Fitness and nutrition enthusiast Veronica Bosgraaf wasn’t always providing healthy food to more kids than just her own. She became the creator of Pure Bar—an organic, vegan, gluten-free bar packed with nutrients—when her 6-year-old daughter declared herself a vegetarian. Frustrated by the snack options at the grocery store, which were either unhealthy or tasted horrible, she decided to do things DIY-style and made her own. Not long after, Pure Bars were launched, and today, they’re snacks not only for Veronica’s kiddo but also for kids all over the U.S.
We caught up with Veronica to get the scoop on her snack, her experience working with kids, and what inspired the recipe’s oh-so-delicious ingredients.
You were once a high school Biology teacher, which means you were up close and personal with the terrible nutrition in schools that is constantly in the headlines. What did you notice about students’ eating habits?
Some parents and teachers think their kids won’t eat healthy choices, but I feel like kids will eat what you put in front of them because they are much more concerned about the social aspect in school than the food. Also, when kids are hungry, they are a lot less picky. I have always felt that we should expose kids to fresh food, fruits, and veggies in school so they get used to eating those things and crave them. With what we serve now, kids get used to junk food and crave that instead. It’s a terrible cycle.
You invented the Pure Bar recipe in your very own kitchen. How did you come up with the recipe and decide on ingredients?
I was making a raw pie crust with dates and almonds and decided to add cocoa to make it a chocolate crust. It ended up tasting like a brownie, and immediately I thought about making it into a bar and putting even more healthy ingredients into it, like walnuts for Omega 3 fats, brown rice protein, and high antioxidant fruits and spices. I wanted to create a super healthy snack that my kids thought was a dessert.
Now that you’ve entered the healthy, on-the-go snacks world, you probably know a lot about what’s out there. What do Pure Bars have that you saw lacking in the market at the time you launched your product?
What I noticed as a mom was that most snacks are advertised as healthy but come up short when you actually read the ingredients. That’s because when companies create a product, they do it mainly for taste and profit. I created my Pure Bar for my kids with certified organic, whole, simple, and healthy ingredients, with my family in mind, not my pocketbook. My family and friends still eat them every day, so quality is something I won’t compromise on. I also realized most snacks that were healthy tasted awful. Pure Bar is different. I knew it had to taste great or my kids wouldn’t eat it. There are very few snacks, in my opinion, that come close to our quality, taste and nutritional benefits.
What advice do you have for people who want to make healthier food choices?
I always say to take it slow and don’t deprive yourself. Identify healthy foods that you love and start replacing poor choices with healthy ones. Pure Bars can help with this! For me, there is nothing better than fresh guacamole, savory hummus, and stewed veggies with the right spices. There are so many amazingly healthy foods that are also very delicious and satisfying. When you eat the right foods you don’t have to starve yourself!
We have to know—what’s your favorite flavor of Pure Bar?
Feeling inspired by Veronica? Head to your own kitchen and get cookin’! We’ve got plenty of recipes to make eating healthy—and humanely—very easy.