Afternoons and evenings have been crazy for us with football season. The kids get home from school and there's about 2 hours before we have to start getting ready and off to practice, which is two hours long, and then we're eating dinner at about 8:15 at night. Those two hours after school are packed with completing homework, chores, whatever social/electronics time the kids get for the day, prepping to make dinner smoother, and getting a good snack in them before they go to get 2 hours on the field in.
I've mentioned before that my little man is super picky. He still doesn't eat meat, except in bacon or chicken tender form. But he's a tackle, a big guy on the team, and he's got to have that protein to build up those muscles. So I'm scrambling to get every ounce of good stuff into him. Yogurt, cheese, milk, and the constant favorite: peanut butter.
I remember making these balls when I was in Campfire Girls, back in first or second grade. It's a really easy recipe for kids to make, and it's a good way to pack good nutrition into a convenient and delicious package. My kids all love them. We make a batch or two and it's good for a couple of weeks.
Here's all you do: take a big bowl and dump in a cup of powdered milk, a cup of rolled oats, a cup of smooth peanut butter, and a half cup of honey. Mix it. Roll it into balls about the size of a bouncy ball. Place the balls on a large sheet. Cover the sheet and place it it the fridge for an hour. move balls to a container that will seal tight. Store in fridge.
That's all. And like I said, child labor can totally handle this one.
Not to get too graphic, but some people like to get fancy and roll their balls in shredded coconut or cocoa powder, and I'm not one to judge. You can treat your balls however you'd like. Just keep them cold, because otherwise your balls might get too mushy to handle easily. You want your balls to be easy to pop into your mouth. Tacky balls are so much less enjoyable.
(And yes, for those of you who aren't as familiar with me, I'm cracking up about that last paragraph, and now I have to watch a certain SNL skit...)
These make a great after school snack, a great pre-practice snack, or even a quick out-the-door breakfast. They've got plenty of protein and fiber, along with natural sugars to perk you up. Plus, they are easily transportable, great on the go! And most importantly...most kids will eat them. Obviously, avoid peanut butter if you're serving them to someone allergic to peanuts, but I'm guessing that you could sub in sunbutter or that golden pea butter and they would still be a hit.
Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
shredded coconut, cocoa powder (optional)
Mix the first 4 ingredients well. Roll into small balls.
Roll in optional ingredients, if desired.
Place on baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Store in sealed container in fridge.
As always, find me hocking my balls all over the interwebs at places like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.