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Organic snack bars are full of processed ingredients (Is there a healthy snack bar brand?)

Walk down the grocery aisle with me and let’s check out the organic snack bars. Will any of them be made with real ingredients that you’d find in your own kitchen? Or will they be filled with added “flavors”, emulsifiers, and processed sweeteners? 

Made Good Granola Bars

My daughter saw this box of Chocolate Drizzled Made Good bars and got so excited. But look at the ingredients…

NATURAL FLAVOR: Proprietary mixture invented to make food taste irresistible so that you keep coming back for more. Preservatives, emulsifiers, solvents and other additives can make up 80% of the formulation (such as: sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol). None of these ingredients are labeled, so we are in the dark about what flavors actually contain. (1)

ORGANIC INVERT CANE SYRUP: A thick, sweet syrupy liquid that’s processed by splitting the fructose and glucose molecules in sugar. It’s a refined sugar made in a lab and not what I’d consider a natural sweetener. (2)

ORGANIC VEGETABLE GLYCERIN: Another heavily processed sweet syrup made in a lab. To make it, vegetable oils are processed under pressure (typically with lye–a caustic chemical) to separate the glycerin from the fats. Since it’s a sugar alcohol, you eat too much of it you could get gas and diarrhea. (3)

MALTODEXTRIN: Heavily processed powder, often made from GMO corn. Linked to increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune conditions, gastrointestinal issues (gas and diarrhea). (4)

Do you have “natural flavors” and “maltodextrin” in your kitchen? Ugh…nope!

Clif Kid Z Bars

I used to love Z Bars because they’re organic. They say they’re “crafted for active kids” and contain “None of the No-No’s” like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or GMO ingredients. So, does that mean their ingredients are healthy?

Well, look at that!

They may not use “Artificial Flavors”…but they still use NATURAL FLAVORS which are practically the SAME THING! (1)

The only difference between the two is that Natural Flavors are derived from natural substances (which can be literally anything ranging from tree bark to beaver anal glands), and Artificial Flavors are derived from synthetic substances. They are both made in a lab, contain proprietary additives, and are designed by teams of flavor scientists to give food an irresistible taste. Flavors are not real food, and not something that I want to eat (or give to my kids!)

Plus, these Z Bars contain several refined sugars along with SOYBEAN OIL. Even if it’s organic, this unhealthy oil is too high in omega-6 fatty acids and increases the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. (5)

I wouldn’t buy Z Bars now, and these aren’t ingredients I have in my kitchen. Moving on…

Dave’s Killer Snack Bars

Wow look at Dave’s Killer Bars! These say they’ve got 22 grams of whole grains and are organic. Let’s check those ingredients…

Ugh…Natural Flavors is listed TWICE. That alone is a reason why I wouldn’t buy these. But they also contain other processed ingredients I don’t have in my kitchen like ORGANIC INULIN and ORGANIC CANOLA LECITHIN

There’s got to be healthier bars than this, right?

Annie’s Chewy Granola Bars

How about Annie’s organic bars? Millions of parents buy these instead of those awful Quaker Chewy granola bars… but are they really much better? They say they “use ingredients that matter” to me on the box, so let’s see…

Annie’s granola bars are made with several different processed and refined sugars. I especially don’t like to eat ORGANIC BROWN RICE SYRUP because it has a high risk of arsenic contamination. (6) Being organic doesn’t reduce the risk. Arsenic is toxic and is linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and impaired brain function. (7) When I see this sweetener in a snack bar, it’s an automatic NO GO for me. 


Are these ingredients in your kitchen? Nope. I hate these processed ingredients.

Earth’s Best Sunny Days Snack Bars

These bars worry me the most, since they’re marketed for toddlers with Sesame Street characters on the box. Crossing my fingers that they use healthy ingredients…

Awful! These contain three different added FLAVORS along with BROWN RICE SYRUP and refined flour, refined sugars, and refined oils. These bars are extremely processed and certainly not what I’d consider real food. 

If all this makes you mad, I have something to help!

I created a Kid’s Snack Guide with all of the packaged snacks that my family loves. You’ll see all the bars, fruity snacks, savory snacks, and sweet snacks that we buy that are made without refined sugars and other nasty ingredients. These are the healthy snacks I keep in my diaper bag, my car, and in the pantry for whenever we are running out the door–and my kids LOVE them.

Reserve your copy of my new cookbook, Food Babe Family, and I’ll send my Kid’s Snack Guide to you as a bonus THANK YOU for ordering early.

This bonus expires on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, so don’t delay.

I’ll be rolling out additional bonuses in the coming weeks, so you’ll want to get on my bonus list now so that you get all of them!

Click a button below to reserve your copy. Make sure you claim your bonuses here. I’ll send the snack guide and video to your email today.

My New Cookbook Is Here!

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It infuriated me when I saw all the processed ingredients in every single snack bar at the store, even organic brands. That’s why I created my own snack bars at Truvani. As you can see below, The Only Bar is “only” made with ingredients you’d find in your own kitchen.

Happy Snacking!




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9 responses to “Organic snack bars are full of processed ingredients (Is there a healthy snack bar brand?)

  1. Hi Vani ~
    Can you please explain what “organic natural flavors” are? How are they organic?
    I do not consume anything with natural flavors, yet the “organic” labeling is confusing.

  2. I have a jar by Lundberg that says Organic Brown Rice Syrup “Sweet Dreams”. Are you including this brand to be a No No as well as Annie’s Organic Brown Rice Syrup? Bonnie

  3. Vani, this is Organic we’re talking about, guess we can’t even trust Organic food. How terrible this is. No wonder my stomach feels so terrible sometimes.

  4. Vani,
    I don’t eat sugar, including maple syrup, no matter how organic it is. However, I will sweeten with Stevia or Monk fruit sugar. Can you recommend a bar with those?

  5. Those bars are great and all except a child could never bring them to school. Just because you can find the items in your kitchen doesn’t mean they won’t off the kid sitting next to them. Not super helpful when you’re trying to shop more healthy ideas for your sensory-sensitive child who is in grade school.

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