Larabar has a new competitor in the market of snack-bars-made-of-pretty-much-nothing-but-fruit-and-nuts. They’re called RXBAR, and they follow a very similar vision. The kids version of their snack bars are fantastic for lunch boxes.
I’ve been eating Larabar for a long time now. For those out of the loop, those beautiful little snacks are basically a handful of ingredients all thrown in a blender, held together with chewy dates, and then pressed in the form of a bar.
That’s basically the idea with RXBAR, too. The only real differences between the two are the texture (the RXBAR are a bit thicker and chewier), the addition of egg white protein, and the addition of some natural flavors.
Ingredients is where the RXBAR shines, just like the Larabar. As the front of the packaging says, these RXBAR Kids bars pretty much just have egg whites, almonds, cashews, and dates. For each different flavor (we tried the Apple Cinnamon Raisin and the Berry Blast), you’ll find a few added ingredients to give them those distinct tastes.
My favorite so far is the RXBAR Kids Apple Cinnamon Raisin flavor, which lists the following ingredients: dates, egg whites, cashews, almonds, apples, raisins, cinnamon, natural apple flavor, natural cinnamon flavor, and natural vanilla flavor.
Those “natural flavors” might raise a few eyebrows, but RXBAR saw that coming. As such, they tried their best to reassure that these flavors are nothing scary in the FAQ on their website:
Natural flavors are purified extracts from natural sources, such as a spice, fruit, or vegetables. In order to be used in food, natural flavors must meet strict FDA guidelines and safety criteria. The natural flavors used in RXBARs come from the real food ingredients such as fruit and chocolate and do not include propylene glycol, synthetic, artificial or GMO derived ingredients.
But all those great ingredients are worthless unless they bring some kind of substantial nutrition to your body, right? Well, the RXBAR win out over the Larabar in at least one big way: protein.
Unlike Larabar, RXBAR Kids (and regular RXBAR, obviously) has egg whites on the ingredients list. This means substantially more protein in a bar that is otherwise very sweet fructose in the form of delicious dates.
For comparison, the smaller RXBAR Kids bar has full 7 grams of protein, whereas the full “adult” size Larabar only has about 4 grams. That varies by flavor of course, but that’s for the ultra-popular Apple Pie flavor Larabar. And it’s also worth noting that the grownup RXBAR has even more protein — a full 12 gram for most flavors.
The result, I think, is that RXBAR just tends to have a higher protein-to-sugar ratio. And as someone who has long found Larabar to be just a bit too much on the rich side, that’s a win for me — and kids probably won’t even notice.
As mentioned, the RXBAR Kids has proportionally less sugar than Larabar. And that’s going to mean it’s less sweet, of course. In the taste department, I loved the RXBAR, but it’s definitely worth remembering that it has egg whites.
Date snack bars are great, but I personally think that egg whites balance out the idea just perfectly. It adds what I might describe as a slightly tangy aftertaste, but I’ve come to enjoy it. That, and the texture is just wonderful.
Both of these flavors of the RXBAR Kids are simply fantastic, and taste about as you’d expect if you’ve had comparable Larabars. Besides that egg white taste, there’s nothing particularly surprising. Those “natural flavors” do tend to sweeten them up a bit in a weird way — but not enough to make you suspicious that those natural flavors are actually just sugar.
(I hope they aren’t, but I’m not sure.)
Overall, I personally find the RXBAR (and in this case, the RXBAR Kids) to be the superior Larabar — and that’s coming from someone who has long loved the Larabar. The texture is better, the taste is better, and they’re packed with protein.
But then again, the super-sweet date-heavy Larabar taste has long become stale to me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been eating Larabars for years and I’m starting to get tired of them. Either way, these are simply great.
You can find RXBAR Kids on Amazon: