Sweet potato is one of the most popular first foods for babies starting solids. It’s colorful, sweet, and soft when cooked making it a top choice for both babies and parents. This article covers how to prepare sweet potato for baby-led weaning.
Whether you’re following baby-led weaning principles or serving purees, sweet potato is a popular first food for infants. And it’s no surprise really. It’s downright delicious, easy to mush, and full of nutrition for new eaters. Before we get into different ways to serve sweet potato for baby-led weaning, let’s review its nutrition profile.
Nutrients found in sweet potato
During the early days of baby-led weaning your little one won’t get much food in their mouth. And that’s totally fine. Learning to eat takes time and exploration. However, as your baby gets older and weans from breastmilk/ formula, food will become their main source of nutrition.
Sweet potato is bursting with nutrition to support early growth and development. Specifically, sweet potato is rich in:
- Vitamin A: Important for normal visual development, immune function, and red blood cell production .
- Vitamin C: Involved in immune function, collagen synthesis and fighting free radicals.
- Vitamin B6: Plays a role in cognitive development, nutrient metabolism, hemoglobin synthesis, and immune function.
- Fiber: Promotes laxation and a healthy microbiome in the gut.
- Potassium: Helps maintain fluid balance and regulate electrical impulses necessary for maintaining a steady heart beat, etc.
- Manganese: Involved in energy metabolism, bone formation, immune function, and blood clotting.
10 ways to serve sweet potato for baby-led weaning
Here are 10 ideas for serving sweet potatoes for baby-led weaning:
- Steam, and lightly mash with breastmilk/ formula
- Steam, and lightly mash with coconut milk and cinnamon
- Steam, mash, and mix with cooked oatmeal and cinnamon
- Steam, mash, and mix into plain whole milk yogurt
- Steam, mash, and combine with an egg to make pancake batter. Then, griddle over low heat and cut the pancakes in half before serving to baby.
- Cut into wedges and steam until soft but not falling apart. Roll the steamed sweet potato in hemp seeds, panko breadcrumbs, wheat germ or flaxseed meal to reduce slipperiness.
- Cut into wedges and roast with extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or butter
- Cut into wedges, roast with oil, and smear with 100% smooth almond or peanut butter
- Cut into wedges, roast with oil/butter and cinnamon
- Cut into wedges, roast with oil/butter, cumin and garlic powder
- Sweet potato is one of the most popular first foods for babies starting solids.
- This starchy veggie is a rich source of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, and manganese.
- Sweet potato can be served to babies in a variety of ways including mashed and roasted. It’s a versatile veggie that can be used to expose your child to new flavors such as cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, and nut butter.
 Imdad, A., Mayo-Wilson, E., Herzer, K., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2017). Vitamin A supplementation for preventing morbidity and mortality in children from six months to five years of age. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 3(3), CD008524. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD008524.pub3
Ready to start baby-led weaning? Get the complete guide to baby-led weaning including 60+ pages of handouts, printables, recipe ideas, and more HERE.