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If you’re looking for a healthy, Asian family-friendly meal that you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less, try this easy one-pot sweet and sour meatball stir-fry!

The ground meat gets shaped into meatballs and simmered in homemade sauce that’s made with 4 real ingredients and no added sugar. It is sure to be a hit with babies, kids, and adults! 

cooked sweet and sour meatballs with vegetables and farro in a white bowl along with a baby bowl with the same
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You guys! I’m really having a lot of fun creating baby-friendly Asian recipes that the entire family can enjoy. I’m also taking suggestions so be sure to leave them in the comments below! So far I’ve done, bulgogi, turkey and rice meatballs, japchae, and now this sweet and sour meatball stir-fry! 

Ingredients

Meat: As you may have noticed, I like to use ground meat a lot because it’s affordable, convenient, and easier for babies to handle. Having said that, you could use chicken cut into finger strips or bite-sized pieces, depending on your baby’s age and skill level. 

sauce ingredients on the left and the blended sauce in a measuring cup on the right

Sauce:

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier this! While the traditional sauce is filled with added sugar (e.g. ketchup, white sugar) and soy sauce, this baby-friendly version is made with pineapple, bell peppers (for extra sweetness and nutrition boost), onion, and vinegar.

The sauce won’t be completely smooth, rather a bit foamy as you can see in the image.  That’s because of the pineapple. It will get loosened up with broth so no worries there! 

Now, your adult palate may miss the flavor punch that it’s come to expect from this takeout favorite. Keep in mind, babies’ palates are much more sensitive and so this sauce will be plenty flavorful for them.

I encourage you to try the recipe as is the first time around and then feel free to tweak as necessary to your liking. You can add soy sauce, ketchup, or more pineapple.

Vegetables: For the vegetables, I used bell peppers (red, orange, yellow are all great choices!) and zucchini. But you could totally use whatever you have on hand. I wouldn’t use starchy vegetables though as it will take too long to get them soft enough for the tiny humans in your life ;).

Instructions

vegetables simmering in the sauce on the left and meatballs added on the right

Suggested Workflow:

  1. Chop all the vegetables. 
  2. Make the sauce.
  3. Shape the meat into meatballs.
  4. Cook the vegetables and pour in the sauce and broth.
  5. Once it comes to a boil, add the meatballs, cover, and let it simmer.
  6. Give everything a good stir and serve over whatever you fancy! 
cooked sweet and sour meatballs with vegetables and farro in a white bowl

Other Baby-Friendly Asian Recipes

Did you make this baby and toddler-friendly Sweet and Sour Meatball Stir-Fry? Follow me on Instagram post a photo and tag me, post a photo on my Facebook page, or save it to Pinterest. I love to see what you’re making! 

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5 from 8 votes

Healthy Sweet and Sour Meatball Stir-Fry

A healthy, Asian family-friendly meal that you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less! This easy one-pot sweet and sour meatball stir-fry is baby and kid-friendly!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground lean chicken, turkey, or pork
  • 2 teaspoons avocado or canola oil
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced (can use any color)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, chopped (optional)

Sauce

  • 120 grams fresh pineapple (about 1 cup)
  • 80 grams red bell pepper (1/2 medium)
  • 60 grams yellow onion (1/2 of small)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium broth of choice

Instructions 

  • Shape ground meat into 1 inch meatballs or smaller! If they're too large, they won't stay together as there's no binder. Set aside.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients (minus the broth) in a food process/blender and blend until smooth.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes or so until slightly softened.
  • Add the prepared sauce and the broth to the pan. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the meatballs into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  • Give everything a good stir so that all the meatballs get coated with the sauce.

Notes

Sauce: won't be completely smooth, rather a bit foamy as you can see in the image.  That's because of the pineapple. It will get loosened up with broth so no worries there! I encourage you to try the recipe as is the first time around and then feel free to tweak as necessary to your liking. You can add soy sauce, ketchup, or more pineapple.
Vegetables:you could totally use whatever you have on hand. I wouldn't use starchy vegetables though as it will take too long to get them soft enough for your baby.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 80mg | Sugar: 8g | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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8 Comments

    1. Transfer to a container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze ;). Will be sharing a post on how I like to store leftovers very soon!