Sweet Potato for Baby: Health Benefits & Recipes

Sweet Potato for Baby – Health Benefits and Recipes

Medically Reviewed By
Archana Shah (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

The food that a child eats has a huge impact on his dietary habits. Therefore, the parents are responsible for ensuring their children get the nutrients required for their growth. However, sometimes, it can be difficult to feed babies certain foods as they are generally fussy eaters. To deal with this issue, picking the right ingredients and cooking them to make the food delicious becomes very important. If you are stuck in a similar situation, you can choose sweet potato for your baby. They are an excellent food choice, especially for babies introduced to solid foods.

Is Sweet Potato Good for Babies?

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, not to mention delicious. They make for the perfect first food for your baby. They can be mashed or pureed upon cooking properly, and the lovely creamy texture makes it easy for babies to swallow and digest. Its mildly sweet taste also makes it a favourite food among babies.

When Can You Start Feeding Sweet Potato to Your Baby?

You can start feeding sweet potatoes to your baby when he turns six months old. You can include sweet potatoes as one of the first solid foods when weaning him out. Initially, it can be fed as a puree as it is easier for the baby to digest. After two months or so, when the baby turns eight, he/she can eat sweet potatoes in the mashed or lumpy form. To increase their nutritional value, sweet potatoes can also be combined with other foods, like rice or oats. 

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato

Nutrient Amount per 100 grams
Proteins 1.6 grams
Omega 6 .01 grams
Fibre 3 grams
Carbohydrates 20.1 grams
Calories 86
Calcium 38 mg
Iron 0.7 mg
Potassium 4.75 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Sodium 36 mg
Monounsaturated Fat 0 gm
Trans Fat 0 gm
Sugar 6.5 gm


1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/vegetable-of-the-month-sweet-potatoes 
2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168482/nutrients 

Sweet Potato – Benefits for Babies

Sweet potatoes have a considerable amount of nutrients that make it a healthy food for babies. They are high in water content (about 77%) and low in fats. Thus, sweet potatoes are perfect for your baby.

Here are some health benefits your baby will get after this food becomes a part of his/her regular diet:

1. Prevents and Resolves Constipation

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fibre. One hundred grams of this spud provides about 3 grams of fibre, which can help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. It also promotes a healthy gut for your baby.

2. Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A

Sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A once it enters our system. Vitamin A improves eyesight; thus, this food must be included in every baby’s diet plan to improve or maintain the health of their eyes.

3. Immunity Booster

Sweet potatoes have a good quantity of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which aid in strengthening immunity. These vitamins will help your baby fight the common cold and infections that infants are prone to catching. It is also a great food for healthy and glowing skin.

4. Good Calories

With just 0.1 grams of fat content and 86 calories per 100 gram, sweet potatoes provide nothing but good calories. This makes it a healthy food option for babies, especially if they are underweight. The high-calorie levels in sweet potatoes aid in weight gain and physical development in children.

5. Prevents Anaemia and Strengthens Bones

Sweet potatoes are loaded with calcium and iron, both of which are vital for growth in babies. Iron helps prevent anaemia, while calcium strengthens the bones. 

Another question first-time parents might have is whether babies can have allergies to sweet potato. Let’s address it in the next section.

Can Sweet Potatoes Cause Allergies in Babies?

Generally, sweet potatoes do not cause any allergic reaction in babies. There may, however, be some side effects that are usually mild and controllable. This is why sweet potatoes are highly recommended to wean your baby onto solid foods. Having said that, some babies may truly be allergic to sweet potatoes, so look out for signs of vomiting, rashes, and diarrhoea. The most common allergic reaction is bloating and stomach gas due to indigestion. Babies, sometimes, spit the feed out also. In some rare cases, babies may also develop a rash around the anus. Sometimes, ingesting dirt left on sweet potatoes can also lead to side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhoea. 

A baby girl eating mashed sweet potatoes

To ensure your baby gets the best out of sweet potatoes, you must select and store them appropriately.

How to Select and Store Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes last a while before cooking, but only if you choose the appropriate ones. Here are a few useful tips for selecting and storing sweet potatoes.

1. Selecting Sweet Potatoes

It is always best to buy vegetables that have been grown organically. You don’t have to worry about pesticides, then. The sweet potatoes should be medium-sized and have firm and smooth skin. If you cannot find medium-sized sweet potatoes, go for the small ones because the large ones usually have a high starch content. Avoid picking the ones with soft or brown spots, holes or liquid oozing out of them, as they may be contaminated or rotten. Remember, the deeper the colour of the potato, the richer it is in antioxidants. 

2. Storing Sweet Potatoes

It is unnecessary to store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator; they can be stored at room temperature in a pantry or a dry area in the kitchen. If you store sweet potatoes at room temperature, ensure you use them within a week. If you store them in a cool, dark place, like a cellar or a dark and cool pantry, they can last up to two weeks. If the sweet potatoes have been lying in the pantry for over two weeks, check if they are firm enough and show no signs of being rotten. It is better not to use them if they get mushy, have an uneven tone, develop brown spots and smell weird. 

