Healthiest protein bars

The Best Protein Bars According To 3 Registered Dietitians

Although most protein bars don’t have to be refrigerated, those made from whole-food ingredients fare better when kept cold. Some whole-food bars are free from synthetic preservatives and emulsifiers, which help to keep foods shelf-stable. Therefore, these types of bars must be refrigerated to preserve their freshness, consistency and flavor.

The 5 Best Protein Bars at Trader Joe’s, Recommended by a Dietitian

Need to increase your protein intake in a pinch? Grab one of these dietitian-approved protein bars the next time you go to Trader Joe’s.

Devineé Lingo is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is on a mission to cultivate health and wholeness in people seeking restoration and renewal. Her nutrition philosophy is to dig deeper and identify the root causes of people’s health concerns using a holistic, integrative and functional approach.

Maria Laura is EatingWell’s senior nutrition and news editor. As part of the nutrition team, she edits and assigns nutrition-related content and provides nutrition reviews for articles. Maria Laura is a trained dietitian, almond butter lover and food enthusiast with over seven years of experience in nutrition counseling.

a collage featuring some of the Best Protein Bars at Trader Joe's, According to a Dietitian

Anyone who frequents Trader Joe’s knows how exhilarating it is to stroll down the aisles to find fun, fresh, seasonal, innovative and flavorful products at unbeatable prices. Whether you go in to snag a few specialty items for your weeknight meals or to try one of their popular sweet or savory snacks, Trader Joe’s has a large assortment of products you won’t find anywhere else.

But for those times when you’re in a rush and need a quick protein-packed snack, you might not know that Trader Joe’s has an entire section dedicated to protein bars! However, with nearly 14 different bars to choose from, picking the right protein bar can be tricky. That’s why we reached out to a former professional athlete and registered dietitian to bring you the top five protein bars to buy at Trader Joe’s.

What Protein Bars Can You Find at Trader Joe’s?

Before we reveal the best protein bars at Trader Joe’s, let’s look at all the options. From salty to sweet, fruity and nutty, Trader Joe’s has a wide selection of protein bars that cater to different flavor, texture and dietary preferences. (Options and prices may vary per location.)

Protein Bar Flavors Price (at time of publication)
Barbells Protein Bars – Salty Peanut
– Chocolate Dough
– Cookies and Cream
– Caramel Cashew
– Hazelnut Nougat
$2.29 each
Clif Bars – Chocolate Chip
– Crunchy Peanut Butter
– Cool Mint Chocolate
$1.39 each
Clif Kid Z Bars – Chocolate Chip
– Iced Oatmeal Cookie
$0.99 each
Frooze Balls Plant-Powered Energy Balls – Peanut Butter and Jelly
– Choc Hazelnut
$1.99 each
Fulfil Vitamin and Protein Bars – Chocolate Salted Caramel
– Chocolate Hazelnut
$1.89 each
GoMacro Protein Bars – Dark Chocolate + Almonds
– Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
– Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
Double Chocolate + Peanut Butter Chips
– Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips
$2.69 each
Kind Bars – Caramel Almond and Sea Salt
– Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt
$1.49 each
Power Crunch Protein Energy Bars – French Vanilla Crème
– Triple Chocolate
$1.49 each
Trader Joe’s Simply Nutty Bars – Dark Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt $4.99 per box of 5 bars
Trader Joe’s Protein Bars – Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Butter $3.49 per box of 5 bars
Think High Protein Bars – Brownie Crunch
– Creamy Peanut Butter
$1.99 each
Think Keto Protein Bars – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie $1.99 each
RxBar – Peanut Butter Chocolate
– Blueberry
$1.99 each
RxBar A.M. – Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter $1.99 each

The 5 Best Protein Bars at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s aisles can get crowded pretty quickly. So, if you are standing in the protein-bar aisle trying to decide which is right for you, we have you covered. After skimming the ingredient list and the Nutrition Facts label of each bar listed above, here are the five best protein bars at Trader Joe’s.

1. RxBar

If you’ve been searching for a protein bar with simple ingredients derived from real, whole foods, look no further! Made with a combination of egg whites, dates and nuts, RxBars top the list as one of the best protein bars at Trader Joe’s. “The RxBars have a straightforward ingredient list and 10 to 12 grams of high-quality protein per bar. I love that RxBars contain protein from eggs, as this can be a helpful alternative for those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance while still providing essential amino acids to aid in things such as muscle building and maintenance,” explains Briana Butler, M.C.N., RDN, LD, co-founder of Power Portions and The GNAW Collective. Not to mention, RxBars contain 5 grams of dietary fiber, which can help you stay full between meals and improve your gut health.

