Arty has the best time at kinder every week. He plays so happily for his few hours there, and he’s often loath to waste any of that time eating.

I’ve found that the kind of snacks that he needs to sit down and take care with come home uneaten, so I’ve been trying to make little bite-sized things that are easy to pick up as a drive-by nibble.

There’s no need for food like this to be highly processed, overly packaged, shop-bought stuff (though, let’s be honest, we all reach for that from time to time and nobody should feel bad about it). These date, blueberry and chocolate lunchbox balls are a great home-made alternative to that kind of thing.

Date, blueberry and chocolate lunchbox balls

 

Date, blueberry and chocolate lunchbox balls

 

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut (approx)

 

Method:
  1. Turn on your food processor, and slowly spoon the oats into it. This will break them right down until they’re like a coarse oat flour, and make your balls hold together much better.
  2. Add the dates a few at a time (if you put them all in together it might put unnecessary strain on your food processor, because they’re very sticky and take a bit to break down).
  3. Add all other ingredients except the coconut, and process until they come together in a big sticky lump.
  4. Place coconut into a bowl, then roll small portions of the date mixture into balls, and roll them in the coconut until they are well covered.
  5. Store in an an airtight container in the fridge.

Date, blueberry and chocolate lunchbox balls

Date, blueberry and chocolate lunchbox balls

 

These also make a really nice after dinner treat, and a great snack to take to the park where they give lots of energy for running, climbing, and playing.