How To Make Allergy-Friendly Energy Balls

Running out of ideas for cold lunch days? Here’s one easy way to jazz up cold lunches, without sacrificing on protein.

My boys have always shared how their friends question exactly what it is they’re eating when they get a “sun butter ball” in their lunch. One can safely assume that the key ingredient in a sun butter ball is indeed, Sun Butter®.

To avoid peanuts, we use Sun Butter, as do thousands of other food-allergic and non-food-allergic children across the country. Since allergic reactions to peanuts tend to be the most severe, and even trace amounts of peanut can trigger a fatal allergic reaction, many elementary schools offer a “peanut-free” table; or forgo the concept of separating children at all, and simply don’t allow peanut products in school lunches.

The sun butter ball was born out of my own discovery and subsequent obsession of power, or energy balls. While there are quite a few versions of this yummy, no-bake snack — the principle is an energy-fueling ball of healthy goodness. Most recipes call for peanut butter but there’s no reason why you can’t substitute with Sun Butter. (I actually make ones with almond butter just for myself for my work-from-home stash!)

I love sun butter balls as an alternative to the typical sun butter and jelly sandwich on cold lunch days, not just because they change up the menu but selfishly, because it gets me out of the ever-tedious task of cutting off all the sandwich crusts which my children are quite adamant about. I officially threw the towel in when my 6-year-old requested his sandwich be cut into a puzzle, not even kidding.

I make one batch a week so that they’re readily available while I’m packing lunches with my eyes still barely open at 6:50 on a school day; or even more conveniently, as an after school snack for an irreconcilably hangry Kindergartener.

Without further ado, the recipe:

  1. 1 cup of oats
  2. 1/2 cup of Sun Butter
  3. 1/3 cup of flax seed (you could also use chia seed if that’s your thing)
  4. 1/4 cup of honey
  5. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  6. 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips (Recommend Enjoy Life brand if you need to be conscious of cross-contamination with other allergens)
  7. Dash of salt

Mix it all together with your hands in a big bowl (remove any rings for this part), roll them up into individual balls and put into a container to store in the fridge immediately.

Pro Tip: The smaller you make them, the easier it will be for your kiddo to keep cool-ish in their lunch box until lunch time. Also, make sure the chocolate chips are mini because your sage, tiny humans will pick them out otherwise.


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