Chicken meatballs recipe that are baked and have a hint of spices and masala for your picky toddler!
Toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters and it may amaze you how a lovely 9-10 month old who gobbled up any mush you served her can suddenly turn into this spoon-grabbing, projectile spitting toddler in 3 short months. Well, that’s what happened to me anyway.
I introduced chicken and fish to LilS around month 13 and they are part of the weekly meal plan around 3 times. Chicken is an easy meat to cook for toddlers and meatballs are just perfect if you want a make-ahead, freezer-friendly recipe for your kids.
What I love about this chicken meatball recipe is that they’re baked and not fried, yet they turn out soft and perfectly flavoured. On the topic of flavour, I used the base chicken meatballs recipe from Pinch of Yum and added my own Indian touch to them in the form of spice powders and turmeric. Resulting chicken meatballs are totally amazeballs!
They are a freezer-friendly food I always have in stock. They go into spaghetti, fried rice, and rice porridge with ease. The base recipe is also customisable so go ahead and add some shredded vegetables (I’ve tried carrots and cabbage with success) or almond flour, or anything else you’d like to experiment with.
By the way, these chicken meatballs are not just for kids, they totally work for adults too. I often steal 3-4 and add to my meal. Lightly panfrying them in coconut oil makes them taste amazing and like you just baked them up.
Chicken meatballs recipe – A classic favourite with an Indian twist, these chicken meatballs are baked and include some super food spices too.
350 grams minced chicken (I use free-range, hormone-free chicken from Sasha’s Fine Foods)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I make my own – please see notes below)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Pre-heat oven to 200C
Add all ingredients into a large bowl
Bring together gently with wert fingertips
Make into balls and place on a greased baking tray (I spray or spread generously with olive oil)
Bake for 15-20 minutes
The bottom may be darker than the top and that’s fine. Remove and cool completely before freezing, if you choose to do so
The meatballs can also be made with minced turkey
Adjust all seasoning to taste
To reheat frozen meatballs, thaw for 30 minutes and pan fry with a few drops of oil. I find that microwaving makes them dry and rubbery so avoid this. You can also directly add frozen meatballs to pasta sauce while cooking. I also do the same with rice porridge.
I have made variations with shredded vegetables added like carrot, cabbage, broccoli, etc. A great way to sneak in vegetables!
You can use freshly minced onion and garlic too but that would add more moisture to the chicken mix so compensate with more breadcrumbs as needed
One of the biggest parts of being first time parents is all the decisions you need to make for your new baby! The number of things you “need” for a child is overwhelming to say the least and there are so many options out there. One thing I will admit about myself is, I am quite obsessed with the stuff I buy for my daughter. I don’t walk into a store and pick up stuff for her, everything I buy is a result of extensive research and after reading multiple reviews.
One item I got stuck on is her high chair. We had to wean S sooner than expected since she had reflux and related discomfort and her paediatrician recommended slowly introducing solids to her at around 5.5 months. I panicked and went to Ikea to buy her high chair the same day. Then I came home and realised she can’t use it for another couple months because she couldn’t sit up completely unassisted yet. So we used her Baby Bjorn bouncer which really wasn’t ideal (since it bounced when she was in it) but we made it work for a short while.
Fast forward a couple months later, Oribel sent us this gorgeous marshmallow blue Cocoon High Chair and I was so upset we didn’t chance upon it sooner. The recline on this chair is PERFECT for younger babies and a great height for feeding parents/caretakers too.
S was around 8-9 months when we received it and by then she was quite used to the Ikea chair but HATED the buckles. We constantly struggled to keep her in because she would easily wiggle out half her body and try to lunge herself on to the ground! Yes, I birthed a feisty child.
Enter the Cocoon and it really WAS like a cocoon. The seat was larger overall and the tray, oh that gloriously large tray, was in itself enough to keep her happy. I started teaching her to self feed at this time and we would just put food directly on the chair for her to experience the texture and start feeding herself. Worked like a charm!
