Homemade Baby Food Recipes, Solid Food Feeding Guides & Tips

Feeding Your Baby Sweet Potatoes - Tasty Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipes

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Sweet Potato Facts and Baby Food Recipes -  


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Color makes a big taste difference in sweet potatoes

White or Light colored Sweet Potatoes are more dry and not as tasty as the orange colored sweet potatoes.

 

 

 

 

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Avocado baby food and introducing avocado to baby
sweet potatoes at 4-6 months
Age for Introducing Sweet Potatoes to Baby:
(4)6-8 Months Old

Sweet Potatoes for Your Baby - A Great First Food Choice!

 

The nutritional value of yams/sweet potatoes is amazing and their delicious taste makes these "spuds" another wonderful choice for a first food for baby. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and beta carotene as well as potassium; sweet potatoes also contain a good amount of Vitamin E, calcium and folate. Just check this out:

The Nutrition Action Health Letter rated 58 vegetables by adding up the percentages of USRDA for six nutrients (Vitamins A and C, folate, iron, copper, and calcium), plus fiber. Sweet Potatoes topped the list with a whopping 582 points; its nearest competitor, a raw carrot came in at 434.

The Goodness of Sweet Potatoes for Baby:

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potatoes (1 medium baked)

VITAMINS:
Vitamin A - 21,909 IUs
Vitamin C - 39.2 mg
Pantothenic Acid - 1.76 mg
Niacin -2.97 mg
Folate - 12 mcg


Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.


Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.

MINERALS:
Potassium - 950 mg
Phosphorus - 108 mg
Magnesium - 13.5 mg
Calcium - 76 mg
Sodium - 72 mg
Iron - 1.38 mg


Also contains small amount of copper, selenium, manganese and zinc.

When can I introduce Sweet Potatoes to my baby?

These wonderful vegetables are a great first baby foods,(even for the early solid food starter) for baby as they are packed full of nutrients, highly palatable and due to their fiber content, help digestive tract and bowel health.

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What is the difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato?

So is it a Yam or is it a Sweet Potato? In the United States, Yams and Sweet Potatoes are one and the same and the terms are used interchangeably for the same vegetable. The word "yam" originates from the African word "nyami" which is a starchy root. True yams are tubers. They are found in Africa and the Caribbean and sometimes in Europe. True yams can grow up to 100 pounds and attain a length of seven feet. Sweet potatoes are "storage roots" and seldom grow to be larger than 2 pound each. Sweet potatoes are in the Morning Glory family and Yams are in their own Yam family. There is a clear difference between the two species and they are not even remotely related.

The difference between Yams and Sweet Potatoes in the United States is only in the labeling, the color, the texture and the marketing. What is referred to as a "yam" in the Unites States is the darker reddish skinned, orange fleshed sweet potato. It is typically more sweet and moist. The term "yam" that has been applied to this type of sweet potato was coined by those in the Southern part of the United States. Throughout the South, "yams" are the most commonly used of the sweet potato varietals.

What is referred to as Sweet Potato on the other hand, is the lighter, brownish skinned type. This variety is more dry and starchy than the "yam' and is not as sweet. It also resembles the texture of regular white potatoes.

How to select and store sweet potatoes for baby food

need to buy organic? According to the EWG, sweet potatoes are one of the 15 foods least contaminated with pesticides so purchasing organic is your choice.

When selecting yams/sweet potatoes for homemade baby food, make sure to select those that are unbruised and without brown or soft spots.

For proper storage, be sure to keep them in a cool, dark, dry area. Yams/Sweet Potatoes may be kept for up to two weeks. Do NOT refrigerate sweet potatoes.As with most cooked foods, they may be kept refrigerated for 2 to 3 days after being cooked. Sweet potatoes freeze well.

The best way to cook Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food

Baking sweet potatoes is the very best way to cook them. Baking sweet potatoes, especially for baby food, brings out their natural sweetness and good flavor while retaining the most nutrients. You may also peel and cube then steam or boil sweet potatoes if you prefer.

A Few Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipes

Sweet Potato (Yam) Baby Food Puree Recipe (4)6 months +

Baking Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food:

1. Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil - do not peel for baking/microwaving.
2. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30-60 minutes or until soft

hint
Carrie wrote to tell us how she bakes her Sweet Potatoes "I baked for about 45 minutes at 410 F on the lower rack of the oven. The taters were so yummy.

Here's my tip, run them under water and then poke holes with a fork then run under water again then wrap and bake. The water helps cook them - works with baking white potatoes too. - 20 March 2008

3. Remove skins by slitting the sweet potato lengthwise when cooled then scoop out the "meat". Use a liquid from your preferred source to puree or thin the sweet potatoes.

Boiling/Steaming Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food:

1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks
2. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover potato
3. "Steam" boil until tender, be sure to check on the water level.
4. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the sweet potatoes if desired.

Microwave Sweet Potatoes: (we prefer to not use a microwave for cooking)

1. Wet and wrap sweet potatoes with microwave safe plastic wrap.
NOTE! You can skip the plastic wrap and simply wet the sweet potatoes and move to #2!*
2. Poke holes in the wrap with a fork and microwave for 10 minutes or until done.
3. Remove skins by slitting the sweet potato lengthwise when cooled then scoop out the "meat". Use a liquid from your preferred source to puree or thin the sweet potatoes.

