Make a batch of these no-bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls to have on hand for hungry kiddos during the week—or to feed yourself a naturally sweet snack whenever you need one! They taste so good and are filled with nutritious ingredients. Plus: They’re ready in under 10 minutes!

peanut butter oatmeal balls with toddler hand

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls

Before anyone states the obvious, I do realize that most toddlers do not need more energy! They usually have plenty all on their own. But these “energy balls” are such a delicious (and easy snack) full of nutritious ingredients for little bodies.

These are an easy snack to make ahead and keep in the fridge. Plus, you don’t need to use any fancy ingredients or complicated methods to make these energy bites. You simply warm the wet ingredients and stir them into the dry—all in under 10 minutes.

And they have a texture that’s sort of like cookie dough so they’re great for younger toddlers, too—just dice them up if needed.

We love these for afternoon snack with some milk, as an easy bedtime snack, or a quick on-the-go bite.

Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the pantry ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe to share with the kids so you know what to have on hand.

ingredients in peanut butter oatmeal balls
  • Creamy unsweetened peanut butter: I like the “natural” kind from Smuckers or Teddies, but any brand will do.
  • Honey: The honey in this recipe helps the bites hold together. You can also swap in brown rice syrup for a less sweet taste.
  • Vanilla extract: You can use pure or imitation vanilla extract here.
  • Rolled oats: You can use the oats as they are out of the canister or bag, or you can grind them up in a food processor or blender to make a finer texture. (We like them ground up so the bites have the texture of cookie dough.)
  • Chia seeds: These little seeds add some texture and additional fats. You can omit them if you don’t have them.
  • Raisins or chocolate chips: Add these in for more flavor and yumminess.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this easy energy ball recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

how to make peanut butter oatmeal balls step by step
  1. Warm the peanut butter and honey. Stir together
  2. Cut the raisins in half, if large, to make the balls easier to bite into for the little eaters.
  3. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir together.
  4. Roll into balls.

TIP: The recipe works with regular oats, but grinding the oats—or using quick oats or oat flour—makes the balls taste more like cookie dough. You can skip the chia seeds if you don’t have any!

peanut butter oatmeal energy bites in blue bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add chocolate?

Sure, just use mini chocolate chips in place of the raisins! That will definitely taste like cookie dough and I expect will make the kids really happy. (And probably the grown ups too!)

Can I make these nut-free?

If you can’t do peanut butter in your house or you need a nut-free snack to send to preschool or school, try these energy bites with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. They should work just fine and taste similar.

Can I make these gluten-free?

Sure thing, just reach for certified gluten-free rolled oats and you should be good to go.

peanut butter oatmeal bites cut in half on blue cutting board

How to Store

You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They will likely be gobbled up well before that. though—I make these as much for my kids as I do for myself. I store each batch in a quart-size mason jar in the fridge and cut them up for younger eaters to ensure they are easy to chew.

Best Tips for Success

  • Grind the oats in a blender or food processor. Or use quick oats or oat flour. This will make the final texture smoother and more like cookie dough.
  • Cut the raisins in half if they are very large so they are easier for the kids to bite into and chew.
  • Warm the peanut butter and honey so they are easy to stir into the other ingredients.
  • Use sunflower seed butter to make these nut-free.
  • Use a tablespoon, measuring spoon, or a small spoon to portion out the dough.
  • Cut up if needed to serve to younger kids.
  • If they feel too firm for younger eaters, simply let sit at room temperature for a bit before storing.
  • Use mini chocolate chips instead of raisins if you prefer.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

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peanut-butter-oatmeal-energy-balls

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls

These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers), and it works really well.
4.95 from 123 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 122kcal
Servings 12 balls

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Place the peanut butter and honey in a heat-proof container (such as a glass measuring cup) and warm for 15-30 seconds in the microwave.
  • Add to a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon as much as you can. If the dough is at all stiff, mix with clean hands.
  • Use a tablespoon-size measuring spoon to portion and roll into balls. Squeeze the batter, then roll it into a ball to help it hold together easily.
  • Serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Notes

