It is a known fact that many children have trouble chewing touch pieces of meat, whether it is their wobbly milk teeth or personal preferences that are to blame. If your kids are struggling with the texture of meat like mine do, this recipe will save you hours of failed kitchen experiments and lots of money.
These meatballs have a secret ingredient which makes them extra tender and ultimately kid-friendly.
And you do not need to memorize a long list of ingredients to prepare them. In fact, there are just 2 of them, not counting the spices and tomato sauce.
These meatballs can be a perfect iron rich finger food for your baby. It is critical for babies and children to get enough iron for proper growth and development. Read here about 14 super foods for your baby. Or download this guide on 6 critical nutrients for children and how to help them get enough.
If you are feeding a baby, avoid adding salt to the meatballs and look for a low sodium tomato sauce if using. My kids are happy to gobble them straight up as a finger food when they come out of the oven. But I always make a double batch and serve the leftovers with tomato sauce and spaghetti.
Also, feel free to add to the sauce any vegetables that need to be used up. In my recipe, I used some sliced mushrooms, but you can add corn, zucchini, spinach or green peas instead.
If you cannot use ricotta cheese due to dietary restrictions, try substituting with oat based creme fraiche or a similar dairy free product. Since it is also fermented, it will soften the texture of the meat just like ricotta.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 8oz tub of ricotta cheese or dairy free alternative
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Optional: 1 teaspoon your favorite dried herb (I like oregano or thyme)
- 1 16 oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- Optional: 2 cups of sliced or chopped vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, corn, spinach or green peas.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/380F.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix the ground turkey, ricotta, salt (if using), pepper and dried herbs in a large bowl.
- Using wet hands, form meatballs about 2 inches in diameter, and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes or until cooked through and slightly browned.
- Serve as is or add them to a heavy bottom pan with the tomato sauce, water and vegetables and cook for 25-30 minutes for a delicious meatball tomato sauce to serve with spaghetti.
Tell me, what are your favorite ways to serve meat to your little ones?