Lunch boxes

Taking a lunch box to school or work can be much healthier than buying meals and unhealthy snacks every day.

Date and chocolate balls

Makes about 20 date balls

We all love chocolate, but know that too much is not good for us. In this treat, we combine dark chocolate with dates to make a healthier alternative.


½ x 80 g slab dark chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tbsp (15 ml) cocoa

3 tbsp (45 ml) low-fat milk

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence

250 g pitted dates, finely chopped

100 ml desiccated coconut

extra coconut and cocoa to decorate with


  1. Place chocolate in a glass bowl and melt over gently simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Mix cocoa with some of the milk to form a paste and mix with remaining milk and vanilla. Stir some of the melted chocolate into the milk mixture until smooth. Mix into the warm chocolate.
  3. Stir in dates and coconut. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking paper and sprinkle with coconut or cocoa and allow to set. Alternatively allow to cool slightly and then roll into balls. Roll balls into extra coconut or cocoa, if preferred. Allow to cool in the fridge.
  4. Pack in a lunch box to enjoy as a treat, serve 1-2 balls per person.


  1. Serve date balls as part of a dessert with fresh fruit or serve with coffee at the end of a meal.
  2. If packing for a lunch box treat, make sure that it is kept in a cool place, as they may melt.
  3. Choose a good quality chocolate and cocoa that is low in added sugar. Check your food labels to make better choices.

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