Baby Beef Burgers – 3 Recipes

Flavourful and moist burger recipes designed with your baby's nutritional needs in mind.
An overhead iamge of the three different baby hamburger recipes and some of the ingredients used to make them. A hand is coming in from the right of the image to add a prune puree sauce to one burger.

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This post was written in paid partnership with ThinkBeef.ca. As always, all opinions are our own.

Ah, it’s here. If you live in the northern part of the world like us, you are likely excited and getting ready to gear up for barbeque season! In our neck of the woods, we wait nearly 8 months for temperatures to rise so we can get grilling! 

Since we’re always big fans of family meals and even bigger proponents that parents serve their baby modified versions of what they are eating, you better believe you can have your baby at the BBQ this summer!

In this post, we’re talking alllllll about hamburgers and leaving you equipped with unique recipes that you can serve up your baby, and your family at the same time. 

What’s great about burgers is that it typically calls for ground beef and there are two major things we love about ground beef:

  1. Ground beef lends itself well to baby feeding because it’s a safe texture to offer your baby when moulded into the correct shape.

  2. Ground beef is a rich source of nutrients such as protein, B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc! Since your baby is growing exponentially, these nutrients are all critical for their development.

Is it safe to serve my baby food that has been cooked on a BBQ?

Without getting too technical and scienc-y, the answer is that you CAN absolutely serve your baby foods prepared on the BBQ and this extends to vegetables too such as grilled zucchini or corn. 

Some parents fear that unsafe chemicals are produced during the bbq process and while there is a complex series of reactions that does take place and COULD pose a risk, the risk is small especially if you’re only BBQing a few times per week. 

The short story is that when you’re bbq’ing and fat from the meat drips onto an open flame, it can result in more flames and smoke. Then, compounds created from the flame and smoke can in essence “stick” to the meat. 

Similar to other cases when it comes to parenting, we want to weigh the risk vs benefit. Your baby is likely not consuming bbq multiples times daily and eating a large enough volume to impose any risk at all. Instead, your baby will get an opportunity to appreciate a new smoky profile and also participate in family meals which we know come with a number of benefits. 

Apart from this, we want you to ensure you are cooking your meat to a safe temperature and using safe food handling practices to avoid cross contamination like in other cooking methods. 

Use a digital instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the beef burger – it needs to read at least 160°F/71°C

FAQ

Can I really give my baby a hamburger?

The answer to this is a resounding, YES!

Most babies have all of the skills required for eating a soft burger, and parts of the hamburger can be deconstructed to be better suited for a baby. Take a look at the image below. 

baby plate with baby kofta burger, toast, and tomato strips, surrounded by what the adults are eating: full burgers with the fixin's.

When your baby bites into a small burger, they are able to chew it down with their strong gums and it will crumble easily into their mouth. They will learn to turn this bite into a soft bolus, (ie: mush of food) and swallow it. 

How old does my baby need to be to eat a burger?

You can offer a burger to your baby from as young as 6 months old! At this age, most babies have the dexterity and mouth mechanics to eat soft, squishable, handheld foods. A burger, made from ground/minced meat, is the perfect texture for a beginner eater. 

How do you serve hamburger baby-led weaning (BLW) style?

You can either form the meat into regular patties and your baby will likely pick the burger up with both hands (or you can gently guide their hands to hold onto both sides). 

Or you can shape the meat into logs, which a baby can pick up and hold with one hand. 

What if my baby is eating purée textures?

If your baby is still progressing through textures, we don’t want you to feel left out. The beauty in having your baby at the BBQ is that you can meet your baby where they are at. This means, you can mash or blend the cooked burger in a small food processor with some liquid such as human milk, formula or broth. Your baby can self-feed with a spoon or you can also be there to support your baby. 

How do you make a hamburger for a baby?

You are 100% welcome to modify a recipe you already know and love to accommodate your baby. A few things to keep in mind is that you want your burger to be soft, a little moist and cooked through to a safe temperature (160°F/71°C) while being mindful not to overcook it.

The risk with overcooking is that:

  1. a) it could burn and crisp up on the BBQ making it less safe for baby and
  2. b) it can really dry it up! 

Some fun ingredients you might enjoy adding to your mixture to ensure it is soft and moist include:

  • Fruit sauce such as apple or prune sauce
  • Shredded apple, pear or zucchini
  • An egg
  • Cooked beans or lentils 

In terms of shape, you can either prepare little baby burgers or log shapes as well, which are incredibly ergonomic for a new eater who loves self-feeding. 

