Meatballs are such an easy food for toddlers who like to feed themselves, and you can get creative with the ingredients to give kiddo lots of variety. You can sneak veggies in them, which is good if you’ve got a fussy eater, but still handy if you’ve got a little one who doesn’t have teeth to chew up spinach.
I introduced food to both Ash and Lara with baby led weaning techniques. Ash took a few months to get the hang of eating, but Lara seemed to be a champion eater right from the start. It’s an effort to keep up with her appetite!
These meatballs are good if you’re introducing finger food to babies, they’re great for toddlers, and they’re good for adults too.
I make meatballs in big batches and freeze them, reheating a few at a time in the oven to give her for dinner or to put into her lunchbox.
You can have a few variations in the freezer so you can keep it interesting.
I made these meatballs at a time when Lara was about 8 months old, so I wasn’t adding any salt, wheat flour or egg into her food. If you had an older child or you were cooking this for an adult you could add a little salt to season it, however I found it tasted fine as is.
Also, these aren’t just for kids! They taste pretty darn good so if you’re in need of a quick dinner, use them yourself. Just make a quick tomato sauce, throw in the meatballs until they’re heated through and serve alongside some pasta, zucchini noodles, rice.
One of the tricks is to roll them small. It makes it easier for kids to handle, and it’s quicker and easier to cook. Rather than turn them over in the pan with tongs, I just give the pan a good shake every now and then, so they get cooked evenly.
- Large handful pork mince (this might be about 300g)
- Small handful wombok
- 1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 brown onion
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Olive oil for cooking
- Dice the onion very finely or chop in a food processor. Add this to a pan and saute gently over medium heat until softened. Scrape this into a bowl, and then add the chia seeds and a splash of water. (This helps to bind the meatballs as a replacement to egg).
- Finely chop the wombok or shred in a food processor, then stir through the onion.
- Add the garlic powder, sesame oil, mince and coriander to the bowl. Mix it all together well with your hands for a few minutes. The more you can work it, the better it will hold together as this breaks the proteins down. Alternatively, you can blend it in a mix master.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then roll about 1 tbsp mixture at a time and add into the pan. Cook them in batches and don’t overfill the pan.