Like all the kids out there, #SundaySupper is heading Back to School. One the way out the door, packed into a lunchbox, while working on homework, or getting ready to play after school, kids (and even adults) need fuel to get through busy days. For a quick and easy snack that the kids will love, grab a few ingredients and roll up a quick batch of Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls.
Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls
You guys, I seriously can’t wait till The Bug goes back to school. And at about the same time, King Stuff is gonna head to daycare a couple days of the week. With the big upcoming move, The Hubby busy with a new job, and me trying to get a house ready to put on the market, maintaining some semblance of order while the house is actually on the market without actually evicting my little boys during this period, packing years worth of crap, and keeping up the blogging gig, I really need some kid-free time to have a fighting chance of getting it all accomplished without completely losing my mind or sacrificing sleep entirely. So offloading them for a few hours at least a few days a week is pretty much a necessity.
But the main reason I need to get them out of the house? When they are home, all they want to do is EAT ALL THE THINGS. ALL THE TIME. They finish their bowls of yogurt or overnight oats, and The Bug instantly starts wailing, “I’m still huuuunnngggrrryyyy!” So I get him something else. But if King Stuff sees his big brother eating, of course he has to be shoving fistfulls of something in his mouth too. Breakfast is done and an hour later, if I am within a 3 foot radius of the refrigerator, King Stuff assumes that I am getting food for him, and if I don’t give him yet another thing to eat, it’s meltdown-city. Lunch is inevitably happening by 11:30, and at 1 or 2, The Bug needs a snack because I’m trying to finish my lunch, and obviously he is “starrrrrvvviiinnnngggg”. King Stuff wakes up from his nap at 3 or 3:30 looking for his snack, and if he is munching, The Bug has to be munching, too.
Since I am clearly starving my children, by dinnertime, the decibel level of whining and crying has reached the point that only dogs can hear. So I make up their plates first and sit them down at the table before I get food for The Hubby and I. Which inevitably means that by the time I sit down and put a bite in my mouth, they NEED seconds. And now King Stuff has learned such bad habits from his brother that the second the table is cleared, he is hanging on my legs looking for his nighttime snack, after he just finished three plates of food, just because I am in the cabinet getting vitamins, and me being near the cabinets reminds him that there is food in them.
Seriously, people, all I do is open and cut and peel and pour and put in bowls and get a spoon and cook and microwave and stir and serve and wipe faces and pick up crumbs. And, you know, dishes for dayssss! I love my kids and know that they are my responsibility, but sometimes I do have to actually get out of the kitchen. Maybe use the bathroom or something. So it’s time for them go somewhere where they are distracted from food for at least a little while and when it is time to eat, someone else is taking care of it.
But when they are home, I need easy grab-and-go snacks like these…
Energy balls, especially these Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls are one of my boys’ favorite things to munch on. I have made several versions, but I wanted to make a variety without nuts or nut butters or any other major allergens, so that we could pack them on-the-go or share them with friends without having to worry about any kids with food allergies or sensitivities. These are nut-free, vegan, have no added sugar, and are easy to make gluten-free. Plus, they take minutes to prepare, aren’t messy, and are healthy. Even better, from the making to the eating, they are totally kid-friendly. The Bug loves rolling up his own energy balls.
So how are they “caramel” without any sugar? Dates! Seriously, I didn’t believe it when a fellow food blogger described them as “Nature’s Caramel”, but it is so true.
And if you have even littler ones, you can even make teensy little energy bites. I used about one-quarter teaspoon to make these little balls for King Stuff. Honestly, I made these awhile ago and at that time he was picking them up one at a time. Now, well, he would probably just shove a handful in his mouth.
Human Garbage Disposals, I tell ya!
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Need more ideas for the busy days ahead? Whether it’s nutritious breakfast, lunchbox ideas, satisfying snacks, or even a special treat or two check out the rest of today’s #SundaySupper Back to School Menu at the bottom of this post for all kinds of inspiration.
Are you excited for back to school time?
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Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls (and Baby Bites)
Only four ingredients for the sweet flavor of a caramel apple in a healthy, gluten free, vegan, nut free snack perfect for lunchboxes or after school.
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup dried apples (not freeze dried, these are the chewy ones)
- 1/2 cup uncooked oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until it forms a thick paste.
- Using about a tablespoon of the mixture, roll into balls. If you want the little bites, use about ¼ teaspoon.
Need some more lunchbox or after school snacks?
- Banana Nut Bread Granola Bars
- Double Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Energy Bars
- Cranberry Almond Energy Balls
And here is the entire #SundaySupper Back to School menu…
Back to School Beginnings
- Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Muffins from Killer Bunnies
- Make Ahead Waffle Casserole from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Apple Muffins from Meal Diva
- Apple Oat Breakfast Cookies from What Smells So Good?
- Toast Three Ways from Foxes Love Lemons
Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers
- Owl Bento Box from Simply Gourmet
- First Day of School Pinwheels from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Quick and Easy Hot Pastrami Sliders from Webicurean
- Grilled Chicken Revamp from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- Chicken and Zucchinin Meatballs from Casa de Crews
- Clean Eating Lunches Your Kids will Love from Amee’s Savory Dish
- Crispy Chicken Legs from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- DIY Veggie Cup Noodles from Food Lust People Love
- Chicken Nuggets from Nosh my Way
- Skinny Spinach Mac and Cheese from Take a Bite out of Boca
- Chicken Schnitzle from Panning the Globe
- Berry Nutty Bento from Ninja Baking
- Spagetti and Chicken Meatballs from Soni’s Food
- Chopped Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Vinagraitte from The Weekend Gourmet
- Steak & Cheese Pockets from Momma’s Meals
- Turkey Pinwheels from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Back to School Sips
Back to School Super Snacks
- Nutty Granola from Life Tastes Good
- On the Go Guacamole from Shannon at Country Girl in the Village
- Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Playground Granola Bars from Noshing with the Nolands
- Apricot Dip from Magnolia Days
- Parmesan Garlic Oven Roasted Chick Peas from Ruffles and Truffles
- Home Made Graham Crackers from Curious Cuisiniere
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars from Pies and Plots
- Gluten Free Apple Zucchini Flax Bread from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Beef and Veggie Sliders from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn from Simply Healthy Family
- Frushi (Fruit Sushi) from Mama Bee Does
Back to School Sweets and Treats
- Open Face PB & J Cookies from Desserts Required
- Berry Topped Chocolate Silk Tart from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Paletas from La Cocina de Leslie
- Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Love Note Doodle Bugs from Happy Baking Days
- Frozen Yogurt Mud Pies from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Brown Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Treats from The Texan New Yorker