Toddler Eats: Turkey Meatballs

My 2 year old doesn’t love protein.  In fact, he would rather eat fruit all day, every day.  We have to ration his fruit so he has room in his belly for the other foods that are vital for growth. I blame the genes from his daddy.  It’s hard to find flavorful protein that is also healthy and not covered in a sugary sauce or deep-fried.  When I made this recipe I’m sharing today, it was a hit!

These meatballs are actually originally intended for the Thai sauce I posted about last week.  Much like I altered the sauce a bit from the original recipe, I changed up the meatballs, too.  I knew my husband didn’t really want the Thai sauce, and I wasn’t sure if it would be too spicy for my toddler, so I opted to make the meatballs separately and alter the spices to fit their tastes.  The result was a delicious and versatile meatball that I can use in different recipes.  I can add BBQ sauce, or put them in pasta, or crumble them over pizza, or eat them on a sandwich.  I’m excited to have found another meatball recipe to add to the other delicious one I have on hand.

Toddler-Friendly Turkey Meatballs (adapted from iFoodReal), yields approx. 8-10 meatballs

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 cup shredded zucchini, extra water squeezed out

2 green onions, sliced

2 tsp dried basil

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

Pinch red pepper flakes

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients except the cooking spray in a large bowl and mix until well combined.  Roll 1-2 tbsp of meat mixture by hand into meatballs.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over med-high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook the meatballs for 3-5 minutes, turning at least once to sear most of the outside to golden brown and help keep their shape.  Use a fork or tongs to transfer meatballs to large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake meatballs for 15 minutes, until completely cooked or until meat thermometer reads at least 165 F.

Serve meatballs warm with Thai sauce, marinara on a sandwich, with pasta, or with BBQ sauce.


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