I stumbled upon this idea while I was making spaghetti and meatballs one night for dinner. My husband and I sat down to eat with our son next to us in his high chair who kept reaching for our plates. I make pretty large meatballs so I cut up one of mine in to 4 pieces he could pick up and take bites out of easily. He LOVED them. That’s when I got the idea to make him his own bite size meatballs! I decided it was easiest to make them in giant batches that I could freeze and defrost daily for his lunch or dinner. I also added pureed veggies to the mix to make them extra healthy. This helps a lot if your little one is giving you a difficult time with eating vegetables. For every 1 pound of ground meat I use, I get about 25 meatballs. I make them in batches of 100 at a time, pre-cook them, and store them in a gallon size freezer bag. Each night before bed I take 4 out of the freezer and place them in a little plastic baggy in the fridge. By lunch or dinnertime the next day, they are defrosted and ready to be re-heated. I use a lot of red meat that is high in iron because my son is slightly anemic. Feel free to use whatever meat you like. The veggies I use add a plethora of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for toddler health. These meatballs are packed with protein, iron, beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D and an excellent source of fiber!
- 4 lbs ground meat of your choice
- I alternate meat with each batch using extra-lean grass fed beef, bison, lamb, or turkey.
- 4 tablespoons cumin
- 3 teaspoons celery salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 4 cups finely chopped spinach
- 1 4oz container baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 sweet potato, peeled, quartered and boiled until soft
- Pre-heat oven to 365 degrees
- Combine meat and seasoning in a large bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Using a food processer or blender, blend spinach, sweet potato, mushrooms and eggs until thoroughly mixed. I use the liquefy setting.
- Pour wet ingredient mixture into the meat and mix thoroughly.
- Use a tablespoon to measure out portions and roll meat in to balls. I use 1 tablespoon of meat per meatball.
Place meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. I can usually fit 35 meatballs at a time on one baking sheet.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, use a paper towel to remove any excess juices and fat that may be stuck to the meatballs.
Store in freezer bag and use at your convenience!
As your kids get older, you can add a little Worcestershire sauce to the mix (about 2 tablespoons) and feel free to toss them in BBQ sauce or serve them with ketchup!