First Food for Baby: Sweet Potatoes

I get anxious about starting solids. I think it’s the breastfeeding mama in me feeling like I am introducing another love interest, creating a love triangle, & a sense a competition. I want my baby all to myself! 

But the truth is, as a mama I do recognize the developmental milestones that come along with starting solids.  And nothing, not even the creamiest yogurt, will replace the love & warmth & connection a baby receives from nursing with mama. 

With that, I’ve found entry into the solid food domain can be tricky with a half step forward and a few steps backward. One day they gobble it up and the next 3 they act uninterested. So even though I am a passionate homemade baby food enthusiast, the first few weeks of trial and error can really put a damper on all that hard work of dicing and steaming and purée-ing only to watch so much of it go to waste. So I like to start out slow. One of my favorite ways to do that is with individual sweet potatoes.

As a family we eat sweet potatoes with dinner 3 of 7 nights most weeks. So to throw another one in to cook doesn’t take much extra effort. We usually make three at a time but I’m going to share how I would make just one for ease here. To cook a single sweet potato in the microwave, I score it with a knife (like the seams of a football) and microwave it for about 7-8 minutes depending on size of potato and microwave wattage.

Once it’s fully soft and starting to open along the seams, I slice it open and mash the sweet potato flesh.  I like to keep it simple so I may or may not add a pat of butter and usually do add a sprinkle of cinnamon for another layer of flavor.  Then I remove all of the sweet potato from the skin and thin it out with some water or milk (breast milk or cows milk work fine). 

Then, in batches, I put the mixture through a small mesh strainer to strain out any chunks and make it a really smooth purée. When baby is older, this step becomes unnecceary as they adapt to texture and get the hang of chewing. 

Once it’s through the strainer it looks like this! Perfect for a few bites at the dinner table on a weeknight with the family! 

Our little dude is 8 months here but we have been experimenting with this for the past 5 weeks or so. He loves sweet potatoes and I love that our littlest one is now joining the rest of us with sweet potatoes at the dinner table. As my almost-3-year-old would say “All the family has one! All Same!!” 

After a long day of work, it’s super quick and something I can feel good about feeding him.  And if he only takes a bite or two, I’m no worse for the wear. 

What are some of your favorite quick & healthy options to prepare for your little one as they begin solids? 

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