Learning that your new baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a frightening and stressful situation for any new parent.
Parents of an infant who is in the NICU often end up spending a great deal of time in the hospital – and likely have a lot on their minds other than food preparation. During times like these, when there are more critical issues to contend with, parents are probably not prioritizing nourishing and balanced meals for themselves.
Parents may feel so stressed that they might not even be able to eat a substantial meal, much less prepare one.
Yet, depriving oneself of energizing nutrients only leads to energy crashes, mood swings, and a decreased ability to cope with stress. These parents need nourishing support now more than ever.
Show your love for new parents who have a baby in the NICU by gifting them a batch of quick, compact, and nourishing no-bake fruit and nut bars.
I love these Chocolate Cherry Coconut Bars because they pack a concentrated amount of energy and nutrients into a tiny package – perfect for someone who isn’t interested in consuming a large meal.
With a balance of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and protein from nuts and hemp seeds, these bars are great for a nourishing snack or light meal. And because they’re sweetened only with dates and dried cherries, they’re also a wonderful healthier dessert option.
They may be healthy but you wouldn’t guess it from the taste. The combination of cherries with dark chocolate and coconut is truly indulgent and something the entire family is sure to love.
You can help new parents feel extra cared for by wrapping these bars up like little gifts. You’ll just need some parchment paper and baker’s twine.
Once you prepare the bars and let them set in the fridge, cut them into individual servings. Then wrap each in a small piece of parchment paper and secure with a piece of twine tied into a bow.
This pretty little package is a great way to show struggling new parents that you care – and it also helps keep the bars nice and neat until they’re ready to be eaten!
These Chocolate Cherry Coconut Bars are perfect for batch-cooking and can be completely prepared ahead of time. To help them hold their delicious firm and chewy texture, store in either the refrigerator or freezer until they’re ready to be enjoyed.
Makes 12 bars
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Chocolate Cherry Coconut Bars
These Chocolate Cherry Coconut energy bars provide a means of nutrition for new parents in the NICU. This recipe was developed by Stephanie McKercher.
- 1 cup dates, pitted and quartered
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup dried cherries, preferably unsweetened and unsulfured
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided in half
- ¼ cup hemp seeds (or sub with flax/chia seeds)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients except ¼ cup coconut in for processor and process until well combined. Mixture should stick together when pressed. If it’s crumbling, try adding a couple of dates and processing again.
- Press the mixture into a parchment-lined baking dish using hands or the back of a spoon to make sure it’s firm and flat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
For additional information, visit Stephanie McKerchner at The Grateful Grazer.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.