Recipes and Inspiration

a small baking sheet with burgers made for a baby.

In partnership with Canada Beef, we are going to teach you how to modify two recipes you can find in their inventory. And, we’ve crafted a baby prune burger recipe that is 100% baby friendly!

Beef Koftas with Tzatziki Bean Dip – this is a really neat and flavorful recipe that includes warm spices like cumin and cinnamon. It’s also paired beautifully with a fun dip that includes white beans! High fives for bonus iron and fibre from the beans!

Blended Sliders – this recipe incorporates two types of protein: beef and black beans for a really simple and fibre filled burger. We opted to remove the breadcrumbs to keep it moist and keep the sodium content low.

To learn more about how we’ve modified each recipe, please see below!

Happy Healthy Eaters Spiced Prune Beef Burger for Baby

Yes, yes, you read that right. We found a magical way to combine prune purée, prunes, and beef to create a fun little burger for your little eater.

All of the ingredients work together to yield a soft, moist, and slightly sweet burger that will also give your baby some digestive loving. You are welcome to cook these in advance and freeze them for your baby. Trust us, you’ll thank your future-self for doing that! All you will need to do is thaw it in the fridge, reheat, and serve it to your baby when you’re in a pinch for meals. Take it from two moms; we know that time is of the essence!

labeled ingredient image for baby prune burgers: ground beef, prune puree, prunes, oats, hemp hearts, spices, garlic, and ginger

Learn how to make the prune baby hamburger:

Ingredient FAQ

Ground Beef: you can use any type of ground beef: extra-lean, lean, medium, or regular (in the USA this is 90%, 83%, 77%, or 70%). However, babies need to consume adequate fat for their growth and development so we would encourage you to use regular (70%) if possible.

Hemp Hearts: we included hemp hearts for a hit of fibre and some omega 3 fatty acids. But if you don’t have these available, you can skip them.

Prune Purée: feel free to substitute applesauce or any other fruit-based baby food pouch!

Spiced Prune Beef Burger for Baby

A flavourful and moist burger designed with your baby's nutritional needs in mind.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 pouch (90 mL) prune baby food or unsweetened applesauce
  • 5 pitted prunes finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 lb (500 g) Ground Beef (*see note above in ingredient FAQ)

Instructions

  • Combine the oats, hemp hearts (optional), prune purée, chopped pitted prunes, garlic , cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, and dash of cayenne to a bowl and combine.
  • Gently mix in the ground beef with a fork, being careful not to overmix.
  • Gently from into small patties or kebab shapes for your baby.
  • For kebab shapes, make 12 ovals (about 3 to 4 inches/8 to 10cm long)
  • For burgers, make 10-12 small-ish patties, forming them to be ¾-inch (2 cm) thick patties. Press a dimple into the centre of each patty.
  • Grill patties and/or kebab shapes in a closed preheated barbecue over medium-high heat (400°F/200°C) for 10 to 14 minutes, turning twice or more, until digital instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into centre of each patty reads 160°F (71°C).
  • Feel free to set aside some for yourself and add some salt!
  • TIP: If you don’t have a BBQ, you can heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear patties, in batches if necessary, for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the patties to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 375°F pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, until digital instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into centre of each patty reads 160°F (71°C).

Blended Sliders

First, you’ll need to grab the full recipe for Blended Sliders at Canada Beef (opens in a new tab).  Then follow the modifcations below to adapt the recipe for your baby. 

Blended Sliders: adapted to be baby friendly

Beef and black beans come together for a tasty source of both iron and fibre for your baby... and yourself!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course

Instructions

  • Follow the instructions, omitting the salt and bread crumbs.
  • Form into either log sizes or smaller burgers.
  • You can form a few burgers or logs for your baby, and then salt the remaining mixture to make burgers for yourself!

Kofta Burgers

To make these baby friendly, get the full Kofta Burger recipe at Canada Beef (opens in a new tab), then follow these instructions to modify them. 

Kofta Burgers with Bean Tzatziki Dip - adapted to be baby friendly

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course

Instructions

  • Make the koftas as instructed, omitting the chili powder and the salt.
  • Make the tzatziki dip as instructed, omitting the salt.
  • You can form a few burgers or logs for your baby, and then salt the remaining mixture to make burgers for yourself!

Other Beef Recipes for Your Baby

jess and nita, registered dietitians
Meet Jess and Nita

Hi! We’re both Dietitians & boy mamas! We’re here to help you confidently raise kids who will grow up to be lifelong Happy Healthy Eaters. Dig into our site for kid-tested recipes & feeding tips. 

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