by Laura R

 

With the kids in school and after school activities in full swing, parents everywhere are looking for healthy, kid-friendly ideas to fill lunches and have on hand for an on-the-go snack. After during a quick online search, you can find recipes for energy bites galore, but how do you know which is the best fit for your picky eaters?  

Sometimes referred to as protein balls, these are rolled balls of raw ingredients that start with a nut base. You may think there is no way you can get your kids or even husband to eat something with flax or chia seeds in it. It just sounds too healthy! This basic recipe is a guaranteed hit, and your kids might even ask for them for dessert.  Who doesn’t love sneaking in healthy ingredients to their child’s dessert?

An easy, go-to recipe includes just a handful of ingredients, many of which are probably in your pantry right now. On top of being low maintenance on your grocery shopping needs, these energy balls a very easy to make. With a few minor instructions, your kids would probably be able to make them all by themselves!

 

Many kids love to help in the kitchen and are even more eager to eat their creations. Gather your ingredients and kids and get to work! The smell of toasted coconut coming from the oven is irresistible, so you can toast the coconut for five minutes in the oven before starting, or skip that step and leave it untoasted if that is your preference.

Have the kids start by mixing peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Once the first three ingredients are combined, add the remaining ingredients and then the kids can work together to stir until things are evenly coated. Transfer the bowl into the refrigerator while you and the kids play a game of Go Fish or Twister. Chilling the mix before rolling into balls helps them stick together better.

The last and most fun step for the kids is rolling them into balls. Plop little blobs of energy bite mix onto wax paper and let the kids work on shaping the mix into the perfect bite-sized ball. This batch made almost 30 energy bites, it all depends on how much dough you use for each ball.

 

Energy bites are extremely easy to make as well as easy to modify to fit your needs and what you have on hand at home. If you don’t have flaxseed, use wheat germ or ground chia seeds instead. Do your kids love dried cranberries? Toss those in too! Once you get the hang of your favorite recipe, you can expand it by adding the healthy ingredients your family loves. Also, if you would like to make a double or triple batch, keep some in an air-tight container in your refrigerator and pop the rest into the freezer for when you are ready for more.

 

Grab your kids and give these energy bites a try. Does your family prefers the basic recipe, or did you tweak and customize the recipe to give it a twist? Enjoy your healthy snacking!

 

No-Bake Energy Bites

½ cup creamy peanut butter

⅓ cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup old-fashioned oats

⅔ cup toasted coconut

½ cup ground flaxseed meal

6 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

 

In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Add remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to refrigerator or freezer and chill until set.

 

Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls. Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container.

 

 

 

 

By | 2018-01-08T10:47:01+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo|Comments Off on For the Love of Healthy Snacking: New Year, New Snacking

About the Author:

Laura is the mom of two young children and enjoys living in the Portage area. A teacher at heart, she is often exploring venues in the area that offer fun and educational activities for her family. Laura enjoys running, reading, trying new recipes, and relaxing with her family.