I know there are a thousand different versions of this recipe in existence so this is hardly unique. I’m sharing these Cherry Chia Energy Bites anyway though because they are one of my kids’ favorite things to make.
While I am one hundred percent in favor of letting my kids in the kitchen and encouraging them to learn how to cook just about everything, some recipes require a lot more parental involvement. The kids and I love these energy bites because they can fly solo and whip up a batch of these without a bit of help (well, sometimes I have to open the nut butter jar, but that’s it!). My 6 and 8 year old children love the feeling of independence and accomplishment that comes from creating something edible on their own. And I, of course, love getting to read a chapter of a good book while the baby naps and the kids work their kitchen magic.
It’s not just the kids that enjoy these Cherry Chia Energy Bites though. I love having a container of these in the freezer to keep me fueled during the day. So often, when all of the kids are at school in the afternoon and it’s just baby and me, I forget to eat. I’m working on making Simple Lunches for myself, but when I get busy, one or two of these energy bites goes a long way!
While I have to admit to sometimes snacking on these during the day, I don’t really use them as snacks for the kids. Ever since I read the book French Kids Eat Everything, which I really enjoyed, I’ve done my best to eliminate snacking during an ordinary day. Her argument that kids will eat better meals if they don’t fill up on snacks throughout the day really made sense to me and has rang true over the years that I’ve been practicing it.
When the kids do snack, they enjoy sweet mini peppers, apple slices, baby carrots, and black olives. These Cherry Chia Energy Bites, however, are considered more of a treat around here (which is why I don’t mind throwing some dark chocolate into this recipe). The kids really love it when one of these shows up in their lunch box as “dessert.”
Either way, snack or dessert, these are delicious, healthy, and really simple. And if you have kids in your kitchen, they are going to love getting to help with or even take over this recipe!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup nut butter (cashew is my favorite, the kids like peanut butter)
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chunks (optional)
- Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Using a cookie scoop (1 or 2 inch), roll the chilled mixture into balls. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.