Place cooked sweet potatoes into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
Add the reserved water or other liquid as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency

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Sweet Potato Apple Mash (4)6 months +

1. Steam or bake apples and sweet potatoes together until tender.
2. Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required.
3. You may also chop or dice for a finger food salad.

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Sweet Potatoes and Squash (4)6 months +

1. Steam or bake squash (winter) and sweet potatoes together until tender.
2. Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required.
3. You may also chop or dice for a finger food salad

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Peachy Yam Bake

Recipe appropriate for babies (4)6 months if you leave out flour, sugar, wheat germ and spices

This recipe is a great "break from the ordinary" for older babies and the whole family; it's also a great addition to the Thanksgiving table!

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (optional)
3 tbs. flour
2 Tsp Wheat Germ (8 months)
1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (8 months)
2 Tbs butter* (if baby doesn't dairy issues, butter is a great source of the fats that babies need)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (not for those under 2 years old or as directed by your doctor)
4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups of fresh mashed peaches

Combine sugar (optional), flour, wheat germ and spices. Cut in butter until you achieve a texture like bread crumbs. Add nuts (optional). Arrange yams and peaches in 1-1/2 quart casserole; sprinkle with butter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Puree or mash or serve as a finger food on baby's clean tray. This recipe is great for practice with using a spoon as the mixture will cling.

* Butter is often recommended as an addition to a baby's diet if more calories are needed. Babies need fats in their diets as fats are very important for healthy growth. If baby doesn't have dairy sensitivities, butter is a great source of the fats that babies need. 2 tablespoons of butter spread through a recipe this large is negligible. Use your own judgement.

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Sweet Potato Risotto - (8 months) You have to try this recipe for the whole family. Easily adaptable to feed the 8 month old + baby, sweet potato risotto is a meal in itself and very very tasty.

2 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
4 cups hot vegetable stock, divided
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups arborio rice (12-ounce package)
¾ cup white wine (white grape juice will suffice)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1½ teaspoons thyme leaves
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons black pepper

Preheat oven to 350o F.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half. Cut half the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch diced and set aside. Cut the remaining sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks.
Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast until soft about 30 minutes. Puree in a food processor with ¼ cup chicken stock. Reserve.

In a large saucepan heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and sauté onion and small diced sweet potatoes over medium high heat.
Cook about 3 minutes until softened but not browned.
Add garlic and arborio rice and cook 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in wine or white grape juice. Cook, stirring until completely absorbed.

In the same manner add hot stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is completely absorbed and stock is used up.
Add sweet potato puree, rosemary, thyme, butter and Parmesan. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until your risotto is soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste with pepper if desired.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes (8 months)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (use graham flour for a nice taste.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk (or more)

Mix sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl with egg. Stir in the flour and add the baking powder.
Add up to 1/3 cup of milk while stirring. Stir in 1 tbsp butter.
The mixture should have the consistency of thick, lumpy sauce like an "instant" pancake mix.
Place a non-stick or heavy iron skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and add 1/2 tsp butter.

Spoon batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes and break. Approx. 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove pancakes from the skillet and keep warm on a covered plate in the oven. Freezes Well.

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Sweet Potato Soup for Baby (8 months)

1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk (use whole milk or use 8 oz. whole milk yogurt)

Mix the flour and butter to make a roux in a large saucepan. The roux will look a carmel color.

Add the broth and brown sugar, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the sweet potatoes and spices, bring to a simmer again, and cook for 5 minutes more.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches and return to saucepot. Add the milk, and reheat soup. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into warm soup bowls and serve.

You can also just use sweet potato puree and skip the pureeing as shown above.

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Scalloped Sweet Potatoes (8 months)

Taking my favorite scalloped potato recipe below, we changed it up and used sweet potatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon & a pinch of ginger. Substitutions will be noted with in case you want to try this with white potatoes.

Ingredients:
8 medium sized sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons - use butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons mayo (optional, use whole milk yogurt if desired)
2 cups water & 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
quick shake of salt
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to your taste

How to make it:

In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish, layer the potatoes.
In a saucepan, melt the butter; stir in flour until smooth.
Gradually add broth/water, mayo or yogurt and spices.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly
(we find this takes about 15 minutes on medium heat and whisking every few minutes)

Pour mixture over potatoes.
Sprinkle with (If not opposed to) sugar & cinnamon (mix cinnamon & sugar and then sprinkle on)
Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours or until tender

This comes out sooooo soft and yummy. Your 8 month old + baby would easily be able to eat this as finger food. Make sure to smoosh or cut into manageable bits. added 28 July 2008

 

Tasty Combinations and Foods Good to Mix With Sweet Potatoes

Baby Cereal - oatmeal, rice, barley
Apples
Peaches
Pears
Carrots
Green Beans
Parsnip
Peas
Pumpkin
Summer Squash - zucchini or yellow/crooked necked
Winter Squash - butternut, acorn rtc.
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Lentils
Chicken
Beef
Pork
Yogurt

Resources & Learning More:

˚North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

Vegetarian Paradise - Sweet Potatoes 

The Sweet Potato and Yam Website

Univ. of IL - Sweet Potato Facts

 

Always consult with your pediatrician about introducing solid foods to your baby Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.

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