Confessions of a dietitian: I am not a measured or concise cook.
In fact, I can hardly follow recipes that involve too many complex steps or ingredients.
Maybe it is the busy mama in me, but I prefer simple recipes that can be done as quickly as possible! While I love cooking and creating in the kitchen, I like being able to add in a little of this or that and experiment with different flavors and ingredients.
Cooking With Kids
As my kids are getting older and more able to help in the kitchen, I love incorporating them with cooking and giving them tasks that are simple yet encourage their involvement.
I am a firm believer that 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.
When it comes to baking, especially with kids, easier is better; which is why I was excited to try this recipe that a dear friend shared with me. The best part? 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.
Creating Quick, Nutritious Snacks For Kids
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.
When giving my kids snacks during the day, I try to include something that offers a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to create a nutrient dense snack that will hold them over between meals and keep their little bodies healthy and nourished.
These almond butter coconut balls definitely fit the bill, are portable for taking with us 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! My kiddos are especially keen on chocolate chips, so we add these in, but you can leave that out or add in mixed fruit instead.
Check out the recipe below, and let me know what you think!
Recipe: Almond Butter Coconut Balls
- 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
- Mix everything together in a medium or large bowl.
- Shape into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper or baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).