  • To store, place in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Let sit at room temperature to soften slightly if needed for your toddler. 
  • If you don’t have chia seeds on hand, you can simply skip them.
  • Nut-free: Use Sunbutter or another sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Grind the oats in a blender or food processor or use quick oats or oat flour. This will make the final texture smoother and more like cookie dough.
  • Cut the raisins in half if they are very large so they are easier for the kids to bite into and chew.
  • Warm the peanut butter and honey so they are easy to stir into the other ingredients.
  • Use a tablespoon measuring spoon or a small spoon to portion out the dough.
  • Cut up if needed to serve to younger kids.
  • Try snipped dried cherries, cranberries, or apricots instead of the raisins.
  • Use mini chocolate chips instead of raisins.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 51mg, Potassium: 125mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This recipe was first published June 2017.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are delicious. My two year old grandson likes them also. They are an easy snack to make and to grab.

  2. 5 stars
    We love this recipe. Myself, 2, 3, and 4 year old. I will say I get really tired of making a million little balls so I just threw everything in a food processor spooned it into a parchment lined baking pan and refrigerated and then I cut into squares just tip for any other super busy moms.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for these! I am a 27-year-old with no children, but I make these for myself for a quick snack before working out in the morning. I love these as an alternative to store-bought mini energy bars, because I can control what is in them and they are far less expensive, especially because I keep all the ingredients in the house for other things anyway. Definitely recommend not skimping on the honey — I did not have enough the first time I made them and they stick together much better with the right amount. Thanks for making home-made snacking accessible to all!

  4. Great after-school snack for my hungry, growing boys (ages 8,5,3). They prefer mini chocolate chips vs raisins. Thank you, Amy!

  5. Do you think I could add duocal high calorie supplement powder to these if I increased the wet ingredients a bit?

  6. I’m saving this recipe for sure — but also had to tell you I squealed, “that sweet little hand!” when I saw the first photo on the post. What a delight!

  7. 5 stars
    I made a double batch of the original recipe for my husband and I because I don’t think they’ll last very long. I also made a single batch with sunflower butter for my toddler with a peanut allergy. He’ll be so excited to snack on these!! I’m a big fan of all of your recipes. Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Ok the problem with these is that they’re TOO good and I just want to eat them all. I make a double batch every time.

    1. You could press it into a 8×8 pan, chill and use a cookie cutter if the dough is very cold. I doubt it would roll though.

  9. These are delicious and I didn’t add raisins due to not having them, but they were still delicious!

  10. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I left the raisins out due to not having any and they were still delicious! Thank you for a yummy recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    I made this without the raisins and let me just say it tastes just like the peanut butter Perfect Bar! It’s actually crazy haha

  12. 5 stars
    JUST made these with my toddler (2.5) for the first time! Used GF Bob’s Red Mill quick cooking oats and a Vitamix to make oat flour…subbed prunes for raisins because..you know…and topped with rainbow sprinkles. She ate the first one before I even finished rolling the rest in sprinkles and promptly asked for another one. New family fave!

  13. 5 stars
    My whole family, adults and kiddos, LOVE these! I’m not kidding when I say I make a batch per week.
    *We don’t use raisins but add shelled hemp hearts for extra protein and healthy fat. Saving this recipe forever!! Thanks Amy!

  14. 5 stars
    I don’t usually comment on recipes but I have this saved in my favourites and ALWAYS have a stash of these in the fridge – it’s part of my Sunday routine now to replenish that stash. When my toddler is being exceptionally fussy these are the only things he will consistently eat with no hassle – they are a life saver!

  15. 5 stars
    These turned out PERFECTLY! Not crumbly, and my toddler devoured every single one. Will make more and more of these!

  16. 5 stars
    I put the dough in the fridge for a few minutes before rolling and thought they were easier that way. My daughter loved helping make them and we added sprinkles to make them more fun. She probably would’ve ate all of them if I let her!

