Larb (aka Laab) is a Thai dish that can be modified nicely for young eaters: It’s not too spicy (unless you up the heat), it can be fast and easy to make, and it has a good profile for protein and minerals, thanks to turkey or pork and a line up of fresh herbs. The generous garlic is a good gut health helper, with antimicrobial action and ability to bust up biofilm. Traditionally, larb is a spicy ground pork dish crafted into an aromatic salad and served with toasted rice and sticky rice. If you get a chance, enjoy it at an authentic Thai restaurant soon.
For your home table, make this fast version inspired by the real thing. Even babies learning pincer grasp feeding can enjoy it, provided they are sitting well, and have skills settling in for chewing, swallowing, along with some baby teeth. Older kids can enjoy this with brown rice, sticky rice, congee, or in lettuce wraps. It’s shown here with congee and a side of roasted zucchini.
Ground Turkey Larb - Fast and Easy Kid Friendly
A simple fast savory dish that can be enjoyed across ages. Use organic ingredients for best flavor and health.
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook on medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; do not burn. Add turkey, smoked paprika, chili flakes( if hotter spice is desired, omit if not), salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until turkey is browned, about 2 minutes.
Stir in tamari, and chicken broth, simmer for a minute. Then add scallions, mint, and cilantro. Cook until turkey is done, about 5 minutes.
Add lime juice and stir evenly throughout the skillet.
Serve with hearty lettuce leaves like butter lettuce or romaine for lettuce wraps, or over sticky rice, congee, or any side your kids like.
Sounds like a mouthful of a combination, but boy does it work. Ground turkey, ground pork, shredded sweet potato and shredded carrot, lots of fresh ginger… and more. Once you’ve got all these ingredients, these meat and veggie balls are easy enough. Serve over whatever works – gluten free noodles, basmati rice, or as a slider on a Paleo bun. Another grain free option is to make buns with Chebe mix – perhaps not precisely Paleo, but tasty and easy. With the sauce, this is a great meal. Kids who like spicy will go for these, and you can dial up or down the heat according to your family’s palate.
Pork and Turkey Thai Veggie Meatballs
A spicy twist on the usual meatball, with a savory blend of turkey and pork
For the meatballs: Peel the sweet potato and wash and peel the carrots. Using a shredder attachment on a food processor, shred both. You can also use a grater to shred by hand.
Place shredded veggies with the rest of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands or a potato masher to combine.
Heat a large oven safe saucepan or skillet to medium high heat (an iron skillet is perfect for this!). Place in it 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil or sesame oil. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, shape meatballs. You will have 12-15 large meatballs. Brown them on all sides.
While these are cooking, in a medium bowl, blend all sauce ingredients together with a wire whisk, until evenly combined. When meatballs are browned, remove from heat, and pour the sauce over them.
Place the meatballs in sauce, in the saucepan, in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.