2. GoMacro

Anyone who has or cares for someone with a common food allergy or sensitivity knows how difficult it can be to find a wide array of allergen-free snacks and bars. Similarly, those who follow a plant-based or vegan diet often skim ingredient lists only to find milk, whey or eggs as one of the primary ingredients. Fortunately, “GoMacro bars are free of all the top nine allergens and safe for those with gluten sensitivities, while providing 12 grams of protein from plant-based sources such as peas and rice. GoMacro bars also serve as a good source of plant-based iron, which can help meet the iron needs of those following a plant-based diet,” Butler shares. In addition, several of GoMacro’s protein bars are certified FODMAP-friendly, which means they are an excellent option for those sensitive to certain fermentable carbohydrates that can cause digestive distress.

3. Clif Bar

When it comes to choosing a protein bar as an active athlete, Butler shares that you should reach for bars that will help you refill your carbohydrate stores in addition to consuming adequate protein. In fact, a 2020 study published in Nutrients notes that carbohydrate-rich foods play an important role in providing energy to muscle tissue during prolonged exercise. The protein bar at Trader Joe’s that will keep your muscles fueled and functioning properly is none other than Clif Bar. “Clif Bar provides a high carbohydrate and moderate protein content, which makes it ideal for those with high energy needs. The carbohydrates from ingredients such as oats and chocolate chips can help you top off and maintain energy stores before and during moderate to high-intensity activity. Clif Bars also offer a good source of plant-based iron, simple ingredients and good flavor, making it easy to consume,” says Butler.

4. Think High Protein Bar

Many of the protein bars on the market contain roughly 10 to 15 grams of protein. But, “For those looking for a high-protein and low-sugar bar, Think High Protein Bar is a good option. Since it contains 20 grams of protein and zero added sugars, it can help keep you full while minimizing the carbohydrate load. Think High Protein Bars also have a simple list of ingredients, which is an added bonus,” states Butler. From a glance at the ingredient list, you will find that the bar’s high protein content comes from a blend of soy and whey protein isolates. According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, there is no difference between consuming soy protein and whey protein in terms of gaining muscle mass and strength in response to resistance training. Therefore, both protein sources can be beneficial for meeting your muscle- and strength-building goals.

5. Trader Joe’s Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Bars

On those days when you need a quick snack that contains just enough protein to hold you over until dinnertime, Trader Joe’s Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Bars may be just what you need. According to Butler, “TJ’s Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Bars can be a favorable option to keep in regular rotation! TJ’s Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Protein Butter Bars have a nice combination of moderate protein, carbohydrates and fat, which can help bridge the gap between meals.” After all, who could pass up a soft, chewy cereal bar with a delicious chocolate drizzle that touts 10 grams of protein? It’s a tasty treat and protein-rich snack all in one!

Comparing the Best Protein Bars

To get a better perspective of how the best protein bars at Trader Joe’s stack up against one another, the chart below breaks down their key nutrients. However, it is important to note that the nutrient profile and ingredients will vary depending on the flavor. Therefore, you should always check the Nutrition Facts label.

Characteristics/Nutrients RxBar GoMacro Clif Bars Think High Protein Bars TJ’s Chewy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars
Allergen-Free Options No Yes No No No
Gluten-Free Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Vegan Options No Yes Yes No No
Calories 210 270 250 230 190
Total Carbs 23 g 35 g 43 g 22 g 15 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g 3 g 5 g 1 g 4 g
Added Sugar 0 g 12 g 16 g 0 g 7 g
Artificial Sweeteners or Sugar Alcohol No No No Yes No
Protein 12 g 12 g 10 g 20 g 10 g
Total Fat 9 g 9 g 6 g 9 g 11 g
Saturated Fat 2 g 2 g 2 g 3 g 2.5 g
Sodium 310 mg 60 mg 130 mg 260 mg 180 mg