We have been using this chair 2-3 times per day for 9 months now and I feel very comfortable doing a full, honest review of our experience.
What we love:
The tray. It’s the best part about this chair. The size is generous, the top part comes out making clean-up super easy and it’s dishwasher safe too, if that matters. We usually take it out, wash, and bring out the next meal on it and set it on the tray holder, like my royal toddler seems to expect
The seat. It’s really like a cocoon and has a thick padded seat covering which is easy to wipe clean after every meal.
The flexibility. The Oribel Cocoon is one of the very few chairs in the market that can be reclined and height adjusted 6 ways. The tray can be inserted all the way in or with some wiggle room and for my toddler, it’s all the way in so she’s securely inside. Often, we don’t use the buckles (she HATES it) and she’s still quite safely nestled in
The looks. Let’s be honest, it’s important that your kids’ furniture is not sticking out like a sore thumb in your home. The Cocoon is a gorgeous piece of furniture and I picked out the cool marshmallow blue which complements the greys and pops of colour in our home perfectly
The quality. It’s sturdy, great quality and shows no sign of wear after regular (ab)use for over 9 months
The accessories. The newly released seat liner (seen in the pic below) has been a game changer in quick clean ups. It catches most of the crumbs and can be cleaned up easier and quicker than wiping the chair after each meal. Bonus: You can also use this seat liner on a stroller or car seat, in most cases.
You can also see below how the chair looks without the tray. In this form, you can roll it up to the dining table and have your child eat at the table rather than off the tray.
The tray is food safe so you can also just put food directly on it for self-feeding!
Below, you can see how the tray easily accommodates an ezpz mat, which is our go-to for most meals for S. The Ikea high chair tray does not fit an ezpz mat and this was a bit of an issue for us when S started getting more comfortable with self-feeding.
Things to note:
The crevices. Crevices tend to be a challenge in any high chair because food goes everywhere and clean up can be tedious. The main part of this chair that gets some food stuck is the buckle openings in the seat padding. We take it out once a week for a deep and proper wipe down. This is an issue for pretty much all chairs and one that the Ikea chair does better on because it’s small and no frills
The size. I know, I just spoke about how I love the large tray size but the overall size of the chair, while great, can seem unwieldy in a smaller apartment or home. We keep ours in the balcony which works perfect but with the tray attached, it may not fit around a regular dining table set up. Without the tray, however, the chair would work very well against a dining table
The wheels. While a good idea in theory, the wheels on the front of the chair are not very smooth to use and I find that I drag the chair more than I roll it, which can get a bit awkward
The cup holder that comes with the chair can be attached only if the tray is removed. We haven’t found a use for it yet, but I’ll update here if that changes
There’s really no perfect high chair out there but I can see very few reasons to dislike Oribel. It grows beautifully with the baby and at 19 months, S is still loving hers!
Want to try out this high chair for your little one? Here’s USD 20 off your purchase, just use code NAGS20 when checking out. Looking for retailers that sell the Oribel Cocoon High Chair? Here you go.
This post is sponsored by Oribel. All words and opinions shared here are my own and completely honest, as always.
I never really attempted a peanut butter muffin recipe or peanut butter anything much before I had a kid but somehow, when thinking of easy toddler snack ideas, peanut butter muffin type recipes seem to pop up in my mind often.
I’ve been baking up snacks every weekend for my almost 17-month old which she typically eats through the week. Baking her snacks myself gives me that much more control over how much processed food and sugar enters her diet. For now, I have kept it very minimal.
These muffins, which I baked in these donut muffin pans, very so simple yet so delicious that we ended up taking a few to work as well. Perfect snack for kids and adults alike!
They are simple to make and contain only very few ingredients:
Very little sugar
And some baking powder
The donut shapes ensure that the muffins get cooked uniformly and they are easier to hold for smaller toddler hands. I also love using this mini muffin pan for toddler muffins so that’s another option you can try too.
