These potato baby food recipes and ideas will help you transform the humble white potato into delicious dishes your baby will love!
NOTE: Please consult your doctor before you introduce these potato baby food recipes, or any new foods, to your baby. The information given here is for guidance only and does not replace professional medical advice.
Everyone knows that sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest veggies around, meaning that they are often used in recipes in place of white potatoes.
But – whilst white potatoes do not match up to sweet potatoes in terms of nutritional value – they do still provide some important dietary elements.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 (which supports the formation of almost all the new cells in your baby’s body) and potassium.
They also contain fibre, iron, folates, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, zinc and magnesium!
As with many other veggies and fruits, the nutritional value of potato is maximized by leaving the skin on.
Of course, potato skin may be difficult for younger babies to chew or gum (although the tender skins of new potatoes will sometimes mash up quite well!).
Plus, the large amount of fibre that potato skins provide may be a little too much for the digestive systems of younger babies to handle.
But – once your baby is coping well with a variety of foods – you may like to leave the skin on in some of your homemade potato baby food recipes (see the recipe for homemade potato fries below).
Although the skin is a good source of nutrients, a great many of them reside just under the skin, too!
Potatoes are packed with carbohydrates.
Carbs tend to get a bad rap – but the carbohydrates in potatoes are complex carbs – the ‘goodies’ of the carbohydrate world!
They are the primary source of fuel, helping to feed the brain and providing power to those little muscles!
The carbohydrates in potatoes contain something called ‘resistant starch’ – so named because it resists being digested on its way to the large intestine! Once there, it acts like fibre, in that it lowers cholesterol and helps guard against colon cancer.
It also gives a satisfying feeling of fullness, which is probably why potatoes are a popular comfort food!
Unfortunately, the health benefits of potatoes tend to be negated by the unhealthy methods used to cook them (think deep frying!) or the toppings that are added to them (think tons of melted cheese, sour cream and bacon!).
And this is a shame, because potato cooked healthily can STILL be delicious, as your little one is about to discover!
Potatoes are rarely responsible for allergic reactions and this – along with their relatively neutral flavour – makes them suitable as a first food.
Remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and other medical authorities do not recommend introducing solid foods until your baby is AT LEAST 6 months of age (you can read more about introducing solids here).
Choose firm potatoes to use in your potato baby food recipes, with nice smooth skins and no cracks or wrinkles.
We recommend avoiding potatoes that are sprouting.
Some sources say they are safe to eat if you cut out the sprouts, although others suggest they may be harmful.
For potatoes destined to become baby food, we’d rather not take the risk and give sprouting potatoes a miss.
Potatoes that are green, however, seem to have greater potential for harm.
The green colour develops when the potatoes are exposed to light and is caused by higher chlorophyll levels.
But it could also be an indication that the potato is high in chaconine and solanine. These are alkaloids which, when consumed, may lead to diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
It’s possible that these alkaloids may also be present in sprouted potatoes.
Do remember that – even though these substances may not affect the adults in the family – they may have a greater effect on your baby.
Try choosing muddy potatoes from the store rather than ones that look as if they’ve been washed. We notice that they keep for longer, possibly because the earth is protecting the skins from the light.
Unless you buy them loose (recommended), potatoes tend to come in plastic bags.
Keeping your potatoes in plastic bags is one of the quickest ways to encourage them to rot – so empty them out as soon as you get home and transfer them to a cloth bag, preferably made from natural fibres.
Keep the bag in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place… but not the fridge!
Because the starch in the potatoes will turn to sugar, adversely affecting the flavour.
Stored properly, mature potatoes can last for up to 2 months.
There are many varieties of potato worldwide, with brown, yellow – or even purple – skin! (We actually posted about the purple variety here on our blog).
Potatoes are fairly interchangeable in recipes. For the most part, you can use any type of potato in any dish – but there are definitely certain types of potato that lend themselves better to some recipes than others.
That’s because different varieties of potatoes tend to vary from a ‘waxy’ texture to a ‘floury’ one.
Waxy potatoes are somewhat moist and translucent in appearance and hold their shape during cooking. Examples of waxy potatoes include Charlotte and Maris Peer.
Floury potatoes contain more starch than waxy ones and this gives them their drier, more granular texture. They don’t keep their shape well during cooking, making them ideal for fluffy mashed potato! Examples of floury potatoes include Russets, King Edwards, Maris Piper and Desiree.
New potatoes are simply regular potatoes harvested earlier than the rest of the crop!
Yukon Gold, Estima, Round White, Osprey, Charlotte, Viking
King Edward, Maris Piper, Desiree
Russet, Estima, King Edward
Russet, Yukon Gold, Caribe, Saxon
Charlotte, Round White, red skinned, Maris Peer
We don’t actually recommend pureeing potatoes (with the exception of the delicate Fingerling potatoes, which are actually quite good pureed!).
The reason for this is that pureed potato tends to have the consistency of glue – unappetizing, to say the least. Mashing is a far better method of preparation and gives a texture that most babies can cope with very well.
However, the relative blandness of potato means it’s not always ideal served alone – in fact, our little ones have always gagged on plain potato! It’s best when paired up with another pureed or mashed vegetable.
We hope your baby enjoys these yummy potato baby food recipes containing the humble spud!