, hair, clothes, and floor. Of course there will be some crumbs, but it’s nothing compared to a big gloppy bowl of oatmeal!
I adapted this recipe from the Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars on Iowa Girl Eats. I highly recommend trying that recipe for the adults in your house! Typically, I will get out two big bowls and make one batch of these no sugar added baked oatmeal bars for the baby, while also making a batch of the Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars at the same time. Since it’s mostly the same ingredients, it’s not too much extra work.
Also- if your kids are past the baby phase, definitely try my Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Bars. They do have some sweetener in them, but it’s still pretty low compared to most recipes out there. Can you tell we love oatmeal bars in this house?
If you need to make this recipe dairy-free, I’d suggest canned coconut milk in place of the whole milk. I haven’t tried it myself though, so let me know if you try it with any substitutes!
Here’s the recipe!
No Sugar Added Baked Oatmeal Bars
- 2-1/2 cups Quick cooking oats, separated
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large banana, mashed
- 1 3.9 oz cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 tsp ground flax optional
- 2 tsp hemp hearts optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.
- Add 1 cup quick oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Do NOT use baby oatmeal. It won’t work.)
- Add milk, mashed banana, applesauce, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in flax and hemp hearts, then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Cool before slicing into squares then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars and freeze.
Gail McDonnell · November 3, 2022 at 4:34 pm
So the melted coconut oil solidified and made globs. Did I do something wrong? also, I will use a very ripe banana next time. The one I used just didn’t give the bars enough sweetness or flavor. But my 3 yr old grandson ate two of them right off the bat!
I will make them again.
Mama Knows Nutrition · January 30, 2023 at 9:38 am
Hi Gail! You can slightly warm the milk or let it come to room temp before baking to avoid the coconut oil solidifying. Enjoy!
Maria · October 4, 2021 at 9:22 pm
I am looking for a recipe for a oatsbar no sugar no honey and no fruit inside if you have something like that
Andrea Arkow · June 16, 2021 at 10:36 am
Do you think I could use old-fashioned/regular oats instead of quick oats?
Mama Knows Nutrition · June 18, 2021 at 10:12 am
Hey Andrea, yep you could, I had someone tell me she did this and just let them soak in the mixture a little while before putting in the oven to soften them up a bit!
Jessica · November 10, 2020 at 4:38 pm
What does “ 1 3.9 oz cup unsweetened apple sauce” mean?
Theresa Sharkey · January 12, 2021 at 3:18 pm
One cup applesauce equals 110 grams which is approximately 3.9 oz.
Stephanie · April 28, 2020 at 5:14 pm
Can you use pureed pumpkin instead of bananas and apple sauce?
Kelsey Fillmore · January 27, 2021 at 2:45 pm
Can you add chopped fruits
to batter before baking?
Kim BernardKim · April 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm
These were a big hit! Thank you 🙂
Flor · March 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm
Can this be made with substituting egg? If so with what?
KW · September 27, 2019 at 6:24 pm
Can these be made with regular oats rather than quick cooking? How would I prepare them with regular oats?
Mama Knows Nutrition · January 24, 2020 at 8:32 pm
Sorry I’m just seeing this it went to spam! You can make them the same way with regular oats the texture will just come out a little different. If you want you can pulse the oats in a food processor first to make it more similar to quick oats
Emily · August 28, 2019 at 1:51 pm
I used butter instead of coconut oil and old-fashioned oats instead of quick, and I didn’t blend them at all to make an oat flour. They probably don’t stick together as well as yours, but they really aren’t too messy, and my one-year-old seems to like them just fine!
Jen · August 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm
Is there anything you’d sub for the pumpkin spice?
Mama Knows Nutrition · August 1, 2019 at 8:48 pm
Cinnamon would work!
Courtney · July 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm
I have made these before and my LO (and me) loves them! My question is why do they need to be refrigerated? Baked goods typically sit out at room temp. Thanks!
Mama Knows Nutrition · August 1, 2019 at 8:49 pm
Hi Courtney! The healthier versions of baked goods typically need to be refrigerated to prevent them from going bad – they don’t have the sugar and salt that “regular” baked goods have to help preserve them at room temp without spoiling
kayla · July 24, 2019 at 8:38 pm
Can these be made with almond flour or whole wheat flour?
Mama Knows Nutrition · August 1, 2019 at 8:50 pm
I haven’t tried it personally but if you do, let me know how it turns out!
Kari · May 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm
Added some Brewers Yeast, awesome lactation bar!!
Erika · February 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm
Can you use another type of oil?
Mama Knows Nutrition · February 19, 2019 at 9:44 pm
I haven’t tried another but I assume it would be fine!
Josie · January 10, 2019 at 9:16 am
Awesome, can’t wait to try these! Thank you for posting!
Karla · October 19, 2018 at 9:38 am
Have you tried adding something like peanut butter to these? And can we use milk alternative like almond milk?
Mama Knows Nutrition · October 19, 2018 at 9:59 am
Hi! I’ve only added peanut butter after baking- I slice it and put peanut butter in the middle like a sandwich. And yes you can use any milk!