Learn Finding a balance between healthy and something the kids actually want to eat is tricky. Mix that in with chaotic after school schedules, eating on the run, and inconsistent meal times, and the need for substantial snacks is obvious! Our family go-to has been protein balls. These eat-on-the-run, protein filled treats have just the right amount of chocolate to keep the kids asking for more.
What is a Protein Ball?
In this example, a protein ball is a all-in-one snack that contains a decent amount (5g per ball) of protein. It is not the highest protein content out there, but this recipe has a nice mix of whole grains, healthy fats, sugar, and protein. They are the perfect before or after practice snack when a full meal isn't possible.
Ingredients for Protein Balls
- 2 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1 c. peanut butter
- 1/2 c. honey
- 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 c. miniature M&Ms
Directions for Making Protein Balls
I have found it easiest to make protein balls in my stand mixer. I can easily double the recipe in hopes of it lasting the entire school week.
- Place rolled oats and protein powder in mixer. Stir with paddle attachment to combine.
- Add in peanut butter and honey. Continue to stir and gradually increase speed to combine well. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour 1/2 the M&Ms into the mixer and stir briefly. Many of the M&Ms will fall to the bottom.
- Remove bowl from stand. Pour remaining M&Ms on top and gently mix by hand.
- Form oats mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in refrigerator to set.
Nutrition for Protein Balls
Based on the recipe above, if you make 24 protein balls in a batch, they have approximately 6g of fat, 16g of carbohydrates, 8g of sugar, and 5g of protein - totaling 140 calories per ball. My kids love to have 2 (or sometimes 3 depending on how far away dinner is) after school. They even love them for dessert!
Finding balance in your family's diet can be tricky! Hopefully you will find a recipe or two that is a crowd pleaser and meets your standards for "healthy".