Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatball inside.jpg

We cook meals for the kids on Sundays and Wednesdays. They each eat 2 containers per day (one for lunch, one for dinner). This makes life easier for their ‘nanny’ and also for me – plus I get the peace-of-mind of knowing that they’re always getting to eat something healthy and yummy!

This is a favorite amongst my two (Hudson & Everleigh) and Ava! You can alter this meal to make it suitable for younger babies, down to a STAGE 3. I used to it that way for Everleigh when she was 6-8 months old. Also, you can make this as organic or as “normal” as want.

These are absolutely delicious, in my opinion! I actually hate vegetables, but I love the meatballs with “hidden veggies”. The carrots make them a little bit sweet! I like to eat them by theirselves, even without sauce.

The Ingredients I use are:

  • Lean Ground Beef, 97%/3%, organic (you could use turkey meat or ground chicken)
  • Mozzarella Cheese, 1/2 cup, low fat*
  • Pasta Sauce, Prego, natural
  • Carrots, whole, organic, 4-5 skinny ones*
  • Zucchini, large, organic*
  • Spaghetti Noodles, organic whole wheat (any pasta will do!)
  • Minced Garlic, organic, 1 T*
  • Italian Seasoning, 1 T*
  • Butter, 1 T*
  • Egg, 1, Organic
  • Bread, 2 pieces whole wheat, heavily toasted
  • Additional ingredients, if you like: 1/2 onion, pepper, Alfredo sauce*

          *ingredient not required, but it won’t be as good without it, just sayin’.

 

IMG_4214

It’s always more fun if you have a toddler or two helping in the kitchen, trust me. It’s not like you could get it done more quickly, efficiently, or cleanly without them…

What to do:

  1. Prep:
    1. Pre-heat the oven
    2. Boil water for pasta
  2. Oven/Toaster-Oven/Toaster:
    1. Toast 2 pieces of bread – needs to be seriously dry when it’s done!
  3. Veggie-Prep:
    1. Wash, Peel, & Chop Carrots (doesn’t have to be finely chopped at ALL – or, you could used canned)
    2. Chop the zuchinni
    3. Put it all in the food processor (otherwise, you DO have to finely chop or grate it) 
  4. Bread Crumbs:
    1. Put the toast in the food processor (or buy bread crumbs…)
  5. Large Mixing Bowl: ALL INGREDIENTS except spaghetti, sauce, and bread IMG_4213
  6. Make the Meatballs:
    1. Roll the meat into small balls (I make mine about 1″ in diameter)
    2. Roll in the bread crumbs – it’ll stick to the raw meat
    3. Place on a baking sheet (I line mine with foil so I don’t have to clean as hard!)IMG_4212
  7. Bake:
    1. 400F for 20 minutes IMG_4216
  8. Noodles
    1. Put the pasta in, it usually takes 7-10 minutes, but read your specific pasta
    2. Drain
    3. Add 1T butter or 1T olive oil
    4. Use your kitchen scissors and tongs to cut it up (may not be necessary, depending on your child’s age)
    5. Mix with pasta sauce
  1. ALTERNATE: STAGE 3 PREPARATION
    1. To make ONLY Stage 3:
      1. Cut out the Italian seasonings, egg & Bread Crumbs
      2. Brown your meat
      3. Make your pasta
      4. Food Processor:
        1. Mix everything together: browned meat, veggies, 1/2 T minced garlic, pasta, sauce
        2. Blend it for a VERY brief time – you still want it chunky for this age so they can get used to the textures! The pieces will be very small, though, at maximum, they should be pea-size.
    2. To make for Toddler + Stage 3 eater:
      1. Follow instructions 1-5.
      2. Brown half your mixture, and make meatballs with the other half.
      3. Once pasta is finished, you’ll puree half the pasta with the browned meat mixture.
        1. Blend it for a VERY brief time – you still want it chunky for this age so they can get used to the textures! The pieces will be very small, though, at maximum, they should be pea-size.
  2. ASSEMBLING:
    1. Toddlers:
      1. On the left side, I put 2 meatballs with a spoonful of sauce on top. This is important to keep the meatballs from drying out when you reheat.
      2. On the right side, I put a lot of spaghetti because my kids love it. IMG_4218
    2. Stage 3
      1. Put about 2-4 ounces each in air-tight containers.
      2. Store 3 days of food in the fridge at a time, and the rest in the freezer.
      3. Every day, move 1 container from the freezer to the refrigerator.

And there you have it!

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