Have a ball!

overhead view of four different kinds of homemade energy balls
Credit: Brie Passano

For a fun after-school or lunch-box snack, make energy balls for — and with — your kids using this easy formula. Invite older children to measure the ingredients, and let little ones shape and roll the balls with just-washed hands.

Formula for Easy Energy Bites

Makes 10 to 16 balls or bites.

All You Need:

  • 1 cup base ingredient, such as almond flour, crushed graham crackers, rolled oats, crisp rice cereal, or 2 cups popped popcorn
  • ½ cup healthy fat, such as almond, peanut, cashew, or sunflower seed butter
  • ⅓ cup sweetener, such as chopped pitted dates, honey, or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup mix-ins, such as shredded carrots, chopped mini marshmallows, dried fruit, or flaxseed meal
  • Coating, such as shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, crushed or chopped dried fruit, or sprinkles

All You Do:

  1. Stir together base ingredient, healthy fat, sweetener, and mix-ins in a bowl. Chill 10 to 15 minutes for easier shaping.
  2. Shape into 1 1/2- to 2-inch balls, then roll in coating. (Energy balls can be kept at room temperature 1 day or chilled in an airtight container up to 3 days.)

5 Kid-Friendly Energy Ball Variations

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homemade Energy Balls rolled in multicolored candy sprinkles to make Birthday Bites
Credit: Brie Passano

1 Birthday Bites

For this cherry version, use popcorn, sunflower seed butter, honey, and flaxseeds, then roll in multi-color candy sprinkles

homemade Energy Balls rolled in shredded coconut to make Carrot Cake Bites
Credit: Brie Passano

2 Carrot Cake Bites

Use almond flour, almond butter, chopped pitted dates and shredded carrots, and roll in sweetened shredded coconut.

homemade Energy Balls made with marshmallows and rolled in mini-chocolate-chips to make S'mores Bites
Credit: Brie Passano

3 S'mores Bites

Use crushed graham crackers, peanut butter, honey, and chopped mini marshmallows, and roll in mini chocolate chips.

homemade Energy Balls rolled in chopped dried cherries to make Cherry-Oat Bites
Credit: Brie Passano

4 Cherry-Oat Bites

Use rolled oats, cashew butter, maple syrup, and dried cherries, and roll in chopped dried cherries.

homemade Energy Balls rolled in crushed freeze-dried strawberries to make PB&J bites
Credit: Brie Passano

5 PB&J Bites

Use crisp rice cereal, natural peanut butter, maple syrup, and crumbled freeze-dried strawberries, and roll in crushed freeze-dried strawberries.


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photo of Sue Honkamp, founder of Real Food 4 Kids
Credit: Real Food 4 Kids

About Sue Honkamp

As the founder of Real Food 4 Kids, this Iowa culinary instructor and mother of four teaches children and teens about food and cooking through hands-on and virtual classes. Learn more at realfood4kids.com.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2021 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.