As a parent, especially a parent of a very active 9 year old, as well as a finicky 2 year old, I’m always trying to find something, ANYTHING, to provide my boys with appropriate nutrition, especially protein. After all, they’re both growing boys! They need their protein!
My older son is very active, loves playing outside and is a member of sports teams each season. He’s a high energy little dude, and constantly needs fuel. He has no issues with food, which is awesome. He will eat anything and everything, and won’t turn his nose up at a single thing put in front of him. Impressive. Well, let me clarify. He may not like something, but he’ll always try it first. He’s really good about trying things before casting it off as something he doesn’t like.
My toddler, on the other hand, would rather starve, than be introduced to something new. He loves chips, hot dogs, french fries, the broth that mussels are served with, popcorn, McDonald’s chicken nuggets, cheese, apple sauce and milk. That’s pretty much it. Yes, really.
So both of my kids very clearly need some protein in their diets for 2 very different reasons: One to maintain energy and build up muscle, the other because Doritos don’t contain a huge amount of protein.
So one day as I was minding my own business, making a protein drink for my toddler actually, I got an email from a brand-spankin’ new protein bar company, based here in Baltimore, specializing in protein-packed nutrition FOR KIDS, called Hiyah Bars.
Cute. They wanted to send some samples over for purpose of review, and I basically jumped at the opportunity to see how the kids would react or respond to something new to eat, that would also accomplish my goal of getting some nutrient-dense food into their lives.
According to the info sent to me by Hiyah Bars, there are several reasons why they make a product that is an excellent choice for your active kiddos, so let me list them out for you here.
- The Hiyah bars are high in high quality whey protein, so the protein they’re using is clean, and as filler-less as possible.
- There’s no refined sugars.
- They’re gluten free.
- They are non-GMO.
- The bars are soy free.
Basically, Hiyah Bars are packed with what you need, and nothing you don’t. But really, at the end of the day, taste is pretty important, especially since it’s a product geared towards kids.
They’ve got to like it in order to eat it, and kids can really be the harshest critics out there. Am I right? I mean, they’re not like us grownups who pretend to like things just because someone once said they’re good for you, and may even be so good that they deserve the title of “super food.” Kids aren’t as easily fooled, I promise. They actually have to be tasty, or they’ll go in the trash with a dramatic flourish of spitting, wailing, whining and the outcry for water to remove any remaining crumbs from their delicate tastebuds.
So without further ado, the taste test.
We started our Hiyah Bar journey with a Nut Brownie for the big kid, and a PB&J for the little guy.
Our collective first thoughts were that the bars are small. My kids (and I) are used to seeing longer, skinnier granola bars from Quaker and Kellogg’s, a la Chewy and Nutri-Grain, so to see a small bar was a bit disconcerting mostly to Major.
But somehow, each of these bars pack in 10 g of clean protein, and between 170 and 190 calories, depending on the flavor. Basically, it has what you need to fuel you for a sports game or practice, or just some rigorous outdoor play, in just a few bites. In talking with the creator of Hiyah Bars, I learned that the size is the way it is for a reason.
“They are designed to be eaten before a game or exercise, or even during. Since kids aren’t really that big, the bars are a smaller size. This way their stomachs are satisfied, but not so full that they can’t play.” Smart. Very smart…
As for taste, both kids really liked them. No, I’m serious. Jack even ate his entire PB&J bar without even acting like it was brand new to him. Major loved the Nut Brownie, and then later in the week, scarfed down a Mint Chocolate one before a baseball game. Just today, he gobbled up a PB&J one for an after-school/pre-baseball snack, and is totally satisfied, recuperated from the day, and ready for the night ahead.
*EDIT* Major played the GAME OF HIS LIFE that night. I’m not saying it has anything to do with Hiyah, but… maaaayyybeeeeeee that’s where he got his energy, fuel and stamina to hit a triple, a double, a single, be responsible for 5 of the 8 points scored that evening, and pitch 3 amazing innings. Just sayin’.
Hiyah Bars are tasty, they’re satisfying, and they’re the perfect size for a kiddo’s needs. Plus, PROTEIN!
So after a week of snacking and tasting and talking about them, I’d say that we give Hiyah Bars 2 thumbs up, or as Major says, “All my thumbs up!” Jack can’t express himself in any other way than to reach for them and not spit them out, so that’s his version of a solid score.
Now, I do want to point out that these bars aren’t just for your leisure snacker. No. They’re not a casual, I think I’ll have an after-school bite to eat type of a deal. These are for the kids who are running from school to the dojo or out to the field, hitting the gym, or splashing into the pool. They are packed with protein and calories, perfect to fuel your kiddo for their workout, practice or routine, so keep that in mind!
As for where you can find them? This is a BRAND NEW company, you guys. Like less than 2 months old, so they’re just working their way into some local-to-Baltimore gyms, karate dojos and other like-minded places. BUT you can always check out their Facebook for updates, and place an order on their website at https://hiyahbars.com.
FTC: I was sent a sample box of bars from Hiyah Bars for purpose of review. I was not obligated to write an article, and 100% of opinions stated are my own. I was not paid for this article.