A Simple Meatball Recipe for Your Little One
Feeding your baby new foods can be either a wonderful or a disastrous experience. You never know if he's going to love it or hate it. Meats usually fall into the "no thank you, mom" category. But fun and mildly flavored turkey meatballs may be a hit. This recipe has only a few ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, making it a simple protein you can quickly whip up for your baby after you've come home from work. It's also a good make-ahead protein you can store in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.
Wait until your baby is 9 months old before giving her meatballs. She needs to have a few teeth to be able to chew the meat without choking. If you're not sure whether it's safe for your baby to eat meatballs, talk to your pediatrician.
Total Time: 25 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4
- 1/4 pound ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons baby rice or oat cereal
- 3 tablespoons pureed sweet potato
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium bowl, combine turkey, cereal, sweet potato and garlic powder.
- Form meat into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. This should make about 24 meatballs.
- Bake in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes or until meat is cooked through, turning once while cooking.
Chop your meatballs into bite-size pieces before serving to your baby. Serve plain with chopped baked potato and cooked carrots. These meatballs are good finger foods, but also may help your toddler practice with a spoon or a fork.
This recipe calls for turkey, but you can easily substitute ground beef.
If your baby is OK with mixed foods, add finely chopped veggies to the meat mixture before cooking for extra flavor and texture. Finely chopped carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and spinach work well with the turkey meat.
If you have leftover turkey meatballs, put them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Use a meat thermometer to check that your meatballs are cooked thoroughly. The ideal temperature for cooked meatballs is 165 F. Serving undercooked meat increases your baby's risk of developing a foodborne illness. Babies have underdeveloped immune systems, and a bacterial infection can make them very sick. If you suspect your baby has gotten sick from food, contact your pediatrician for guidance.