What to Look For in a Protein Bar

  • Check the protein and carbohydrate content. “When choosing a protein bar, the primary nutrients you want to look at are protein and carbohydrate content. These two nutrients will give you the best indication of how they can best be used for your personal lifestyle. Where protein bars with lower carbohydrates and protein may be best for a quick midday pick-me-up, one with higher carbs and protein may be best for intense activities,” explains Butler.
  • Look for whole-food ingredients. While many protein bars are made from highly processed ingredients and artificial additives, try grabbing bars that contain whole foods rich in nutrients and fiber, like nuts, seeds, whole grains, dried fruit and eggs.
  • Limit saturated fat and added sugar. “You may also want to consider saturated fat content and added sugars depending on your health goals. In excess, saturated fat and added sugars can directly impact cardiovascular health, blood sugar management and chronic disease risk,” says Butler.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are protein bars good for you?

“Protein bars can be a nourishing supplemental food in your regular diet! While protein bars are not recommended to be a daily replacement for nutritious meals, they can help fill nutritional gaps when you are on the go, limited in options or experiencing a suppressed appetite,” Butler explains.

Should you refrigerate protein bars?

Although most protein bars don’t have to be refrigerated, those made from whole-food ingredients fare better when kept cold. Some whole-food bars are free from synthetic preservatives and emulsifiers, which help to keep foods shelf-stable. Therefore, these types of bars must be refrigerated to preserve their freshness, consistency and flavor.

Are protein bars good for weight loss?

Butler says, “Protein bars can be beneficial for weight loss. Depending on the nutritional makeup, some protein bars can provide nutrients such as high-quality protein, fiber and unsaturated fats, which can help keep you fuller when under gentle caloric restrictions. At the same time, many protein bars that are lower in sugar may contain artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohol. It is crucial that we consume these in moderation to minimize potential side effects such as GI discomfort.”

Is it OK to eat a protein bar every day?

“While eating a protein bar daily is likely safe, they should be a secondary option to whole-food meals and snacks when possible. To maximize diet and nutritional diversity, I recommend prioritizing whole-food meals and snacks and keeping protein bars handy as supplemental food or when on the go,” advises Butler.

Are protein bars beneficial for muscle growth and athletic performance?

Butler tells us, “Protein bars can be beneficial for athletic performance and muscle growth. Adding a protein bar can provide a low-effort yet nutritionally impactful option to help meet nutrient needs when an athlete has a bit of meal fatigue or is limited on time between training sessions. Regarding muscle growth, adding protein bars that have high-quality protein can provide athletes with a nice leucine-rich option to support muscle protein synthesis.”

The Bottom Line

For those with busy and active lifestyles, protein bars can be a convenient and effective way to boost your protein intake. Whether you are looking for a whole-food, high-protein, plant-based or allergen-friendly protein bar, Trader Joe’s has the perfect bar for you. Just be sure to check the label for the carbohydrate, protein, added sugar and saturated fat content to ensure your protein bar of choice meets your individualized needs.

The Best Protein Bars According To 3 Registered Dietitians

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

While we don’t eat protein bars every day, we do find them to be a convenient addition to meals or quick snacks we can take with us anywhere. The problem with protein bars is that there are literally hundreds to choose from! If you’ve visited a grocery store lately, chances are you’ve been met with a wall of protein bars and energy bar options to sort through.

Overhead view several different protein bars arranged together on countertop

In this post, we’re helping you cut through the mass of options by sharing our favorite protein bars we’ve vetted, as a team of registered dietitians, and enjoyed over the years. While we haven’t tasted every single protein bar out there, we have tasted quite a few. Here’s what we recommend, based on taste, nutrition, ingredients, certifications, and protein quality.

How We Vetted The 8 Best Protein Bars of 2023

Our best protein bar review started by inspecting ingredients on bar wrappers and websites. We eliminated bars that contained unwanted additives as well as those that have high amounts of added sugar, highly processed carbs, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols (such as erythritol) that leave a yucky aftertaste in your mouth. We focused on bars that contained short and wholesome ingredients that supply energy and a good amount of protein.

We looked for solid and well-balanced macronutrient content (calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and sugars), as well as those that contain high-quality ingredients and the best protein sources. Most importantly, the bars we selected had to taste good, have good chewy and crunchy textures, and be something we would actually want to eat. In short, we ate a lot of protein bars and inspected a lot of protein bar wrappers to get to these top picks.