  17. Tried the recipe with almond butter and it was great! Today we will try the banana bread! My son 19months old loved the energy balls!!!

  18. 5 stars
    Yes! Yes! Yes! These are absolutely perfect for the picky toddler! Thank you so much for this recipe. I was able to make it immediately with what we had on hand in the pantry (love that!). I didn’t have peanut butter but I did have almond butter & it substituted perfectly.

  19. 5 stars
    Yummy! Really easy and good! I also added some ground flax seed and used mini chocolate chips. My 3 year old loves it!

  20. 5 stars
    So easy! My toddler helped put everything into the food processor and we did it all there (no microwave or mixing by hand). Delicious! I also added in about a tablespoon of hemp hearts for extra nutrients (healthy fats and protein).

  21. 4 stars
    This was good but not one of my favorites. It was pretty intense and dense (of course) and I felt like I could barely eat it. It was just really heavy feeling. I would have preferred it with whole oats. The oat flour just made it so dense. I can only eat like a teaspoon at a time so I didn’t bother rolling it into balls. I added marshmallows to cut the density which worked ok. I probably needed more. It would be good served warm as a dip for apples.

  22. Have you tried or do you think almond butter would work too. Little one has peanut allergy and doesn’t take to sun butter but she loves the almond butter!

    1. Hi almond butter should work as long as it’s not super runny. If it’s a similar consistency to peanut butter, that is best. If it’s a little runnier, you may need a smidge more oats. I hope that helps!

  23. Very yummy. I, too reduce honey a little, added flax seed meal, 1/2 teaspoon of coarse kosher salt, and 1 1/2 T of coconut oil to hold balls together. I did everything in my food processor.

  24. 5 stars
    Delicious!
    I added 1tablespoon of flax seed and used 1/8th cup maple syrup (we try to minimize sugar in our house). The dough wasn’t coming together too well bc I didn’t have enough wet ingredients . So I added a half ripe smashed banana and viola! Ah-mazinh!
    Thanks for your brilliant recipes!

  25. 4 stars
    My 12 year old loves these! At first they were too crumbly. (I used our home-boiled maple syrup in place of honey, and ground flax instead of chia, since I had it on hand.) So, I returned the whole batch to the food processor along with a handful of chocolate chips. Then I popped the mixture in the microwave for 45 seconds, which melted those tiny chocolate bits. Scooped, rolled and chilled. Now they hold their shape, even in a jostled lunchbox. For the second batch I reduced maple syrup to 2 tablespoons, and they were still great.

  26. These are great, and simple to make. I pulsed my sultanas in the flood processor after grinding the oats so I didn’t need to mess around with a chopping board. I found them sticky to hold (before chilling), so I rolled them in desiccated coconut and a small amount of sprinkles.

  27. 5 stars
    I’m making these for the second time. Packed them on vacation and I need to make more for the way home! Delicious and easy! Nice to have something less processed as well.

  28. To avoid this being too dry and crumbly – MEASURE your OATS BEFORE GRINDING. (Please change recipe to include also the measurement of ground oats.)

  29. 5 stars
    Four yr old grandson loves it, “helped” make it. We followed the recipe exactly, added a tbs of honey for extra moisture (our oats are older and the honey was crystallized a bit), and he is very happy with it. Keeper!

  30. Can you please include the measurement of ground oats? I had to guess how much ground oats = 1 cup of unground oats, as already had ground oats.

      1. 1 cup of unground oats is less than 1 cup of ground oats and could be the reason for people having crumbly batter. I used less than 1 cup of ground oats and the batter was perfect – if I had used 1 cup of ground oats it would not have worked.

  31. Looks great! I’m always curious – do the chia seeds need to be soaked before adding to the mixture? I always used raw seeds until a friend told me to soak. I would appreciate your take! Thanks you!

    1. In this recipe, they do not need to be soaked. They soften a little from the other ingredients. I think the texture would be odd if you soaked them.

