Postcards & Passports

Family Road Trip Snack: Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Healthy snacks that are easy to make
PB Protein balls pinit View Gallery 1 photo

This post was most recently updated on April 26th, 2024

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already been on five road trips this year. And I still have at least two more planned. I think I’ve found the best family road trip snack — a Peanut Butter Protein Ball that pleases everyone (practically guaranteed). This snack is sweet, packed with flavors most kids and adults love, has enough protein to stave off hunger, and is easy to make and travel with. Come check it out!

A family road trip snack that pleases the sweet tooth

Peanut Butter Protein Balls are sweet, but not because they are loaded with processed sugar. These are made with honey. Depending on the brand of peanut butter you use, there may be a small amount of sugar in the peanut butter. But you can make these protein balls with natural peanut butter, and you’ll never miss the added sugar!

Family-friendly flavors

Peanut butter and honey are proven to be kid-friendly flavors, but what about adults? Because these protein balls aren’t overly sweet, this adult (namely me) really enjoys this mix of flavors. The vanilla protein powder and ground oats add flavor as well. Great combination! I’ve maded these protein balls for many events — adult church refreshments, family gatherings, and even youth camping trips. They’re always a winner! (And there are never leftovers!)

Protein has lasting power

Making a family road trip snack that can keep everyone from getting too hungry and begging for unscheduled food stops is a must! Peanut Butter Protein Balls pack over 4 grams of protein in each bite-sized ball. Eat one or two and you will be satisfied.

So easy to make

It might take you longer to get out your ingredients than it does to mix up these easy Peanut Butter Protein Balls. Well, maybe not, because there are only five ingredients. But my point is, it won’t take you long. Simply dump the ingredients into a large bowl, combine them in a minute, and shape the “dough” into bite-sized balls. There’s no baking and no use of mixers or food processors, either. You can store them in the refrigerator until travel time, but they don’t have to be kept cold. I put mine in the frig so they don’t get eaten up before we leave! (Don’t worry — the recipe is at the end of this post, I promise!)

Making the best of your family road trips

We all know it’ll take more than great snacks to keep your family happy on a road trip. If you want to know how I’ve learned to please the kids, read Road Trip–Keeping the Kids Happy! There you’ll find ideas for entertaining your children, including a few free printable games. Or find out how to plan for your toddlers at Toddler Road Trip–Crazy or Do-Able? And if you’d like to know my favorite road trip ever, read:  A 3-Day Big Sur Road Trip You Can Duplicate.

My goal is to make family road trips something you look forward to and do often. We live in a wonderful world that needs to be explored, and road trips are probably the most affordable way to travel. Enjoy your family road trip snacks, the sights you see along the way, and all the great memories you’ll be making!

family road trip snacks

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Total Time 15 mins
Calories: 90 calories per ball
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


1 cup oats (ground)

1 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

4 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring or extract

Optional add-ins:

1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or coconut flakes


  1. Instructions

    Combine all ingredients into a soft dough. If too sticky, you can add more ground oats or more protein powder, just until no longer sticky. Form balls about 1.5" in diameter. Place on a platter or in a plastic storage container. You can add mini chocolate chips by dipping ball into chips or by mixing them into the dough before forming balls -- same with the coconut flakes if you decide to add them. Refrigerate to harden, but these balls are not required to be kept cold.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1

Servings 35

Amount Per Serving
Calories 90kcal
% Daily Value *
Protein 4.3g9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Calorie count of 90 calories per protein ball includes mini chocolate chips. If you leave out the chocolate chips, the peanut butter protein balls are only 78 calories each.

Keywords: protein balls, peanut butter protein balls, kid-friendly snacks, easy to make
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17 thoughts on “Family Road Trip Snack: Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  1. Ingrid

    Our family loves peanut butter protein balls! We took them with us on our last camping trip. Thank you for all of the great travel tips.

  2. Paul Healy

    They look very delicious. I’m not sure 4 grams of protein would be enough for me so I think I’d need to have several. I bet the cookie dough tastes good before it’s cooked as well.

    1. Tami Post author

      The dough is excellent and doesn’t have to be baked at all! That’s what makes this recipe so easy. And yes, it’s hard to stop at just one!

  3. Natascha

    These Peanut Butter Protein Balls look dangerous to me. I bet I could not stop munching them. I think I will try your recipe – not for a road trip but for a hiking trip!

  4. Umiko

    Our family loves peanut butter. This looks really easy to make. What I like, it doesn’t require baking. I will surely make it for our next trips.

  5. Linda (LD Holland)

    We are just packing for our road trip. I hope I can find the time to make the peanut butter balls for the trip out. If not, they will be great on our return travels. Who can pass up a snack with peanut butter and chocolate? A great way to reduce on-road snack purchases that are less healthy.

  6. rakshanagaraj

    Wow peanut butter protein balls sound like an amazing replacement for junk food during road trips. I have never tasted them but they look delicious. I will try to get them and try it out.

  7. Clarice

    This looks delicious and easy to make. We’re huge peanut butter fans so I am pretty sure the kids will love this. Will keep this in mind for future road trips. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. Anne

    That’s brilliant! We are road trip semi-professionally (no joke) and have never heard of such a recipe–and I LOVE peanut butter and honey. Granola bars have always been our go to, but this is way less processed and sounds delish.

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