A Whey Protein Bar We’ve Loved For Years: G2G

G2G Bars have been a favorite of ours for many years. Due to their higher calorie count and significant amount of protein (18 grams per bar), we use them as a hearty snack or small meal replacement from time to time. These bars contain the most protein of the top picks we recommend in this post.

Overhead view G2G protein bars on countertop with one package open to show protein bar

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These bars are substantial and offer a significant amount of protein, enough to be a big snack, pre- or post-workout fuel, or even a small meal replacement. There are 8 flavors and we like them all, though peanut butter chocolate chip, mocha, and peanut butter jelly are team favorites. These bars should be refrigerated. They’re gluten-free and made using certified gluten-free oats.
  • Grams of Protein: 18 grams from whey protein isolate
  • Other Macros At A Glance: about 300 calories, 14 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 g carbs (4 g fiber, 15 g sugars from honey and brown rice syrup)
  • Other Stand-Out Features: One of the highest in protein bars; certified gluten free; made from freshly ground peanut butter or almond butter; no preservatives or artificial ingredients; we recommend starting with the variety pack so you can sample all of the flavors
  • Average Cost: $2.75/bar
  • Where to Buy: Use code REALFOODRDS to get 15% off when you buy directly from G2G or check the store locator; they’re available in many stores including some Costcos

We Love This Organic 100% Plant-Based Protein Bar: GoMacro

There’s so much that we love about GoMacro MacroBars, first and foremost the many certifications they have and the high-quality ingredients used in these bars. These certified organic bars are also certified vegan, non-GMO, soy free, and FODMAP friendly, too. While these aren’t the highest protein bars, they offer a good balance of nutrients and can help you increase your daily protein intake when worked in as a healthy snack or meal addition.

Overhead view Go Macro protein bars on countertop with one package open to show protein bar

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These bars taste good and we love that they’re made from certified organic 100% plant-based ingredients, we also love that there are 3 nut-free options available for those with nut allergies. We’re also big fans of the GoMacro Kids MacroBars and the GoMacro Minis as additions to our kids’ lunches and daily snack packs.
  • Grams of Protein: 10-12 grams from organic sprouted brown rice protein and organic pea protein
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 270-290 calories, 9-12 g total fat (1-3 g saturated fat), 36-39 g carbs (2-3 g fiber, 11-14 g sugars from brown rice syrup)
  • Other Stand-Out Features: These bars were developed by a mother-daughter team; the packaging is more sustainable; there are three nut-free flavors available, the company offers an annual scholarship to a local high school senior; the GoMacro facility is powered by 100% renewable energy
  • Average Cost: $2.25/bar (the best price is typically on Amazon or Walmart)
  • Where to Buy: Widely available at many stores, including Walmart, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, online at, and on Amazon.

One Of Our Favorite Protein Bars: RXBar

You likely see RXBars in many places, which is one of our favorite things about these whole food protein bars. We find these bars to be similar to a LaraBar but with more protein and fiber. We like RXBars as a Paleo-friendly choice, since they don’t contain grains or dairy.

Overhead view RX Bars on countertop as part of the best protein bars to buy

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These bars are made from minimal whole food ingredients, most of which are listed right on the front of the wrapper (egg whites, almonds, cashews, or peanuts, dates, and sea salt). We like that they’re sweetened naturally with dates and have a pleasant chewy texture and many flavors that we enjoy.
  • Grams of Protein: 12 grams egg whites and nuts
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 180-210 calories, 6-9 g total fat (1-2.5 g saturated fat), 22-24 g carbs (3-6 g fiber, 13-18 g sugars from dates and chocolate)
  • Stand-Out Features: Sweetened with dates; company was started by two best friends in Chicago; Target has a Good and Gather Protein Bar that is very similar to the RXBar, which you can often find for a price of around $1.50/bar – we like this option as a lower cost alternative to the RXBar, though our team agrees that the original RXBars have a better, softer texture.
  • Average Cost: $2.00/bar (we often find the best price at Walmart, Target, and Amazon)
  • Where to Buy: Direct on the RXBar website, as well as Amazon, Walmart, and Target

The Keto High Protein Bar We Recommend: Epic Bar

The Epic Bar is unique among protein bars, in that it is a meat-based bar. It’s a great choice for people who are looking for a bar that doesn’t contain common allergens, such as grains, gluten, wheat, eggs, nuts and nut butters, or soy. It’s also one of the few keto and Paleo-friendly bars available and very low-carb and low-sugar for protein bars. We love to incorporate these bars as an easy addition to on-the-go lunches and as post-workout snacks.

