Finding healthy snacks that kids will actually eat can be a serious challenge. I try and always keep a few healthy snack choices in the house but the most popular choices seem to be the ones that my kids can just grab and eat. Even a few steps of preparation like slicing up cubes of cheese for cheese and crackers or cutting up fruit makes it more likely that they’ll opt for an unhealthy choice instead.
One of my family’s all-time favorite snacks is these super simple chocolate peanut butter energy balls — or as my 4 year old likes to call them, balls of energy. You can only imagine his activity level after eating a few of these!
These chocolate peanut butter energy balls are super easy to prepare and last for several days in the fridge (or at least they would if they didn’t get eaten before then).
One of the things that I love about this recipe is that I usually have all the ingredients already on hand. These will actually travel really well too as long as they don’t get too warm (and I’d avoid using natural peanut butter if you want to take them anywhere because they’ll stay firm for longer).
This is so easy your kids can make them by themselves if they have a bit of supervision. Start by mixing together the oatmeal and coconut.
Add in the honey and peanut butter and mix well. You can do this in a mixer but I’ve found it’s just as easy to mix it by hand. It comes together quickly once you get going.
This is going to create the base of your peanut butter balls. Everything from here on out is optional. . . except the chocolate chips, because those are always mandatory.
I like to throw some ground flax seed in for added nutrients. You can buy flaxseed already ground but it goes rancid fairly quickly and doesn’t retain nutrients for long. I like to throw flaxseed into my Magic Bullet just before I use it.
It only takes seconds to do and it gives me a nice, fine ground that works for just about anything. Try grinding it up to throw in cereal or over yogurt in the morning. Yum.
You can leave the banana out if you like but it adds a nice flavor to these. They won’t keep quite as long with the banana in so if you need them to last a few days then you can just omit it, but reduce the oatmeal by 1/4 cup so they won’t be too dry. I throw bananas into a plastic bag and have my kids squish them by hand (this works great for making banana bread too).
Mix in the chocolate chips and vanilla and anything else you feel like throwing in there. Slivered almonds would be delicious as would a bit of cocoa powder.
Form the mixture into balls. You can either eat these right away or put them in the fridge for a bit to firm up.
These are so easy to make and they are perfect to take with you to the park or add to school lunches. My kids go crazy over these and I love having them in my fridge when I need a quick snack (and something a little sweet).