  32. 5 stars
    I mixed these up and used mini chocolate chips instead of raisens. I honestly don’t even roll them, I put it in the fridge and just give my boys a little bowl of it and they eat it with a spoon! Big hit. Thanks!

  33. Hi, I’ve the Quaker old fashioned oats. Can I grind it and use it? Is it ok to give a toddler raw oats? Please let me know. Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes, grind up those oats and they work well. And yes, they are fine to eat. They soften nicely in the batter and are easy to eat.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I just made it. It took me 10 minutes to make it! And it tasted absolutely heavenly. I ended up eating 3 in one go 🙁

  34. 5 stars
    Made these several times now, my toddler and 6 year old love them. My toddler is in the 10th percentile for weight so I’m always looking for high calorie, healthy snacks. Really appreciate this recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      So quick and easy! I made these with my honey obsessed 3.5 year old and she LOVES them. I added some hemp hearts along with the chia seeds and it worked great.

  35. 5 stars
    These are great, made with my son, an trying to help him gain some weight so thought these would be a good snack. He loves making and eating them!

  36. 3 stars
    I’ve tried this recipe twice and my dough ends up super dry and flakey and doesn’t come together at all. I tried adding a little coconut oil for moisture – didn’t really make a difference. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. They are tasty but completely fall apart even after refrigeration. Any suggestions?

    1. Perhaps the peanut butter you’re using is simply a different moisture level than mine? I would try adding a little more peanut butter and honey and see if that helps.

    2. 5 stars
      Love this. I press the dough into a square pan/Tupperware and then cut out small bars instead of making balls. Also I add 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. My honey is pretty sweet so even with unsweetened Sunbutter it’s pretty rich. But delicious and a big hit with my 2 yr old. 😊

    1. I haven’t ever frozen them but I’ve had them in the fridge for weeks and they still taste the same if in an airtight container.

  37. 5 stars
    These are a big favorite with our grandson `( 13 months old) I used Coaches Oats ( brand) and so there was no need to use a blender or food processor. I used kitchen scissors to cut the ravines into tiny pieces and then place the raisins in a cup of boiling water for about 2 minutes . Then drain the raisins thoroughly before adding them. This helps to soften the raisins for toddlers who do not have back teeth. I did not use chia seeds. Making these often!

  38. 5 stars
    Made these today. Super easy to make and really nice! We’re vegan so we used agave instead of honey and I don’t have a microwave so I softened the peanut butter in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Worked really well!Thank you for the recipe.

  39. 5 stars
    Just made these and they are Delish! I doubled the recipe and used 1/2 honey and 1/2 maple syrup as I didn’t have enough honey. And then 1/2 PB and 1/2 crunchy almond butter and they turned out really good. I froze mind so then my 2yr old wouldn’t shove the whole thing in her mouth. LOVE the tip to grind up the oats, solved my past problems of them being crumbly

  40. Are the nutritional facts for the entire recipe or for 1 ball? The serving size seems to suggest the whole recipe but I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

  41. I made these today and they taste good, but VERY soft and sticky. They don’t hold shape well. I’m guessing I need more oats. I used kitchen scale to measure all ingredients to the correct gram and followed recipe exactly. I used natural peanut butter that is kinda runny. It’s the Crazy Richards brand. I always stir PB first to make it blend better and not quite as runny. I wonder if the runniness of PB is my issue. Again they taste great, but even after 4 hrs in fridge they are very tacky to touch and squish super easily. Was hoping for more of cookie dough consistency. I’ll have to try again and increase amount of oats. Anyone else have this issue?

    1. I would stir in more oats. It’s possible the peanut butter you’re using is thinner than what I use and that could cause the difference. It should be cookie dough consistency.

  42. 5 stars
    I’ve made these so many times. It’s a staple snack for us! I keep them in the freezer and take a couple with us on our morning walks for my daughter.

