Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipes

These sweet potato baby food recipes will help you easily prepare one of nature’s healthiest foods for your little one.

NOTE: Please consult your doctor before you introduce these recipes, or any new foods, to your baby. The information given here is for guidance only and does not replace professional medical advice.

Sweet potato facts

One of the oldest vegetables known to man, sweet potatoes have been eaten since prehistoric times.

They were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus after his 1492 voyage to the New World and were grown in the southern United States from around the 16th century.

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables and some people call them “yams”, although they are not true yams at all. In fact, they are not even distantly related to yams, which are bigger, with scaly skin and pale pink flesh.

One theory explaining the confusion is that African people brought to America began calling American sweet potatoes “nyamis” and the name was taken from there.

Sweet potatoes are available all year round in most places and may have yellow or orange flesh. The skin can be orange, yellow, red, purple or white. They can be long and fairly thin, or shorter and shaped more like a white potato.

Some sweet potatoes are very soft and moist when cooked and others can be somewhat drier – we find that the white variety can be quite dry, for example, but has a distinctive, earthy flavour.

Sweet Potato for your Baby Food Recipes

Are sweet potatoes good for babies?

Absolutely – in fact, in 2014 the CSPI ranked the sweet potato “tops in nutrition of all vegetables”…. so we should all be eating them as often as possible!

(Learn more at Nutrition Action, produced by the CPSI)

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C and manganese. They also contain vitamin B6, potassium, iron, copper, dietary fiber and manganese.

The “orange nose” phenomenon…

Your baby’s body uses the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes to make vitamin A, which is essential for cell growth, good vision and also has an *antioxidant effect.

But your baby only converts as much beta-carotene to vitamin A as he needs – the rest is deposited in his skin and is responsible for the orange hue (particularly around the nose) often seen in babies who eat lots of yellow or orange veggies.

This side effect is harmless (see Carotenemia – A Review) and will fade as your baby begins to enjoy a wider variety of foods (although you should consult your doctor if you are at all concerned, or if the whites of your baby’s eyes appear yellow).

Sweet potatoes with dark orange flesh are richer in beta-carotene than yellower varieties.

*What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants rid the body of of free radicals which damage the body’s cells in later life and contribute to conditions like heart disease and cancer.

By preparing these sweet potato baby food recipes for your little one, you are getting him off to a very healthy start!


Readers' Pics

Baby enjoying Sweet Potato Baby Food

Marley Loves Sweet Potatoes

This was Marley’s first solid food after rice cereal and she loves it!!

Jami – RSM, CA

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Tips for choosing and storing your sweet potatoes

When choosing sweet potatoes for your baby, look for ones that are firm, with no bruises or cracks. Medium sized ones tend to have the best texture – large ones can sometimes be stringy.

Don’t store your sweet potatoes in the refrigerator…

…it ruins their flavour and can make them tough. Instead, keep them in a cool, dark place with plenty of air – NOT in a plastic bag. Don’t leave them anywhere too warm, as they will sprout.

Stored properly, sweet potatoes will keep for 7-10 days.

Can’t get fresh sweet potatoes?

Find out about using canned vegetables in your baby food recipes

How to cook sweet potatoes for your baby

Sweet potatoes can be cooked in just about any way you can think of! Here are the best methods to use when cooking sweet potato for your baby…

  • Baking. This is oh-so-easy! Pre-heat your oven to 375 deg F, 190 deg C. Scrub the potato, prick it with a fork and bake it for around 45 mins, until it feels soft. Cool briefly, then split the skin and scoop out the soft flesh.
  • Boiling. Peel and cut the sweet potato into chunks. Use just enough water to cover the potato, then cover the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer until tender. Drain straight away, or the pieces will become mushy and watery.
  • Steaming. Place peeled sweet potato cubes on a steamer rack over a pan containing around an inch of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and steam for 10-12 mins.
  • Microwave. Pierce a whole sweet potato with a fork, then place on a paper towel and microwave on high for around 5 mins. Allow the potato to stand for a further 5 mins – it will continue to cook during this time and will soften considerably.
  • Having a barbecue? Then just wrap a sweet potato in foil and place it in the coals to cook. It will take around 45 mins… and is a great way for your baby to join in the party!

