Sanity Savers: Cheerio Bars

Written by Amelia Schrader
Senior Manager of Learning and Education  

Materials:

3 cups of cheerios
¾ cup peanut butter (or similar if there is a nut allergy)
½ cup honey
¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
8X8 pan (or two smaller ones)
Medium pot
Wax paper (optional)  

Sanity Savers: Cheerio Bars

Length:

Set up/Cook time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour 

Academic Subject(s):

Daily Living Skills, Math  

May is National Celiac Awareness Month! Celiac Disease is a condition where people cannot eat gluten because it huts their small intestines. People who have this disease cannot eat wheat, rye and barley. These foods are commonly found in breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, and more! This disease affects a very large percentage of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Thankfully, there are more and more options for people who need to eat gluten-free foods! The Low Bridge Café at Explore & More offers several gluten-free options including pizza, burgers, and snacks!  

Today we are going to show you how to make your very own gluten-free snack at home! This delicious treat is made from Cheerios – a product made right here in our back yard at the local General Mills plant. This tasty treat is only 3 ingredients (with an optional 4th ingredient) and takes about 10 minutes to make. It is a perfect treat to have your little one help make and eat!   

Sanity Savers: Cheerio Bars

Directions: 

Step 1: Measure out all your ingredients. Involving your child in this step helps them develop their fine motor skills (pouring and scooping) and practice math principles (measuring)!  
Step 2: Pour the peanut butter and honey into a large pot on the stove (make sure it will be large enough to add the cheerios in later). Heat the mixture on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. If someone in your family has a nut allergy sun butter will also work great for this recipe!  
Step 3: Once melted and well mixed, incorporate the cheerios. I recommend spraying a spatula with a non-stick cooking spray before mixing the cheerios in. This will help prevent sticking to the spatula. If you are truly making this gluten free, make sure that your non-stick spray does not contain flour!  

Step 4: Add in chocolate chips if you want them! We did!!  
Step 5:  Pour the mixture into the 8X8 pan. I used two smaller pans. Use whatever you have too! If you are using parchment or wax paper lay this in the pan first. Press the mixture down with the sprayed spatula.  
Step 6:  Refrigerate for at least an hour to harden. Once hard, remove the Cheerio snack from the pan and cut into squares or bars. Enjoy!!    This wonderful snack is sure to please the whole family – even those who aren’t gluten free!  

Vocabulary Words

Gluten: A protein found in wheat, barely and rye. Often associated with breads, cakes, cookies, pastas and other foods.
Celiac Disease: An immune disorder where eating gluten causes damage to the small intestines.
Small Intestine:  Part of our digestive system that absorbs nutrients, including vitamins and minerals are absorbed into the body.  

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here!