Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Babies

4 min read

Sweet potatoes are one of the best early foods for babies. They are affordable, tasty, rich in nutrients, and easy to eat too! They can be enjoyed by babies and thus, they can be added to their diet. The article will provide all details regarding the health benefits, selection, proper storage, and risks of giving sweet potatoes to babies.

sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes as Good Early Food

Sweet potatoes are good early food for babies as they can be mashed and are very soft when fully cooked too. They can be introduced as early as 6 months of age when the babies start their solid food journey.

Nutritionists and pediatricians consider sweet potato as baby food due to its various nutritional benefits and ease of eating for those tiny hands and mouths.

Health Benefits

Sweet potato has huge health benefits for babies. The advantages of sweet potato being added to your baby’s diet are as follows:

  • It is rich in potassium and magnesium that can improve the health of the heart of a baby.
  • Sweet potato vitamins list include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and B6 which are essential for the growth & development of babies.
  • These have complex carbs as compared to regular carbs which release sugar into the blood leading to more energy & better digestion.
  • They are rich in beta-carotene which helps in baby growth.
  • If you are concerned about that weight gain, this can be a great addition to your baby’s regular diet.
  • For babies on the baby-led weaning journey, mashed sweet potatoes are easy to scoop up and eat on their own without any help.

baby eating sweet potato

Nutritional Value

Here is the sweet potato nutritional value when it is cooked and without the skin:

  • Sweet potatoes are rich in protein and dietary fiber without the skin.
  • They are rich in Vitamin C and B6.
  • It also contains other vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin, and folate.
  • They are a rich source of carbohydrates including fiber, starch, and glucose.
  • They also contain high amounts of zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Sweet potatoes contain a high level of potassium.

Selection and Storage

It is important to ensure that you select the right quality of sweet potatoes to ensure the best health for your baby:

  • Choose sweet potatoes that are not bruised and have less fiber as it makes it difficult to puree them into a smooth mixture.
  • Ensure the sweet potatoes are tapered and covered on both ends.
  • These do not have many pesticides used on them like other vegetables. Hence you can opt for an organic variety if it is a concern to you.
  • Sweet potatoes have a long shelf life and are easy to store. Store them in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Dust off the dirt and wash them just before using it.

sweet potato Immersed in water

Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Infants

When it comes to sweet potato for baby, it has to be cooked well. Here are a few tips to cook them well:

  • Scrub away the dirt on the sweet potatoes.
  • Immerse them in a bowl of water and let them cook in a pressure cooker or even an electric cooker.
  • You can even steam them in a steamer.
  • Once cooked, let it cool down a little before you can peel off the skin.
  • Remove all the fiber and hard bits once you peel them.
  • For little older babies who are comfortable chewing, you can grill them in an oven and add some seasoning to make it more flavorful or even do a simple roasted sweet potatoes.
  • If you are blending the boiled sweet potatoes in a blender to make a sweet potato puree, be careful to not over blend them as it will make it sticky and difficult for a baby to eat.
  • If you are making sweet potato rice, you can cook the potatoes along with the rice in the same cooker or vessel too, for added flavor.

Babies can be Allergic to Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is one of the most common choices by parents and doctors because allergies to this vegetable are very rare. However, a baby can develop allergies to any food. Therefore, it is always safe to keep a close watch when you start a new food for your baby.

Food Combinations with Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are easy to cook and very versatile. They can be added to a variety of foods to make interesting and tasty combos. Since they are sweet, they add a natural sweetness to any food they are paired with. If your baby prefers sweet-tasting foods, this can be a great option instead of sugar or other substitutes.

Food combination uses of sweet potato include:

  • Rice
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Vegetable purees
  • Dips
  • Plain boiled vegetable mash

sweet potato puree

Recipes

Some easy to make delicious recipes include:

Sweet Potato Puree

If your baby is small and is just starting on their solids journey, mashed sweet potatoes can be a great beginner food.

Sweet Potato Rice

If your baby is comfortable chewing and digesting rice, you can add some sweet potatoes while cooking the rice to make some flavorful dishes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

If your baby is more than a year old and is comfortable holding and eating pieces of vegetables, this dish can be a great choice.

When cooked well and consumed regularly, sweet potato benefits are many. However, one cannot forget other foods and overload the baby with sweet potatoes alone. Ensure your baby has a well-balanced diet that includes other food varieties too.

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