Chocolate Chip "Cookie Monster" Energy Bites - A no-bake healthy kids snack!
If you had to guess the number one feeding request I've been getting in the past months from Moms, like yourself, what would you guess?...ANSWER: SNACKS! #healthysnacksforkids
And I hear ya! Let's face it, with kids being home 24/7, we (parents) are not used to cooking three meals a day plus however many snacks our kids ask, 1,2,3, 4! It's safe to say, no matter how much you like cooking, we have gotten to the point that we all need a little inspiration when it comes to feeding our kids, especially healthy snacks! Which is why you and your kids will absolutely love this recipe, its tasty and nutritious. #KidApproved and #MomApproved
Why we call them Cookie Monster Bites:
Did you know that labeling new foods with fun names can increase the chances your kid will eat that food? A small study done among preschoolers found that labeling foods with a creative name (aka dragon bites) vs using a healthy name (aka veggie beans), made kids eat more of the food that used FUN names. Which is why we decided to call these Cookie Monster bites? Spoiler Alert! It worked!
Wholesome nutrition in a bite
What makes a healthy snack? A great rule I like to follow for creating balanced and hearty snacks is the FFP rule: FAT, FIBER, and PROTEIN. This is an easy guide to remember for larger snacks or when your kid is hungrier. Perfect for the 3 pm snack or for after school sports. The combination of nutrients will keep kids feeling satisfied for longer. You will find Fiber in the Chia seeds and whole-grain oatmeal. Protein in the peanut butter and nuts. And last but not least, Fat in the peanut butter, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Check! Check! Check!
Why I love this recipe:
1- Only pantry items required- This recipe will not require you to run to the supermarket-you only need staple pantry items, no refrigerated stuff! The best part is that it needs only 4 or 5 ingredients and you could modify the recipe in many different ways. Plus there is no baking involved which makes it even easier #SuperEasyToMake
2- Wholesome ingredients- When we are talking about #snacks, it's not just any snack we want to give our kids, but ideally something that is nutrient-packed and can help your kids stay satisfied thus avoiding the "I'm hungry plea". This recipe includes lots of fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein.
3- Delicious-Nothing says delicious more than chocolate! As a chocolate-loving family, this snack is enticing to kids because it screams yumminess! What, it includes chocolate? YES! Check out my Double chocolate zucchini banana bread here! Another chocolate favorite!
4- Multiuse-These energy balls can be used for many different occasions: snacks, desserts, and even breakfast. Ideal for kids that are not fans of breakfast, just pair it with a glass of milk for a complete breakfast. If you keep these energy balls in the freezer they will travel well and can a fantastic outdoor energy snack.
5- Good to make with kiddos-You will get messy hands when making these. Ohh and did I mention kids love making a mess! haha For kids that have sensory issues or accepting different textures. this will be a fantastic activity, almost like occupational therapy using food #cookingwithkids.
What your child can do in the kitchen:
Pre-measuring ingredients- Putting oats or peanut butter in measuring cups
Mixing ingredients into a bowl
Cutting nuts with knives for kids
Choosing ingredients for energy balls
Forming balls with the mixture
Let me know what you kids think of these and leave me a comment below!
Chocolate Chips Cookie Monster Energy Bites - A no-bake snack that will catch your child's interest
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate almond butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 Cut up pecans
1/4 cut up pistachios
Place in a bowl the oats, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and chocolate chips.
Add the peanut butter, almond butter, and the honey.
Cut up the pecans and the pistachios and add them to the bowl.
Mix all the ingredients until everything is combined, nice, and firm.
Take a bowl with some water to wet your hands a little bit so you don't get too sticky and begin forming small balls.
Place balls in a baking tray or a cooking dish with parchment paper and take them to the freezer (or the refrigerator if you like a softer texture).
Wait for about 2 hours and enjoy!
Pro Tip: If the peanut butter is too hard, place it in the microwave along with the honey to make it softer.
by Marina Chaparro, RDN