I’m working on an entire post about anemia in children and will be posting 5 of my own recipes that I use with my two little ones. This is the first, high iron toddler meatballs…
In my full post I am going into more detail about the types of iron and how it’s absorbed in the body – and a lot about what impedes its absorption.
Beef (grassfed preferred) will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to iron (unless you eat liver or mussels regularly, my family does not). What you don’t want to do is add eggs or cheese – commonly found in meatball preparations – because those can interfere with the body’s absorption of the heme-iron from the beef. So you’ll see this recipe does not include eggs or cheese. If you really want to bulk this up with iron you could add iron fortified baby cereal – I did not do that – I try to avoid fortified foods when possible just due to the processing.
There’s an apple snuck into this recipe. Not something you typically find in meatballs mixes – but it adds a bit of sweet which toddlers like, as well as some Vitamin C (along with the greens) which amps up your body’s ability to absorb the iron. In someone who is iron deficient you always want to ingest iron with vitamin C to increase it’s absorption.
I make a lot of things in my food processor. It speeds up the recipe – does the chopping for me. I even mixed the meat in there today because I was feeling lazy (I cook during nap time). You only want to pulse the food processor – or your mix will turn to mush. You’ll see my meatballs are different colors because my food processor got so full it was having trouble pulsing the meat in evenly.
This makes a good amount of food – depending on the size of your appetites you may have leftovers. This recipe should yield you about 25-30 meatballs.
Let me know what you think or things you do to help your kids stay healthy.
Be sure to check out our other recipes before you go.