Sweet potato as a first food

The most popular first food for babies has traditionally been infant rice cereal, but more and more parents are looking for alternatives. Many question the nutritional value of infant cereal and others find that it leads to constipation.

Read more in our article – Is Rice Cereal the Best First Food for Baby?

Sweet potato is gaining in popularity as an excellent first food from 6 months of age (or earlier if your pediatrician recommends introducing solids at 4 to 6 months).

It is very easy to digest, rich in nutrients and is not associated with the constipation commonly found in infants newly introduced to solids.

And, of course, it is delicious – with a subtle sweetness babies love!

You can use any of the cooking methods above to prepare sweet potato as a first food for your baby, although baking the potato in its skin is the easiest!

If the potato you use is particularly moist and your baby is at least 6 months of age (read more about deciding when your baby is ready for solids), then it may not even require pureeing or thinning. Simply mashing the cooked potato with a fork should suffice.

If the potato seems a little dry or “stodgy”, then you can thin it with a little cooking water, formula or breast milk.

Sweet potato baby food recipes 

Simple first meals

Sweet potato freezes well, so you can make these dishes in “bulk” and store them in your freezer.

After following the four day rule, try combining sweet potato with

You can also add a dash of cinnamon to these tasty sweet potato baby food recipes to give them a little extra “zing”!

If your baby objects to the sweetness of sweet potatoes, a good tip is to try stirring in a little natural yogurt to counteract it.

Once baby is enjoying sweet potato, you can also think about trying it with a little pure peanut butter, which experts now believe may help prevent a sensitivity to nuts.

You can read more information about introducing peanuts here


Sweet potato and melon mash

8 oz (1 cup) cooked sweet potato, diced

8 oz (1 cup) cantaloupe melon, diced

2 oz (1/4 cup) natural yogurt

  1. In a food processor, blend together the melon and sweet potato. Add the yogurt and blend for a further 30 secs. 
  2. Sprinkle with a little powdered ginger (optional) and refrigerate.




Main meals from 6 months+

Sweet potato and plantain soup

1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced

1 green plantain, peeled and sliced

little olive oil

1 small onion, chopped very finely

1 clove of garlic, crushed16 fl oz (2 cups) homemade chicken stock

1 bay leaf

4 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk – you can use cow’s milk, or stick to breast milk or formula if you prefer

  1. Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil until tender, then add the plantain and cook until browned all over.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock, then add the bay leaf and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender (this should take around 20-25 mins).
  5. Cool briefly, then blend in a food processor until nice and creamy (take the bay leaf out first!).
  6. Return the mixture to the pan, then stir in the milk.
  7. Simmer gently for a further 10 mins, then serve!

Sweet and white potato mash

1 white baking potato, peeled and diced

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 clove of garlic, minced1 oz (1/8 cup) unsalted butter

2 fl oz (1/4 cup) milk – use breast milk or formula if you wish)

tiny pinch of freshly ground black pepper

2 oz grated Cheddar cheese

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C.
  2. Put the white and sweet potatoes into a saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring to the boil then cook for around 20 mins, uncovered, until tender.
  4. Drain the potatoes, then place them in a bowl and mash with the garlic, butter, black pepper and milk.
  5. Place in a baking dish and top with the cheese.
  6. Bake for around 30 mins, until nice and brown.

Sweet potato pasta sauce

little olive oil

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes

4 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk (use breast milk or formula if you wish)

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over a low heat until tender.
  2. Add the sweet potato and enough water to just cover it, then bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, then simmer very gently for 20 mins.
  4. Cool, then place in a food processor with the milk and blend well.
  5. Serve over cooked pasta.

