Sweet Potato: Ideas & Recipes for Babies from 6 Months

Reading time:

Sweet potato packs immense nutritional value. This has earned it a place as a superfood, especially for babies starting solids. Additionally, for a baby that’s transitioning from slightly sweet breast milk or formula, the naturally sweet taste of sweet potato is an instant win!

In this guide, we’ll explore a few ideas and recipes for sweet potatoes for babies aged 6 months and up.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato for Babies

Sweet potato nourishes babies in many important ways, such as:

  • Excellent source of a very important vitamin – vitamin A – essential for the overall immune system and eye vision in particular.
  • High in vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Rich in fibre necessary for microbiome diversity and thus overall gut health.
  • High amount of beta-carotene (antioxidant).
  • Low allergen risk compared to other common baby food allergens.

Both nutrition and sweet taste make sweet potatoes a great early food when starting solids.

When Can I Start Giving My Baby Sweet Potatoes?

As mentioned above, sweet potato has many nutritional benefits making it an ideal first food. Introduction of solids is recommended, not before 16 weeks (4 months) and not after 24 weeks (6 months), unless advised otherwise. During this period, it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce sweet potatoes into your baby’s diet. A good time to introduce sweet potatoes is generally 6 months, as their developing digestive system at this age can process sweet potatoes without issue.

Of course, every baby develops differently. If your little one shows interest, has doubled birth weight, and sits with support earlier than 6 months, you may want to talk with your paediatrician about starting solids sooner. Advice to start solids is between 4 and 6 months. 8 months is too late to start and can result in an oral skill delay.

More thoughts and insights from Leah Hackney, RD, LD, CSP, to guide you through this exciting journey in her article Introducing Solids.

Is My Baby Ready for Sweet Potato?

Between 6 and 8 months, signs your little one can start solids like sweet potato include:

  • Good head and neck control
  • Ability to sit upright supported
  • Interest in the foods you eat
  • Chewing motions
  • Reaching for and grabbing items
  • Improved digestion

Of course, check with your paediatrician before offering any new foods. But when the time comes for first bites, sweet potato is a nutritious favourite to begin with. Mix it with breast milk or formula for an easy introduction. Then expand as your baby shows readiness for new textures and flavours.

How Should Sweet Potato Be Prepared for Baby?

There are many ways to cook sweet potatoes for babies, depending on their age and preference. You can bake, steam, or roast sweet potato, and then mash, puree, or cut it into finger foods. Here are some ideas and recipes you can try:

  • Baked sweet potato: You can bake a whole sweet potato in the oven or cut it into wedges on a baking sheet. Serve the baked sweet potato as it is or add some butter or nutmeg for extra flavour. You can also scoop out the flesh and mash it with some breast milk, formula, organic bone broth or natural yogurt for a smooth puree.
  • Steamed sweet potato: Steaming is another easy way to cook sweet potato. Steam sweet potato cubes in a steamer then serve them as finger foods. You can also mix the steamed sweet potato with other fruits or vegetables.
  • Roasted sweet potato: Roast sweet potato in the oven or use an air fryer for a crispier texture. Serve it as finger food or mash it with a fork for a chunky puree.

At 7 months, try Little Bellies Sweetcorn Round-a-Bouts with a baked or roasted sweet potato puree – delicious!

Sweet Potato Puree Ideas & Recipes

You can further boost sweet potato goodness by mixing it into delicious homemade purees your little one is sure to love!

  • Sweet Potato Apple Mash: steam chopped sweet potato and apples until completely soft. Mash together and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of cinnamon, then blend to a thin, soupy consistency with breastmilk or formula.
  • Sweet Potato Banana Yogurt: in a blender, combine steamed sweet potato, banana, natural unsweetened yogurt (goat yoghurt might be easier on a little tummy), and a touch of vanilla or cinnamon. So yummy!
  • Sweet Potato Peach Pops: puree-cooked sweet potato with peach slices and coconut milk. Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze. Serve to teething babies.

If you are looking for ready-made snacks with a sweet potato taste, try Little Bellies Sweet Potato Pick-up Sticks. Your baby will love the taste and shape, and you’ll love that they are 100% natural, organic, unsweetened and safe for self-feeding!

Frequently Asked Questions About Sweet Potato

Best Way to Cook Sweet Potato for Babies – Bake, Steam, or Roast?

When it comes to offering food, variety is key. Cooking sweet potatoes in different ways can help avoid fussiness and increase variety. The cooking method depends on your baby’s preferences and age but giving it to them in a variety of ways is important. Baking, steaming, and roasting are all excellent choices. Baking may enhance the natural sweetness while steaming and roasting preserve more nutrients.

How to Cut Sweet Potato for Baby-Led Weaning?

For baby-led weaning, cut sweet potatoes into finger-sized strips or wedges. This shape allows babies to grasp and explore, promoting independence in feeding.

Are Sweet Potatoes Better Than White Potatoes for Babies? What’s the Difference?

While both belong to the root vegetable group, sweet and regular white potatoes differ in a few key ways:

  • Sweet potatoes have a sweet, almost dessert-like taste and aroma while regular potatoes are more bland and starchy.
  • They contain different types of fibre and nutrients. Sweet potato delivers more vitamins while regular potato offers more minerals.
  • The bold orange pigment in sweet potato comes from beta-carotene (pre-cursor to vitamin A). White potatoes get their white colour from starch.
  • Due to their sweetness and high nutritional value, sweet potatoes would be a better choice for a baby starting solids.

Final Thoughts

With its natural sweetness and stellar nutritional profile, sweet potato is an ideal first food to introduce at 6 months and beyond. Offer mashed, pureed, or in safe finger foods allowing your little one to explore in on their own.

Interested in learning more about other vegetables, read our master list with Best Vegetables for Your Baby at All Stages.

Bon Appetit!