These energy balls for kids are a quick, healthy snack option made with real food ingredients. Here are 15 kid-friendly energy ball recipes made without protein powder.
*Published May 2021. Updated Oct 2022*
Let’s talk about snacks for a minute, shall we? More specifically, snacks for kids. Because lord knows my kids eat a lot of them- pretty much every 2 hours all day long, am I right?!
Protein Snacks for Kids and Toddlers
These aren’t giant snacks by any means, but they do occur multiple times per day, so I do my best to make sure they’re healthy and full of nutrients. Some of our favorites include:
Muffins and BarsString cheese with crackersHard-boiled eggs with fruitAvocado or peanut butter toastSmoothies or smoothie popsiclesVeggies and crackers with hummusEnergy ballsFrozen yogurt tubesPB&J Waffles
If you need packaged snacks, check out my list of 60+ Healthy Packaged Snacks for Kids and check out my latest resource The Snack Spark for tons more ideas. Or browse my snack archives for several posts with my favorite store-bought snacks.
Protein Balls Recipe without Protein Powder
I try to rotate through snacks to avoid burnout, but one thing I try to always have on hand in the freezer is energy balls. My oldest absolutely loves my Lemon Energy Balls and the younger two are fans of my no-bake mint chocolate version (i make them without the crushed peppermint when it’s not Christmas time!)
When I look for protein balls for kids, I look for recipes without protein powder. Many parents are surprised by how little food it takes to meet the daily protein requirements for kids so there’s usually no need for extra protein powder. I choose nutrient-dense recipes that are full of protein thanks to nuts, seeds etc! Here’s a great post about how much protein your child needs (with visuals).
Protein balls for kids make a great snack. I love that you can prep a big batch ahead of time and store them in the freezer for a quick and easy snack time. I rounded up a few recipes for you to try!
Energy Balls for Kids
I love them because it’s so easy to make a batch ahead of time and pop them in the freezer and just pull them out whenever we need a quick snack. Since we eat them so frequently, it’s always nice to have options for different flavors/ingredients so I put together a list – it’s a mix of oatmeal balls for toddlers, protein balls without peanut butter and more!
Note that while a lot of energy balls are made with protein powder, for this roundup, I chose only recipes that do not include protein powder. I don’t use protein powder a ton although I do add it to my smoothies and to make my No Bake Protein Bars), but I don’t feel it’s something my kids need to be eating at their age.
So here’s the list of energy bites for kids including a few of my favorites from The Bean archives:
Healthy Toddler Protein Energy Balls
My Go-To Energy Ball Recipe
My Go-To Energy Ball Recipe is perfect for kids, nursing moms, athletes and anyone looking for a healthy snack. They’re full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats and easy to prep ahead of time to keep your freezer stocked.
Cherry Energy Balls
Just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes and you can have a batch of these energy balls on hand for quick snacks.
Apple Cinnamon Cookie Energy Bites
Made with oats, almond butter and fresh apples, these will quickly become a Fall favorite.
PB & J Swirl Energy Bites
A fun twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, these energy bites swirl two classic flavors together for goodness in every bite
No Cook Energy Bites Recipes For Kids
If your kiddos love dessert, energy balls can be a great sweet treat after dinner. There are lots of recipes out there modeled after classic desserts but these no cook versions are super quick and easy!
Strawberry Cheesecake Energy Bites
This recipe uses dried strawberries, cashews and nutritional yeast for flavorful dairy-free energy balls.
No Bake Carrot Cake Energy Bites
These energy bites taste just like your favorite carrot cake. A kid-friendly snack everyone will love!
Chocolate Brownie No Bake Energy Balls
Made with a mix of walnuts and almonds, plus dates and cocoa powder, these will satisfy any chocolate craving!
Key Lime Pie Energy Bites
If you’re looking for a tropical treat, these energy bites can’t be beat! Lots of key lime juice and zest give these tons of flavor.
Healthy Kids Protein Ball Recipes
The best part about energy bites is that there are endless flavor combinations out there. If you haven’t found one your kiddos love yet, keep trying!!
No-Bake Peppermint Chocolate Bites
These No-Bake Peppermint Chocolate Bites are simple, healthy and ready in minutes. This gluten-free recipe would make a great addition to your holiday cookie tray!
Lemon Energy Balls
Bursting with citrus flavor, these Lemon Energy balls make the perfect snack. Made with just 5 ingredients, they’re gluten-free, paleo-friendly and perfect for stashing in the fridge or freezer!
Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Energy Bites
Everyone loves the coconut and dark chocolate combo! Add in some almond butter and you’ve got an irresistible treat!
So if you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen working my way through this list with my kitchen assistants. Which should we try first?!
Kids Energy Balls