Energy bars marketed to moms-to-be
Lullaby and good night, mom-to-be can snack right.
A softer, feminine side has emerged in the frenzied marketing of energy bars. With names like Promax, ABB Steel and Nitro-Tech, the $800 million snack-bar industry has set its sights on bodybuilders, protein addicts and the kind of athletes who feel compelled to run two miles if they brush up against a Frito.
But now the nutrition bar — blanketed in pink and blue packaging — is being sold in stores along with maternity blouses and layettes. The newest arrival is the Bellybar, an all-natural, oat-and-soy snack bar for pregnant women that is free of trans fat and preservatives and is touted as “OB/GYN recommended.”
“It’s getting national attention now because Whole Foods started selling it,” said Bellybar spokeswoman Heather Bandura. “It’s also getting celebrity attention. Tori Spelling and Marcia Cross are huge fans.”
The stork-inspired nutritional supplement, from NutraBella, has 100 percent or more of the daily recommended values of iron and vitamin B-6, 200 percent of folate and healthy doses of calcium, vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Each bar has 170 or 180 calories, depending on the variety, plus 2 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of protein.
Bellybars come in four flavors: Baby Needs Chocolate, Mellow Oat, Berry Nutty Cravings and Burstin’ Chocolate. They sell for about $2.29 at Babies R Us, Target, Meijer, Motherhood Maternity and other locations listed at www.NutraBella.com.
The marketplace also has been showered by a similar bundle of joy, the Oh Mama! bar, a vitamin-packed pick-me-up for expectant moms that comes in chocolate peanut butter, frosted white raspberry and frosted white lemon. Oh Mama!, from Vincent Foods, retails for about $2.50 and is available at Motherhood Maternity and other outlets listed at www.ohmamabar.com.
For expectant moms or anyone else who would rather cook up a batch of homemade bars, we offer a recipe from Alton Brown of the Food Network. They’re guaranteed to satisfy a craving.
Kathryn Rem can be reached at 788-1520 or email@example.com.
8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats (approximately 2 cups)
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds (approximately 1/2 cup)
3 ounces sliced almonds (approximately 1 cup)
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ (approximately 1/2 cup)
6 ounces honey (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar (approximately 1/4 cup packed)
1 ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries
Butter a 9-by-9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan or cookie sheet.
Place in oven and toast 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Immediately add oat mixture to liquid mixture, add the dried fruit and stir to combine.
Turn mixture out into prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars and store in airtight container for up to a week.
Makes about 20.
Per bar: 160 calories, 4 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 50 mg sodium.