Turkey Meatballs For Baby

Soft turkey meatballs for baby made with ground turkey, vegetables and seasonings, no bread or flour needed. These turkey meatballs are a great way to serve turkey for babies starting from 6-7 month and up. They are perfect for baby led weaning (BLW) as finger food, including toddlers and older kid’s school lunch box. They are naturally gluten free and dairy free and even GAPS friendly.

Turkey Meatballs for Toddlers

These super easy and moist turkey meatballs with rice are the perfect iron-rich finger food for babies, children of all ages, and adults!

Baked turkey meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

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TURKEY MEATBALLS FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS

Meatballs are so easy to whip up, budget-friendly, and you really can pack in a lot of nutrition into them.  And because I make them all the time, they sure are a freezer staple around here.

I can always count on them to come to the rescue on days when I’m running on fumes.

What makes turkey meatballs special? The rice! In Asian countries, rice porridge is extremely popular as a first food. In fact, it was what my family members insisted was the only food acceptable for my back then baby.

They genuinely thought that I had lost my mind when I told them that I was going to do baby led weaning and offer their precious grandson soft finger foods. Oh those were the days…

And to make clear, if you’ve decided to take the traditional approach of spoon-feeding purees, that’s perfectly fine! You do You!

What’s super important to know is that if you started out with purees, be sure to move forward with texture by 9 months. I can’t emphasize this enough. This will lead to fewer feeding problems down the line and greater food acceptance.

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INGREDIENTS

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Ground turkey – I recommend not going any leaner than 93% lean turkey for the best flavor and texture. Feel free to swap with ground chicken, pork, or beef, if you wish.
  • Vegetables – you can use whatever you have on hand. Be sure to chop finely. I love using my mini food chopper for small tasks like this. Go ahead and make extra to enjoy throughout the week in oatmeal, French toastomelette, etc.
  • Rice – short or medium grain will work best.

STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS

A four image collage of how to make turkey meatballs.
  1. Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook vegetables until softened.
  2. Add the rice, remaining sesame oil, garlic powder.
  3. Add turkey and combine, taking care not to overwork the meat.
  4. Shape into balls and place on lined baking sheet.
meatballs on a baking tray with a bowl of water in the middle.

5. This is a trick I learned during our trip to Korea! In a small oven-safe dish(es), add some water and place in the pan alongside the meatballs. This helps create steam and helps to achieve tender meatballs.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Combine all the ingredients before adding the ground turkey. This will allow you to gently mix in the meat.
  • Don’t overwork the meat. Your hands are seriously the best tools for mixing meatballs. You just want to mix until everything is combined. Otherwise, the meatballs will turn out tough.
  • I recommend using a small ice cream scooper to make them the same size.
  • When shaping the balls, work with slightly wet hands to prevent them from sticking to your hands. Otherwise, you may accidentally overwork them. 
  • Flip halfway through to prevent the bottoms from browning.

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