  43. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe and used milled flax seed because I didn’t have any chia seeds and they came out so delicious! My son is currently sitting at his little table munching on a few with some unsweetened vanilla oat milk. Thank you for providing the nutrition facts as well, they are so useful! Thanks Amy 🙂

    Melissa

  44. 5 stars
    Just made this with mini chocolate chips and yum! Definitely ate a few more than I planned on. My son has been wolfing down Zbars as of late and I think he’ll like these energy balls a lot.

  45. Hi , can I try this with mixed nut butter instead of. Peanut butter? If yes will the measurement remind same? Thank you. Can’t wish to try for my 13 months old.

    1. You can certainly try it though some nut butters have different consistencies so it’s possible you’d need more oats if they are runnier. I can’t say for sure without knowing what you plan to do but if the mixture is too runny when you mix it all together, you can add some more oats.

  46. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious! I just made these (my first recipe from your site) and my 15 month old absolutely loves them. My husband does as well so I’ll need to triple the batch.
    I love how easy this was to prepare, I had all of the ingredients on hand which is a plus.
    Thank you!

  47. I haven’t tried these yet as my son isn’t a fan of peanut/nut butter… we are working on it.
    I noticed you nut free comment and thought I would mention I found a similar (but not as few ingredients) that used Coconut Butter instead of peanut/nut butter. So might be an option for your recipe as well 🙂

    I look forward to trying more of your tips with my sensory eater (very much not picky, he just has a real issue with texture… ) But he is still growing and still happy… just doesn’t like to eat! Ever!

    1. Thank you, I’ll look for some coconut butter! And I’m glad that your little guy is growing and happy–texture preferences/issues can be a challenge so hang in there!

    1. It won’t be sticky enough but if you’re wanting something other than honey, you could try brown rice syrup which is sold near the sugar in most baking aisles.

  48. 5 stars
    Massive hit in our house and they are only made 30 mins ago! So easy to make and a massive saving in money from the shop bought ones! Thank you

  49. 5 stars
    Omg, these taste amazeballs (lol)! I didn’t even make them for my son (he’s only 10 months old so no honey for him yet); I made them for myself for a guilt-free snack and I am so glad I did. Just a note: I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and they melted as I mixed the dough. So, as a tip, I’d add to let the dough chill a little cooler than room temp first, then fold in the chocolate chips. Thanks for the recipe! I’m sure they won’t last me long.

  50. I’ve made these twice now. And both times my daughter eats her serving and then I eat the rest – in one day! They are delicious!

    1. No since they have honey in them. You could omit the honey and use a little extra peanut butter to bind them together if you want.

  51. 5 stars
    Hi Amy,
    I’ve been trying your recipes for a couple of months now and I can say that everything always turns out delicious! My teething and picky 15 month old devoured these this morning. Looking forward to trying even more of your recipes! Thank you!

  52. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice. Both times with steel cut oats finely processed. The first time was great. The second they are super crumbly. Any thoughts? Maybe I ground them up too much? I’m pretty sure I used the same oatmeal both times! (Great easy recipe!)

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure because I’ve never made them with steel cut oats (though it’s good to know that it works!) but if that happens again, simply add another spoonful of peanut butter and a little more honey and that should do the trick!

  53. 3 stars
    They taste amazing and my toddler loves it but rolling them was a really difficult and the mix only made about 8 balls. Is there a trick to rolling them in balls, I felt like I needed some flour. Thank you x

    1. Hi! It sounds like they weren’t cold enough to roll them without them being sticky. I’d suggest popping them back into the fridge next time so they firm up.

      1. Is it 9.9g of sugar per ball? Any idea how it tastes if I cut the sugar say in half?

      2. Yes and the sugar is from the honey and a little from the raisins. They may not hold together well without the honey. You could make them half the size by using a teaspoon measuring spoon to portion them out though.

    1. I just made a batch (delicious!) and keep them in a jar in the freezer. My 2 year old thinks they’re a yummy ‘ice cream’ treat.

  54. I’ll have to try these. Thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for snack and meal ideas. I’m glad I found your site.