Readers' Pics

Sweet Potato Pasta

This is the sweet potato pasta sauce recipe over Barilla Ditalini pasta. I prepare it and freeze it in a mini loaf pan for my daughter, who is now 13 months old. I use an ice pick to break the loaves in half after they are frozen for perfect sized portions. They break very easily even though they are frozen solid.

Andrea – Emmitsburg, MD, USA

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Finger food ideas

This versatile veggie makes a great finger food, too – and it still tastes great when it’s cold!

For a quick and easy sweet potato finger food, simply dice cooled sweet potato, then dust with cinnamon. These little cubes will be soft enough for your baby to mash with his gums.

Alternatively, try these sweet potato baby food recipes for little fingers…


Sweet potato hash browns

little olive oil

3 tbsp onion, diced very finely

1/2 clove garlic, crushed

1 sweet potato, medium size

little pinch of freshly ground black pepper

  1. Peel the potato, then shred it with a coarse grater.
  2. Heat the oil, then saute the onion for a couple of minutes until it begins to soften.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, then press the mixture into little “patties”.
  4. Cook for 5 mins on one side, then turn carefully and cook for 5 to 10 mins on the other.

Sweet potato fries

1 sweet potato, medium size

2 tsp cinnamon

olive oil cooking spray

  1. Peel the potato.
  2. Cut it into “fries” – around 1/4in thick and 4in long.
  3. Put the strips in a bowl and spray very lightly with the oil.
  4. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, then toss together.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil and place your sweet potato fries on it in a single layer.
  6. Bake at 350 deg F, 180 deg C for around 45 mins.

These fries go very nicely with our homemade applesauce.


Baby pizza with sweet potato base

8 oz (1 cup) warm, cooked sweet potato

2 oz (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

4 oz (1 cup) flour

grated mozzarella cheese

2-3 ripe, plum tomatoes (optional)

toppings of your choice

  1. Mash the cooked sweet potato with the butter until completely smooth.
  2. Add the flour and blend thoroughly, until the mixture resembles a soft dough.
  3. Form the dough into a circular pizza base, or make smaller, ‘baby size’ bases.

Your base(s) are now ready to top with whatever your baby enjoys!

A tomato sauce is not essential, but if you’d like to include one, you can make a simple tomato sauce by chopping the fresh plum tomatoes and cooking in a little olive oil until tender. For a more robust flavour, add a little oregano and 1-2 tsp tomato puree/paste (learn more about using tomatoes in your baby food recipes here). Spread over the base, leaving a little dough exposed all the way around.

  1. Next, sprinkle the base with grated cheese (mozzarella is very mild – for more flavour, use a mixture of mozzarella and grated Cheddar).
  2. Then, add whatever your baby enjoys. Some suggestions include

chopped red or green bell pepper

chopped mushrooms

lean ground beef

finely chopped broccoli

chopped, cooked chicken

crumbled, extra firm tofu

Don’t pile the toppings too high, as the ones at the bottom won’t cook/heat properly and the cheese on the base won’t melt.

Finally, cover the toppings with another handful of cheese and bake for 10-15 mins at 375 deg F (190 deg C), until the cheese has melted and is faintly golden. Cool to a safe temperature and serve.


We hope your baby enjoys these sweet potato baby food recipes.


Readers' Pics

Sweet Potato Pizza

Here’s the baby pizza with sweet potato base

My 18-month-old LOVED his little pizza!

Christy – Canton, MI, USA

Send in your baby food photograph!


Readers' Pics

Sweet Potato Puree on baby's face

My 4-month-old son LOVES his sweet potato !

Sweet potato was the first veggie we tried – it was a big success as you can see

Laura – Sydney, Australia

Send in your baby food photograph!


Sources:

Sweet potato facts

The mystery of the sweet potato

www.sweetpotato.org



Discover more ideas for baby’s menu…

White potato baby food recipes

Avocado baby food recipes

Pear baby food ideas and guidelines

Butternut squash baby food recipes

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