Baked beef meatballs for baby (7 months+), toddler and older kids, great for baby-led weaning too. These kid friendly beef meatballs with extra vegetables will boost the flavor, softness and juiciness. Make this baby meatball recipe without breadcrumbs or egg free, serve them with some pasta or simmer in a sauce to make the meatballs softer. Great for kid’s school lunch box too.
Beef Meatballs for Babies / Toddlers /Kids
These kid friendly beef meatballs offer the perfect hiding spot for extra vegetables – which also happens to boost the flavor and juiciness. Kids love meatballs so they will also make a great school lunch addition, they are just as good the second day.
What makes meatballs soft (if you want to serve to babies and toddlers) is the proper proportions of meat and non-meat. A really good meatball is about 50% meat (fat content matters too), in this case I used ground beef, and 50% vegetables (or other starch).
Ingredients For Baby Meatballs
- Ground beef – or use a combination of beef and other meat.
- Onion – fresh, red or white onion.
- Garlic – fresh, garlic cloves.
- Carrot – will brings some sweetness, flavor and binding properties.
- Celery – for flavor and extra nutrients.
- Potato – or sweet potato – the starch will help bind everything together and make them softer without using an egg or breadcrumbs.
- Spices – I used paprika and rosemary (or use your favorite) add salt for babies older than 12 months.
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How To Make Beef Meatballs For Baby
- Combine: Place vegetables in a food processor and finely chop, then add the meat and spices and give a few more pulses until combined. Add some arrowroot flour – it will helps stick everything together better and add softness.
2. Shape: Scoop the meat from the bowl and form into balls. Place the meatballs on baking sheet. You can also use a mini muffin pan, the meatballs will bake in its juices and get a nicer crust (older kids like the crust, for small babies bake in a regular pan).
3. Bake the meatballs uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until middle is no longer pink.
Beef For Baby
Most pediatricians recommend that beef (meats in general) to be introduced to a baby when he is he is ready – usually 7 months of age – when the baby is already accustomed with other vegetables as the first food.
Fresh, lean beef eaten in moderation can supply various vitamins (B12, B6), minerals (iron, zinc) as well as protein and fats, which your baby needs for growth and health.
But keep in mind that the nutritional benefits differ depending on where and how the animal was raised. For example grass fed beef has been found to be higher in vitamins A, E, and as much as five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids when compared to grain fed beef. Grain fed cows can also be given antibiotics and growth hormones to fatten them up more quickly.
Baby Led Weaning Meatballs
Ground beef is a perfect ingredient for making baby-led weaning foods. Your baby doesn’t need teeth to eat ground meat, his gums are strong enough to chew it.
When serving meatballs to a baby just keep in mind that bigger is better (for smaller babies). Serve them whole or sliced in half. For toddlers you can slice smaller pieces (once their pincer grasp develops).
Meatballs For Baby, Egg Free, No Breadcrumbs
Lots of meatball recipes, call for breadcrumbs and egg to bind everything together, but you don’t need to go that route. You can meat juicy and tender meatballs for babies without eggs and without breadcrumbs.
You’ll just have to substitute those for more starchy veggies (they will provide softness) and maybe some added starchy flour if necessary. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions.
How To Store
Store leftovers for 3-5 days at room temperature.
Freeze up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Thaw / reheat – just pop the meatballs out of the freezer and place them in a covered pot with a touch of water to provide steam. Reheat until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Need more recipes? Check out the finger food category for more ideas!
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Soft Beef Meatballs For Baby (BLW) Toddler, No Egg Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef (- or use a combination of beef and other meat.)
- 1/2 onion (red or white)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium potato (or sweet potato – the starch will help bind everything together and make them softer without using an egg or breadcrumbs.)
- 1/3 tsp rosemary (ground)
- 1/3 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp sea salt or pink salt (for babies older than 12 months)
- 3 tbsp arrowroot flour (starchy flour similar to tapioca, optional)
Chop and combine the ingredients
- Place vegetables in a food processor and finely chop, then add the meat and spices and give a few more pulses until combined. Add some arrowroot flour (similar to tapioca) – it will help stick everything together better and add softness.
Shape the meatballs
- Scoop the meat from the bowl and form into balls (1-1½"). Place the meatballs on baking sheet. You can also use a mini muffin pan, the meatballs will bake in its juices and get a nicer crust (older kids like the crust, for small babies bake in a regular pan or you could even steam them).
Bake the meatballs
- Bake uncovered at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until the middle is no longer pink. For older kids who like a crusty surface – bake at 420F.
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