When my baby started eating solids I knew that I wanted to introduce her to as many flavors, textures, and ingredients as I could.
I did a lot of research on baby food and came across quite a few companies that prepared flavor and nutrient packed infant meals (Yumi, Little Spoon, and Nurture Life to name a few). I loved that these companies provided healthy, organic, and flavor packed meals but the reality is that I just can’t afford to spend upwards of $7.50 PER MEAL! While the price tags for these food plans might work for some people, the reality is that we can’t afford that. I don’t even spend $7.50 per meal on our adult meal planning.
I was determined to come up with some easy meals that I could make in bulk, freeze, and that wouldn’t break the bank! I package my meals in these amazing wide mouth 4oz canning jars I got on amazon (and I love that they’re freezer friendly and reusable).
This recipe builds on my last recipe for the Tiny Turkey meatballs. All you need in addition to the meatballs is ditalini pasta, cheese, sweet potatoes, and frozen peas.
I like the ditalini pasta because it’s PERFECT for little fingers. It’s like elbow macaroni that’s already been cut down to size. Kids love pasta, plus it freezes and defrosts well.
Sweet potatoes add a soft texture to the dish while also adding bright color and an abundance of nutrients. Most babies have sweet potato searly on so it’s a great root veggie to incorporate that most kids are already accustomed to.
My baby girl LOVES cheese so it seemed only fitting to add it to this recipe. I recomend buying the cheese in block form instead of shredded because it’s cheaper and it’s easier to cut into bite size pieces. If your child is alergic to dairy or doesn’t eat cheese you can replace this with another veggie or just double up on the peas.
Infant and Toddler Veggie Pasta with Meatballs and Mozzarella
This recipe can be easily adapted for allergies or for your child’s preference. Feel free to replace the cheese with another vegetable. If your child doesn’t like meatballs consider ground beef or cubes of chicken instead.
Meals should be stored in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
- 1 recipe of Tiny Turkey Meatballs OR 1.2 lbs of your child’s favorite meat, cooked and diced.
- 3/4 cup of dried ditalini pasta
- 1 large (1.5 lb) sweet potato
- 4 oz block of mozzarella cheese.
- 1.5 cups of frozen peas
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place a medium size saucepan with 3 cups water over high heat. Bring water to a boil.
- Bake the sweet potato in the oven for 1 hour until soft but not mushy.
- Cook the ditalini pasta in the unsalted boiling water and cook according to the package instructions (usually 8 minutes or so). You want your pasta to be chewy and firm. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Cut the 4 oz block of mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch pieces.
- Once the sweet potato is cool to the touch, remove the skin and discard. Cut the sweet potato to 1/3 inch pieces. If the potato is too soft to cut, place in the refrigerator to help firm it up before cutting.
- In a large bowl combine the pasta, diced sweet potato, diced cheese, and frozen peas.
- Evenly distribute the meatballs between 20 serving containers and then fill each container with the pasta mixture.
- To serve from the refrigerator, heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until slightly warmed.