One of the biggest challenges for busy working parents is finding time to prepare meals from scratch. This is where meal prep becomes a superpower. By dedicating a little time in advance, you can streamline your cooking process and have delicious, homemade meals ready to go.
The beauty of these baby-friendly meatballs by @pangpangjiak, a certified dietician, lies in their make-ahead nature. You can prepare a large batch over the weekend or during a less hectic period, and then store them in the fridge or freezer for later use. When you need a quick and nutritious meal for your little one, simply bake the meatballs and serve.
200g any minced meat
1/4 tsp garlic and onion powder
1 tbsp gelatin
2 tbsp (~40g) grated vegetables
2 tbsp dried oats (adjust as needed)
- Preheat your oven to 190 degrees.
- Heat the packet soup until warm and stir in the gelatin. Allow it to set overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the minced meat, garlic and onion powder, grated vegetables, and dried oats. To ensure the meatballs are suitable for even the youngest eaters, use a sieve to press the gelatin-infused soup through and incorporate it into the meat mixture.
- Take small portions of the mixture and roll them into bite-sized meatballs using your hands. Place the meatballs on a prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have a deliciously golden brown exterior. To ensure they are fully cooked, you can cut one meatball open and check the center,
- Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Remember to test the temperature before serving to your baby to ensure they are not too hot.
Serve these delightful baby-friendly meatballs as finger food or pair them with mashed vegetables or soft-cooked grains for a complete and balanced meal!
THE SECRET INGREDIENT: BROTH AND GELATIN MIXTURE
One of the challenges with meatballs, especially when serving them to babies, is ensuring they are not dry and tough. That’s where the Din Tai Fung-inspired hack comes in. By incorporating a mixture of broth and gelatin into the meatball recipe, we create a texture that is irresistibly tender and prevents the meatballs from becoming dry during cooking. The broth adds moisture and flavour, while the gelatin acts as a binding agent, giving the meatballs a pleasant melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF BROTH AND GELATIN
Apart from enhancing the texture of the meatballs, the broth and gelatin mixture provides several nutritional benefits for your baby. Broth, especially when made from scratch using wholesome ingredients, is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s a great way to introduce those nutrients to your little one’s diet. Gelatin, derived from animal collagen, contains proteins that support healthy growth and development. It also promotes joint health, aids digestion, and contributes to the overall well-being of your baby.
Acting as a natural binder, oats help maintain the shape of the meatballs while providing a pleasant texture for your little one to enjoy. Beyond texture, oats are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in fibre, essential vitamins, and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. These nutrients support healthy digestion, brain development, a strong immune system, and overall growth. Additionally, oats provide slow-release energy, keeping your baby satisfied and energized throughout the day.
CUSTOMIZATION FOR YOUR CHILD
As every baby has unique tastes and dietary needs, feel free to customize this recipe accordingly. We encourage you to experiment with different grated vegetables like spinach or sweet potatoes, or even add extra veggies to boost the nutritional content. With a bit of creativity, you can tailor these meatballs to suit your baby’s preferences and ensure they receive a well-rounded, tasty meal every time.
Get ready to delight your baby’s taste buds and simplify your busy schedule with this fantastic recipe. Happy cooking and happy parenting!