Iron Packed Meatball Recipe for Babies and Toddlers

Garrett recently had his 9 month well-child check. During this appointment, they checked his iron levels. When I got the little paper in the mail from our insurance company saying he’d be having his lead and iron levels screened this appointment, I immediately thought his iron would be low. What foods is he even eating that have iron? I brought up this concern with the FNP that we were seeing that day, and she informed me that since G is breastfed, he’d probably need supplementation since there’s no iron in breast milk. Now, I’ve talked some other people and done my own research and learned that is SO-NOT-TRUE. There’s *less* than formula because bio-available iron is more easily absorbed, therefore formula needs more in it to have a better chance of being absorbed. (I’ve had other issues with this FNP too, and I’ll probably not be seeing her again. I’ll just have to try harder to see our regular pediatrician.)

I got G’s blood test result back this weekend, and the FNP *says* they’re normal, but I looked closely again and they seem to be a little off to me. His MCH value is 23, when it says right there that the standard value is 27-32. I’ll be calling his pediatrician tomorrow to verify that everything is fine, but in the meantime, I’m working on adding more iron-rich foods to Garrett’s diet. I bought him some fortified graham crackers and some kale/spinach puffs this weekend and he looooooves them.

Like I said though, bio-available iron is more easily absorbed. So I looked into how to feed a baby more meat, and discovered this great recipe for baby meatballs. I was nervous that G wouldn’t like them at all, since he HATES jarred baby food meat, but he LOVED them. I thought he’d eat two or three meatballs…. he ate TEN!!! And then he had the rest for dinner tonight. They’re super easy to make and a great finger food.


How to Make Meatballs for Babies

Ingredients needed:

  • 1/2 cup of ground beef
  • 1 egg (I used only the yolk for 2 reasons… I’m just introducing egg, and the white tends to be more allergenic. Also, a whole egg seemed like way too much.)
  • Infant cereal (enough to thicken it and make it stick together)
  • Seasonings as desired

Mix all the ingredients and roll them into tiny little meatballs. You could also make a meatloaf if desired. Bake until fully cooked. I’m not sure exactly how long, as I cooked them alongside something else I had going. Just check that they’re cooked thoroughly before feeding. Mine turned out very tender and once cut in half, were easy for G to feed himself and chew without problems.

If you have any other baby friendly recipes, I’d love for you to share them!

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About Ashley

Ashley is the newest writer for One Little Mister. She is a 25 year old preschool teacher and first time mother to son Garrett. Her interests include breastfeeding, crafting, researching child growth and development topics until all hours of the night, drinking lots of coffee, and talking about cricket on twitter.


  1. I never thought of making tiny meatballs for my toddlers. What a great post! Seems like these would be easy to make, store and re-heat, too.

  2. This is a great idea. I wish I would have thought about this with my first baby. It would have saved us a lot of trouble!

  3. Marcia Lee says:

    I don’t think I ever made meatballs for my toddler. I’m glad to learn you son liked them and I will pass this recipe along to my daughter-in-law to consider when her son is a toddler.

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