Overhead view Epic meat bars as part of the best protein bars to buy

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: A tasty, savory bar with a very simple ingredient list. The grain-free bars are Paleo friendly and many are unsweetened. Those that do have some sweetness to them are sweetened with apple juice concentrate. The base of the bars is sustainably-raised meats, such as grass-fed beef, grass-fed bison, grass-fed venison, and 100% natural chicken and pork, so the protein source is high-quality protein that contains all essential amino acids, and a great choice for muscle building.
  • Grams of Protein: 7-12 grams from sustainably-raised meats
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 90-170 calories, 4-11 g total fat (2-5 g saturated fat), 1-8 g carbs (0-3 g fiber, 0-6 g sugars from apple juice concentrate)
  • Stand-Out Features: A savory bar based on sustainably-sourced meat; great flavors; a big supporter of the Savory Institute, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting regenerative agriculture, as well as Stripe Climate, a company dedicated to removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Average Cost: $2.50/bar (we found the lowest price on the EpicProvisions website, and some flavors cost less on Amazon)
  • Where to Buy: Direct on the website, on Amazon, and available at many retailers (check the store locator), including Target, and Whole Foods.

These Best Tasting Protein Bars Are A Team Favorite: HoneyStinger

You may know HoneyStinger for its energy chews and gels, but the company also makes some good protein bar options. HoneyStringer is known for fueling endurance athletes and creating energy products that are sweetened with honey. We especially like the HoneyStinger Nut and Seed bars as a protein bar that tastes so good, a lot like a salted nut roll.

Overhead view Honey Stinger protein bars on countertop with one package open to show protein bar

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: If you’re looking for a protein bar that tastes like a candy bar, then these bars are for you. We found them to be one of the best tasting protein bars we sampled, with a chewy caramel center, a lot like a salted nut roll. These bars don’t contain any inulin, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols.
  • Grams of Protein: 14 grams from whey protein powder, milk protein isolate, nuts, and seeds
  • OtherMacros At A Glance: 260 calories, 15-16 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 21 g carbs (1-2 g fiber, 16 g sugars from honey and cane sugar)
  • Stand-Out Features: A pleasant, chewy texture; no artificial or alternative sweeteners; the bars contain added vitamins A, C, E, and D; the company supports diversity in athletics and paid volunteer work for employees
  • Average Cost: $2.65/bar
  • Where to Buy: These bars are available at many stores as you can see using this store locator, including outdoor retailers, grocery stores, Walmart, and convenience stores, as well as directly at (use code REALFOOD20 for 20% off)

A Protein Bar Created By Registered Dietitians: Zing Plant-Based Bar

We have loved Zing Bars for many years and have even chatted personally with the creator and founder, a fellow registered dietitian. These 100% plant-based bars are nutritionally balanced, contain up to 5 grams of fiber, are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, and contain some of the lowest amounts of added sugars.

Overhead view Zing protein bars on countertop with one package open to show inside protein bar

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These bars are created by a registered dietitian and the company is managed by a team of four nutritionists. We liked that they are a low-sugar option that works for many people with food allergies and special diets. They are nutritionally balanced and have a nice crispy texture. The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Mint, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond are team favorites.
  • Grams of Protein: 10 grams from nuts, rice protein, and almond protein
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 220-230 calories, 12-14 g total fat (2.5-4 g saturated fat), 21-22 g carbs (4-5 g fiber, 6-7 g sugars from tapioca syrup, organic sugar, and agave)
  • Stand-Out Features: 100% plant-based bars in many flavors and variety, such as chocolate-covered bars (our favorite), nekkid bars (no chocolate coating), and kids mini size (100-calorie bars); there’s bars have no wheat or gluten; contain prebiotic fiber for gut health; pleasant chewy and crisp texture like a granola bar (not dense)
  • Average Cost: $2.50/bar
  • Where to Buy: direct at and Amazon, as well as many other retailers as you can see using their store locator, including major grocery stores and pharmacies like Walgreens and RiteAid.

