For the most part I made all of my little one’s food from the time she started eating solids. As I do in my own cooking I used cookbooks and websites for inspiration and went from there. Fruit and veggie purees were easy, but when it came time to introduce meat and other proteins I struggled at first. I tried boiling chicken and grinding it into a puree. I convinced myself it tasted okay, but baby girl wasn’t having it, she gnawed on it for a second then gagged and spit it back out. Even worse was when I froze the puree and then defrosted it…it was like silly puddy, ew! So I decided to ask the butcher to grind some chicken breasts for me, and I tried just browning it in a pan. This tasted better, but was a bit dry and crunchy making it somewhat of a choking hazard…again not good. From there I stuck with the ground chicken idea but made it into a patty adding in egg, bread crumbs and butternut squash. This was a hit! From there I started playing with flavors and came up with a great turkey meatball recipe that is a favorite as well. Here are the basics for creating both the chicken patty and the turkey meatball. These recipes are super versatile so mix it up and add in some of your little one’s favorite flavors.
Turkey Meatballs –
Step 1 –
Choose the veggies your going to mix, cook them, then cool them in the fridge. I used spinach and fresh corn.
Step 2 –
Combine cooked veggies with about 3/4 of a pound of ground turkey, one egg, and a handful of bread crumbs.
Step 3 –
Once ingredients are combined, form meatballs and wrap individually in plastic wrap. The meatballs can then all be placed in a freezer bag and frozen.
Chicken Patties –
The steps are the same. The ingredients I use are: ground chicken breast, egg, bread crumbs and roasted butternut squash. Only difference really is forming the meat into patties instead of into meatballs.
To cook – I have found the best way to cook both items is to bake them in the oven. Set your oven to 425 and cook the meatballs or patties for 30-35 minutes. These foods taste so great the whole family will enjoy them, not just baby. I have served the chicken patties as sandwiches for adults and we made a great spaghetti dish with the meatballs that everyone enjoyed!
The final menu item I have for you today is a great way to get baby some protein without using meat. Try making your own baby burritos! (My husband likes them as a snack as well).
These are super simple and like the recipes above totally customizable.
Step 1 –
Rinse and drain a can of pinto beans. Put the beans in a bowl and smash them.
Step 2 –
In a pot combine smashed pinto beans, some brown rice (leftover is great), shredded cheese and a bit of mild salsa for flavor. Mix ingredients together and heat through.
Step 3 –
Spoon burrito filling into a corn tortilla, wrap it up then wrap the burrito in plastic wrap to freeze.
To cook – Defrost the burrito then warm in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.
Baby girl had an awesome lunch yesterday of her baby burrito, some avocado and diced mango.
Hope you and your little ones enjoy these recipes as much as we do!