Millet flour pancakes that are gluten free and also toddler friendly, a big hit from my recent experiments to please the 1 year old in the house who has been on primarily Indian food and textures for a while.
It has been a personal goal for me to try and include different flours (both from grains and seeds) into our diets, including for LilS. She has so far been a champ in terms of her food habits – her appetite is not big but she will try anything. Wonder who she takes after with that, haha.
While we stuck to mostly Indian food for the first 6 months after introducing solids to LilS, I started trying new toddler-friendly soon after she turned a year old.
These pancakes were born out of one such experiment.
They were received really well, I am happy to say.
These millet flour pancakes:
are spongy and soft
retain the softness for a good while after they have been made
are perfect for self-feeding, if you follow baby-led weaning
don’t take very long to make at all! A bonus for busy moms
Add the dry ingredients – millet flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sugar – to a bowlMix well until combined and add the milk and eggs to this. Whisk gently until combined and make sure the batter has no lumpsHeat a pan and spread some butterPour about 1/4 cup and let the batter spread to form a thick circleCook on both sides until golden brown
This 5 minute cashew basil pesto tops the regular basil pesto with pine nuts in our home. It’s made using a very similar method but makes a heartier and thicker pesto which we primarily use in pastas or as a salad dressing.
I attempted a pesto made with cashew nuts for the first time many moons ago because TH realised (rather, announced) one day that he’s allergic to pine nuts. He disliked the flavour the few times we’ve had it as a garnish at Middle Eastern restaurants but even in the hidden form in basil pesto, he was like.. erm no!
We always have cashew nuts at home so I thought, well, cashew nuts are creamy and can give some texture to the pesto too, so why not. It was pesto nirvana right there, for us anyway. And this cashew basil pesto comes together in 5 minutes!
The beauty of basil pesto is that you can adjust ingredients to your hearts content and also keep some crunch and texture in or make it creamy smooth. We like it somewhere in the middle. Mostly creamy but with a bite here and there.
You’ll need some Italian basil leaves to get this cashew basil pesto going, obviously. The next most important ingredient would be parmesan cheese. I used to buy the grated variety in pouches but have since moved to parmesan cheese blocks which I grate as and when I need some cheesy goodness in my basil pesto or as a topping for baked pasta dishes. I am telling you, blocks of cheese are the way to go.
If you prefer to keep things authentic and genuine, then check out this basic basil pesto recipe. You can also use walnuts in basil pesto. PS: I clicked on this walnut basil pesto post just now and feel all kinds of nostalgic for my gorgeous balcony garden from the previous apartment. Sniff.
5 minute cashew basil pesto that’s a perfect addition to pasta, salads, sandwiches, or as a dip.
3 cups packed basil leaves, stems removed
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup raw, unsalted cashew nuts
1-2 flakes of garlic
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (adjust to taste)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Wash and remove the basil leaves from the stalks
Grate the parmesan cheese, if using a from a block of cheese. You can add more or less depending on how rich you want your pesto to be. About 1/3 cup is perfect, if you ask me
Prepare all other ingredients as well
Add everything into a food processor or mixie jar
Pulse until well combined. Now you can keep going until you get the consistency you prefer. Grainy peso tastes better in sandwiches but since I use pesto now mostly as salad dressing, I prefer it on the creamier side
Don’t add any water, the oil should provide enough movement in the processor. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add more oil
Transfer into an airtight container and refrigerate immediately if not using fresh
Although the colour may change darker on the surface, this pesto can be used for up to 5 days if refrigerated. Always use a dry spoon to take the quantity you need. I add some oil on top before keeping in the refrigerator.
If using this cashew basil pesto as a salad dressing, add a bit more oil to make it into a pourable consistency.
Adjust all ingredients to your taste and see what you prefer in YOUR pesto. Have fun!