These Clean, Whole Grain Protein Bars Taste So Good: JAMBAR

This fairly new company was created by the inventor of the original PowerBar in 1985. The JAMBAR is their premium organic artisan energy bar that is USDA Organic certified and made from Fair Trade certified ingredients. True to their name, the bars are reminiscent of that peanut butter and jelly combo, and also exist to support the healing art of music (“jammin!”).

Overhead view Jambar protein bars on countertop with one package open to show inside protein bar

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These whole-grain bars are made from a base of oat bran and organic nut butters; all of the bars are 100% plant-based and vegan, and 3 of the 4 bars are gluten free, with the exception of the Malt Nut Melody flavor which contains barley malt extract. The ingredient list is stellar in these bars and the fruit-flavored bars contain chunks of whole dried fruits, such as dried mango and freeze-dried berries.
  • Grams of Protein: 9-10 g from sunflower protein, whey protein concentrate, and quinoa
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 230-240 calories, 5-7 g total fat (1-3 g saturated fat), 36 g carbs (4 g fiber, 18 g sugars from organic maple syrup and organic grape sugar)
  • Stand-Out Features: A woman-owned company where 50% of the profits are donated to programs that support active living and the art of music; created by the inventor of PowerBar; a good source of fiber; ingredients sourced fair trade from eco-conscious suppliers
  • Average Cost: $3.00/bar
  • Where to Buy: Buy these bars on and Amazon, and they’re also available in a variety of small retailers that you can find using their store locator tool.

A Budget-Friendly Vegan Protein Bar: Lenny and Larry’s

Lenny and Larry The Complete Cookie-Fied Bar is our top pick for a vegan protein bar that is good and costs less than the rest. These gluten-free bars are low-sugar and on the low side for total fat and saturated fat, too. The company also has a variety of popular protein cookies and wafers.

Overhead view Lenny and Larry

  • Here’s What We Love About Them: These bars are 100% plant-based and contain prebiotic fiber from added inulin; they’re like a chewy granolabar with crunchy pieces of cookie. They come in 4 flavors and Ana, our social media coordinator, likes the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and the Almond Chocolate Sea Salt flavors best.
  • Grams of Protein: 12 grams from brown rice protein and pea protein
  • Other Macros At A Glance: 160-180 calories, 2.5-8 g total fat (1.5-2 g saturated fat), 20-26 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugars from tapioca syrup, organic agave syrup, and chocolate)
  • Stand-Out Features: The company was started by two body-building best friends named Benny and Barry who developed a high-protein muffin in 1993. As a good choice for a vegan meal replacement bar, the company also sells a Big Bar that is twice the size of the original cookie-fied bar and contains 24 grams of protein.
  • Average Cost: $1.50/bar (we found the lowest price on Amazon)
  • Where to Buy: You can buy these bars at and on Amazon. They’re also available at many retailers, including Target, Walmart, and most grocery stores.

3 Healthy Protein Bars For Kids

Our search for the best protein bars didn’t just stop at options for adults. We also wanted to share our favorite protein bars for kids, which are all bars that our own kids approve of. We tuck these snack bars into their lunches and keep them on hand in our bags for when that hunger hits and we need a convenient, healthy snack for our kids. Each of these bars contains enough protein to tide them over.

Overhead view GoMacro kids protein bars on countertop with one package open to show protein barOverhead view Perfect Bar snack size for kids, one package open to show inside protein bar Overhead view Clif Kids ZBar Protein Bars on countertop, one package open to show inside protein bar

GoMacro Kids MacroBar: Our kids love these small bars, which come in 5 flavors and contain 100-110 calories, 4 grams of protein, and just 6 grams of sugar each. We love that they don’t have any artificial flavors, preservatives, or highly processed sweeteners.

Perfect Bar Snack Size: These small bars are easy to find and make a good healthy snack for kids and adults. Each bar contains 120-150 calories, 5-6 grams of protein, and 7-8 grams of sugar. These bars are based on peanut butter and come in three flavors.

Clif Kid ZBar Protein: Our kids like these bars, which are easy to find and a good size for older kids and teens. Each bar contains 130 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 9 grams of sugar, and there are four kid-friendly flavors.

Our Personal Favorite Protein Bars

Registered Dietitian Jessica’s Favorite Protein Bars

Registered Dietitian Stacie’s Favorite Protein Bars

Registered Dietitian Jessie’s Favorite Protein Bars

Overhead view several protein bars arranged together on countertop for a protein bar review

How To Choose A Protein Bar

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to find the best protein bar for you. Here is a 3-step process that can help you narrow down your search.

