Vegeta-balls for Baby – the Finger Food That’s Packed With Nutrition!

Posted on Sep 26 2012 - 7:08am by Christine

Their name sums up these little treats perfectly! Vegeta-balls are balls of veggies, held together with egg and breadcrumbs and absolutely ideal for older babies and toddlers.

Vegeta-balls for baby

Whilst they may not be the prettiest food we’ve ever made, these balls sure do pack a punch in terms of flavour AND nutritional value. Suitable from around 10 months onwards, they have a slightly crunchy texture on the outside and a softer one on the inside, making them most suitable for babies who are already managing a little biting and chewing.

Also ideal for baby led weaning, these Vegeta-balls are 100% vegetarian.

We left our ingredients chunky, but you can actually produce Vegeta-balls with a smoother texture by pureeing the ingredients together before rolling!

If you’d like to make a large batch of these ahead of time, then it’s possible to freeze them – but for best results we recommend freezing them BEFORE baking rather than after.

This recipe makes 8 balls, around 1 1/2 inches across.

We hope your baby enjoys them.

To Make Vegeta-balls for Baby You Will Need…

4 oz (1/2 cup) lentils (we used brown but any variety will do)
16 fl oz (2 cups) water or homemade vegetable stock
1/4 onion, chopped (optional, but the onion provides plenty of flavour)
2 heaped tablespoons of finely chopped sweet potato
1/2 celery rib, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped (again, this is optional but gives a lovely flavour)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp tomato puree
3 button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 small egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (made from around 1 slice of bread)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (omit if baby is vegetarian)

Pick over the lentils to remove any small stones then place in a small saucepan.
Add the water, stir, then bring to the boil.
Reduce the hit and simmer, partially covered, until tender (ours took 30 mins).
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and add the onion, sweet potato, celery and garlic. Cook until tender and golden (around 5-7 mins).
Stir in the tomato puree, mushrooms and thyme and cook for 5-10 minutes more, until the liquid has all been incorporated.
Add this mixture to the drained lentils and allow to cool to a safe handling temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
When the mixture is cool, add the beaten egg, the cheese and the bread crumbs.
Mix thoroughly, then – using your hands – form into 8 balls.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake until firm and cooked through (30 to 40 mins).
Cool and serve.

Serving ideas

Vegeta-balls are best served with a dip. Our little ones love them with natural yogurt, but they’re also great with ricotta cheese. Another idea is to serve them with applesauce – when we did this once, we also stirred some chopped raisins into the lentil mixture – yum! If you’re making these for the adults in your household too, try adding a little salt and some cayenne pepper – delicious!


More baby food recipes with lentils

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11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Bec Super September 26, 2012 at 7:23 am -


  2. Margaret Rose Bucelli September 26, 2012 at 7:28 am -

    Look awesome yummy….think knowing that no harm was caused by their making, males them also look more yummy to me. 🙂

  3. Ruth Pinnell September 26, 2012 at 8:00 am -

    They look pretty tasty to me! And would be a fun appetizer for all ages!

  4. Angela Snow Jarrell September 26, 2012 at 8:11 am -

    Looks yummy! How long do you typically bake them?

  5. Homemade Baby Food September 26, 2012 at 8:16 am -

    Oops – forgot to add that to the instructions – 30 to 40 mins. Off to edit the recipe now!

  6. Homemade Baby Food September 26, 2012 at 8:24 am -

    You’re welcome – and thank you 🙂

  7. Monika Ruehling Ogilvie September 26, 2012 at 9:26 am -

    excited my husband is a vegetarian he will love it

  8. Homemade Baby Food September 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm -

    You’re welcome Betty Cannon 🙂

  9. Alyssa Brooke DelGrippo October 5, 2012 at 10:47 am -

    Made these today and my 9 month old son loved them! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  10. Homemade Baby Food October 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm -

    You’re welcome Alyssa Brooke DelGrippo – so glad he enjoyed them 🙂

  11. sooz7 February 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm -

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I’ve made this several times and it’s always a big hit  with my little man and husband. We eat them in sandwiches and I also snack on them at work. My little man loves them with hummus. Makes me happy to see him eat it knowing it’s so good for him. Thanks again.

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