These Upcycled Cereal Snack Bars put the yum back into plastic-free lunchbox treats

Looking for a yummy lunchbox treat for your kiddos that doesn’t come in plastic? There’s fruit, of course, but there’s only so many times you can keep sending that same banana back to school…

Try these Upcycled Cereal Snack Bars instead. They’re homemade and pretty healthy and guaranteed to be gobbled!

Plastic-free lunchbox treats, upcycled cereal snack bars
Reduce plastic packaging with these delicious lunchbox treats

Quick confession – life here at WOWW isn’t always completely Zero Waste or entirely plastic free.  We aren’t perfect, so you can’t expect to be either. As anyone with kids knows, reducing plastic while caring for mini humans is hard work. It seems the tinier the human the more plastic they attract! But as we are committed to fighting the War On Waste Weekly we are always looking for little ways to reduce plastic whenever we can!

One of the ways we’ve found to cut down on waste is to make the things we buy in plastic go that little bit further. We had a box of Cheerios that weren’t getting eaten at breakfast anymore and were starting to lose their crunch. Before they ended up in the compost I decided to transform them into something the kids would eat and the result is these no-bake easy-as snack bars. This simple recipe makes about a week’s worth of lunchbox treats for two kiddos and has saved us on cash and plastic packaging – it’s a win win!

We used Cheerios and the dregs of the Cocoa Pops, but you could try Rice Bubbles, puffed wheat or even cornflakes. If you opt for cornflakes leave out the cacao and go for a bit of extra honey instead! You could also try sultanas or apricots instead of dates and sunflower or pumpkin seeds would make a nice addition. We’ve gone nut-free to avoid breaking the school’s no-nut policy but by all means go nuts for extra protein, if you are allowed them.

Upcycled Cereal Snack Bars


4 cups Cheerios
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
6 finely chopped dates
130g Copha (coconut oil)
2 tbsps cacao powder
100g honey


Measure and mix cereal and coconut in a large bowl. In a saucepan melt Copha with honey, cacao and dates for about 5 minutes until well incorporated and deliciously gooey! Pour hot gooey mixture into the bowl and mix to combine. Press mixture down firmly into a slice pan lined with baking paper and put in the fridge for an hour or two. Take it out and slice into snack bars. Store in the fridge for up to a week – if they last that long!

We’d love to hear if you loved these as much as we did. Comment below or share your own culinary creations with us by tagging WOWW on Instagram @waronwasteweekly

Helen Barry

Helen Barry is a Sydney-based writer and content creator on a Zero Waste adventure! Editor of eco magazine War On Waste Weekly, Helen is also the mother of two Mini Waste Warriors.

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