These no-bake energy balls are nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. They are a great lunch box snack for kids or adults.

These sunflower seed butter and chocolate chip no-bake energy balls are perfect for school lunches for kids. They are nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

After a month long break from school, planned for the holiday break, and unplanned due to the Thomas Fire, I feel like I’m just starting to get back into a normal routine. It feels like the fall back-to-school season all over again, going from no routine and sleeping in, to making breakfasts and packing lunches all before 7:30am. As part of my food prep for the week I made these nut-free energy balls. While thankfully there aren’t any nut allergies in my family, I know that’s not the case for many, many others. And since nut allergies can be so frighteningly dangerous, it is best to keep school lunch boxes free of nuts, to keep our littlest friends safe.

I usually make our energy balls with peanut butter, but I wanted to make a version that was more allergy friendly. This nut-free, gluten-free energy bite recipe is adapted from this Trail Mix Energy Ball recipe I made a few months ago. These no-bake energy balls are: gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, so they are perfect for kids of any age to take to school. Truth be told though, Yummy Hubby and I probably eat more of these energy balls than the kids do. They are such a tasty little treat to grab when you need a snack on the go, which it seems I always do. Let’s check out the simple ingredients in these no-bake energy balls.

Ingredients for no-bake energy balls include oats, flax meal, sunflower seed butter, and maple syrup.

There’s so much goodness going on here. I’ve used certified gluten free oats from Bob’s Red Mill. This time I used quick oats, but old fashioned are fine too. Flax meal works as a binder and adds a great Omega-3 boost. I keep a package of flax seeds in the freezer and make my own flax meal by blending it in the blender. I add flax meal to my smoothies every day. Sunflower seed butter adds flavor and moisture, and maple syrup adds sweetness and stickiness. You could also use agave or honey if you prefer. Energy balls always need a bit of crunch for texture variation, if you ask me. So instead of my usual nuts, I used toasted sunflower seeds. Mini chocolate chips from Enjoy Life make these extra fun. Enjoy Life chocolate chips are nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

These allergy friendly energy balls are the perfect nut-free, gluten-free snack for kids lunch boxes.

Mix it all up and store your energy balls in the refrigerator for whenever you need a quick snack, or to pack in lunch boxes.

Try our Protein Balls 7 Ways too! 

Yield: about 12

Nut-Free No-Bake Energy Balls

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

These nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free energy balls are an easy snack to make and pack in lunch boxes. Studded with sunflower seeds and chocolate chips, these bites are a simply delicious snack.

Nut-Free No-Bake Energy Balls


  • 1 cup quick oats (certified gluten-free if needed)*
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup raw or toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/8 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips


  1. Place the oats and flax meal in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine. Add the seed butter and maple syrup and stir to combine. Stir in the sunflower seeds and chocolate chips. This mixture should form a dough that's easy to form into balls that stick together. If the mixture seems too dry, add a splash more maple syrup, or add a drizzle of coconut oil.
  2. Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll the dough into balls. Transfer to a small storage container and keep in the refrigerator.


*If serving this to anyone with a severe nut allergy, be sure all ingredients are made in a nut-free facility to avoid cross contamination. If you would like to use old fashioned rolled oats, I recommend making this recipe in a food processor so that the oats get slightly broken up.
Nutrition Information is based on 1/12 of the recipe and has been calculated by a third party site. Nutrition information is approximate.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 ball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Saturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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These delicious and easy to make energy balls are perfect for a quick lunch or packed in lunch boxes for kids.

Nut-Free Gluten-Free No Bake energy balls with sunflower seeds and chocolate chips.