Food that doubles as a fun kids’ activity AND a nutritious snack? Yes please! Roll up your sleeves with this fun recipe idea by family nutrition Expert Crystal Karges.

As busy parents, finding new mealtime and snack ideas for the kids can be challenging. There’s no time to be a measured or concise cook, or follow recipes that involve too many complex steps or ingredients.  

While cooking and creating in the kitchen seems like a dream, simple recipes that can be done as quickly as possible are the true day-to-day lifesavers. And better yet, easy recipes that can involve your kids doubles as a bonding activity!

Cooking with kids is one of the foundational ways to not only encourage a love and appreciation of food, but to teach them an important life skill that will benefit them for years to come.  As your kids get older and are more able to help in the kitchen, incorporate them with cooking and give them tasks that are simple, yet builds their confidence while being involved.  

When it comes to baking, especially with kids, the easier is better.  The best part about this Almond Butter Coconut Balls recipe?  

There is no baking involved!

Just measure out the ingredients, let the kids pour and mix, and voila!  You have a quick, easy snack that packs in beneficial nutrients in each yummy bite. 

The combination of the rolled oats, flax seeds and almond butter in this snack marries whole grains, protein, and fats in a way that will help keep your little ones satisfied. By including something that offers a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats,  they are getting a nutrient dense snack that will hold them over between meals and keep their little bodies healthy and nourished.

These snack balls definitely fit the bill, are portable for taking with you on days we may not be home, and are easy finger foods too. Many of these ingredients are things you likely already have on hand in your pantry, and you can customize it to whatever you and your family love!  

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds and/or 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (Option to substitute with any other nut/seed butter)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries
  1. Mix everything together in a medium or large bowl.
  2. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper or baking sheet.
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from the original article.

Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC is a San Diego-based private practice dietitian helping others embrace their health for themselves and their loved ones.  Focusing on maternal/child health and eating disorders, Crystal creates the nurturing, safe environment that is needed to help guide individuals towards a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

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