  1. Eliminate bars that have unwanted ingredients. If you want or need to avoid a certain ingredient or allergen, such as gluten, dairy, nuts, or eggs, then start there. Maybe you just don’t like peanut butter, or maybe you don’t want a bar with egg whites or grains. By the process of elimination, you can rule out many bars that have these ingredients.
  2. Set your protein goal. How do you plan to use protein bars in your life? Do you want to have them as an occasional small meal replacement? To help you increase your daily protein intake? As a healthy snack option? If meal replacement is your goal, then look for a bar that contains 15 grams of protein or more. If increasing your protein intake or healthy snacking is your goal, then bars that contain 10 grams of protein or more are good options.
  3. Taste, taste, taste. The final step to finding your favorite protein bar is to taste them! If you like the ingredient list and protein amount of a certain bar, try that brand’s variety pack so you can discover which flavors are your favorite. Only you can decide what tastes good to you. Everyone on our team prefers slightly different tastes and textures in protein bars, and the 8 bars in this post are the top picks that we all liked and agreed upon as good-tasting options.

Recipes To Make Your Own Protein Snacks

Healthiest protein bars

Mini Peanut Butter Protein Bars (No-Bake and Easy)

Healthiest protein bars

Vegan Protein Bars with Peanut Butter

Healthiest protein bars

Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Protein Balls (Fun and Easy)

Healthiest protein bars

Pumpkin Protein Balls (No-Bake)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best protein bars?

As registered dietitians, we recommend G2G Bars, GoMacro MacroBars, Honey Stinger Nut and Seed Bars, Rx Bars, Epic Bars, Zing Bars, JamBars, and Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie-Fied Bar.

Is it OK to eat a protein bar a day?

Yes, it is OK to eat a protein bar a day as long as you are also eating other foods throughout the day and meeting your requirement for daily calories and other essential nutrients.

What bars are the most healthy?

The most healthy protein bars are those that are made from more whole foods and low- processed ingredients, such as nuts and nut butters, seeds, egg whites, protein powder, dates, and/or honey, as well as those that are made from fewer highly processed ingredients and artificial sweeteners.

What are the best protein bars for weight loss?

Epic bar (a savory meat protein bar) and RXBars are good choices for weight loss. Any of the bars listed above could be used as small and occasional meal replacements as part of a weight loss plan.

Which protein bars taste the best?

HoneyStinger Nut and Seed Bars, GoMacro MacroBars, and Zing Bars rate high on our list for good taste.

Which protein bars have the least sugar?

Of our top picks, Epic Bar, Zing Bars, and Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie-Fied Bars contain the lowest amount of total and added sugars.

With common flavors like chocolate brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough, crunchy peanut butter fudge, mint chocolate, salted caramel, and even birthday cake, it can seem like the protein bar options are just a bunch of candy bars with added protein. And many of them are. We wrote this post to help you sort through all the options so you can quickly find a better choice the next time you need a healthy protein bar.

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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Overhead view warm sweet potato salad with chipotle lime dressing tossed in

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  1. Jen says Posted on 10/20/23 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for compiling this list of recommendations! I was happy to see my “go-to” RX bar was on the list. I was also pleased that my kids’ Clif Z bars made the cut too. My kids are always requesting these Z bars! Thank you for your sensible recommendations!

  • Stacie Hassing says Posted on 10/24/23 at 1:10 pm

Patty Stefanski says Posted on 10/24/23 at 11:21 am

How much importance do you give to the number of grams of sugar in each bar?

  • Jessie Shafer says Posted on 10/25/23 at 12:23 pm

Hi Patty, we gave grams of sugar and sources of sugar great importance in our review, allowing slightly more grams of sugar for those bars we would consider to be a small meal replacement.

Wanda Curtis RDN says Posted on 10/29/23 at 2:00 am

I find the bars from PaleoValley to be the healthiest option.
Low sugar and super clean healthy ingredients.
Some of these bars are way to high in sugar for the amount of protein.
I have no affiliation with the company 🙂
Wanda Curtis RDN

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Meet the Dietitians

The Real Food Dietitians combines our love of nutrition, health, and real food with ease and convenience to bring you recipes that are big on flavor but short on ingredients.