These Healthy Beef and Quinoa Meatballs are loved by kids and adults alike! They can easily be made ahead, making them a great weeknight dinner. Gluten Free.
Feeding kids healthy is never easy.
Throw in one of them being gluten free and it can get downright overwhelming.
If you’ve got gluten free kids, here are a couple of things I’ve learned to cut down on the chaos at meal time.
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- The most important thing I’ve is that while it is nice to be optimistic and hope that they will all cheerfully eat the quinoa salad with a side of kale that I’ve prepared for dinner, this is very often just wishful thinking. Life goes much more smoothly if I have kid-friendly meals on hand. Invariably at least one of them won’t be feeling adventurous at any given meal and since there aren’t many good options for gluten free packaged meals, I need to be prepared. I bulk cook and freeze so that I am never caught off guard. Every Sunday I make Chicken Parmesan so that the kids have it as their “chicken nuggets” throughout the week. Same goes for meatballs. If your kids are the kind of kids who will choose eat in the “eat this or you get nothing else” you may be able to force that kale. Sadly, mine will starve, go to be early and lose privileges before they will eat something they don’t like.
- Persistence pays. While I do keep kid friendly foods on hand, that doesn’t mean that I give up. I have a two bite rule and more than once one of the kids will decide that suddenly they like something that they previously hated. For example, my 8 year old rejected all things green until recently he decided that he loves raw spinach.
- Never leave home without snacks. You never know when the hungry monster is going to strike and finding gluten free snacks without GMO’s isn’t always easy. I keep a stocked cooler in the car at all times.
- Speaking of the car, if you are traveling planning ahead is key. Wraps and sandwiches hold well and are kid friendly.
- Involve your children in the prep process. It can be more work when you are cooking gluten free – especially when it comes to baking. I’ve found that involving the boys in the process helps tremendously. Not only are they learning and helping out, but they are also much more open to trying what we make. I’ve found this especially important in overcoming resistance since we are transitioning them from traditional baked goods to gluten free ones.
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Tools for Making Beef and Quinoa Meatballs
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1 red onion chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine ground beef, quinoa, breadcrumbs, red onion, garlic, eggs, parmesan cheese, parsley, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and sea salt.
- Shape into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cook until browned and crispy, about 15 to 18 minutes.