Now that you know what care to take while selecting and storing sweet potatoes let’s look at how you can cook them for your baby. We have also provided some delicious recipes you can make for your little one.

How Do You Cut Sweet Potatoes for Babies?

Introducing solid foods to babies is an important milestone in their development. Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious option to include in their diet. Here’s how you can cut sweet potatoes for babies at different stages:

1. For 6 Months Old

At this age, babies usually start with purees or mashed foods. To prepare sweet potatoes, peel and chop them into small, even-sized pieces. Steam or boil the sweet potato until it becomes soft and tender. Mash it with a fork or puree it using a blender or food processor to achieve a smooth consistency suitable for your baby’s stage.

2. For 9 Months Old

As babies grow older, they can handle more textured foods. For 9-month-olds, you can introduce small soft chunks or sticks of sweet potatoes. Start by cutting the sweet potatoes into thin slices or small sticks, ensuring they are soft and easily mashable with the gums. You can steam or bake the sweet potatoes until they are tender yet firm enough to hold their shape.

3. For 12-24 Months Old

Toddlers in this age range can handle slightly larger and firmer pieces of sweet potatoes. Cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes or wedges. Steam, bake, or roast until cooked, but retain some texture. This will allow your toddler to practice chewing and develop oral motor skills.

Always supervise your baby during mealtime and cook the sweet potatoes thoroughly to avoid choking hazards. Also, consult your paediatrician to determine the appropriate timing and progression of introducing solid foods to your baby.

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes for Babies?

One of the most important things to do when cooking for your baby is to wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly before peeling or cutting them. The process is not much different for sweet potatoes too. Make sure you wash them thoroughly to remove every bit of dirt on it and peel the skin to expose its soft-textured flesh. You can use one of the cooking techniques given below to prepare a sweet potato dish for your baby.

  • Baking: Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Prick the sweet potatoes and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes, cool, and peel the skin. 
  • Boiling: You can peel sweet potatoes, cut them, and then boil till they are soft. 
  • Pressure Cook: Sweet potatoes can be peeled, chopped and pressure cooked till soft (1 to 2 whistles). 
  • Steamed: Peel and cut the potatoes and steam them using a steamer until they are soft. 
  • Microwave: Cut the potatoes into small pieces and poke holes after peeling. Then, put them in the microwave at a ‘high’ setting for about 10 minutes. 
  • Roasting: Roasting sweet potatoes is a simple and flavourful option. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (180°C for fan-assisted). Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into small cubes or wedges. Toss them in a small amount of olive or coconut oil, ensuring they are evenly coated. 

Baby Food Combinations With Sweet Potatoes You Can Try

Sweet potatoes are nutritious and versatile, making them a great base ingredient for creating delicious baby food combinations. Here are some tasty and nutritious combinations you can try with sweet potatoes:

1. Sweet Potato and Apple

Combine steamed or baked sweet potatoes with cooked and mashed apples for a delightful blend of flavours. You can adjust the texture by pureeing or mashing the mixture to suit your baby’s preference.

2. Sweet Potato and Carrot

Boil or steam sweet potatoes and carrots until soft, then mash or puree them together. This combination offers vibrant orange colour and a mild, sweet taste that babies often enjoy.

3. Sweet Potato and Pear

Cook sweet potatoes until tender and combine them with cooked and mashed pears. The natural sweetness of both ingredients makes for a tasty and nutrient-packed combination.

4. Sweet Potato and Lentils

Cook sweet potatoes and red lentils separately until soft to introduce protein and fibre. Then, mix them together, adjusting the consistency as needed. This combination provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and essential nutrients.

5. Sweet Potato and Cinnamon

For a simple yet delicious option, puree cooked sweet potatoes and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon for added flavor. The warmth of cinnamon complements the sweetness of sweet potatoes, creating a delightful taste for your little one.

Quick Sweet Potato Recipes for Babies

Now that we have seen the different techniques used for cooking sweet potatoes, we can look at a few simple recipes to make your baby’s food taste even better:

1. Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree

When mixed with carrots, this dish can help improve eyesight because of the boost of Vitamin A. This recipe is apt for babies who have begun eating foods in combination (7 months and above).

Sweet potato and carrot puree

What You Will Need:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 cup of water/ vegetable stock
  • 1 medium-sized carrot

How to Cook:

  1. Grate the carrots and cut the sweet potatoes into small pieces.
  2. Cook them together in water till they turn soft. Let it cool.
  3. Blend the mixture into a soft creamy puree.

2. Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potato mash is great for babies who are introduced to solid foods. This mash is smooth and creamy, which makes it extremely easy for babies to eat. You may leave some lumps if the baby is old enough to gum them up before swallowing.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 cup of water/ vegetable stock

How to Cook:

  1. Cook the potatoes either by baking or steaming them.
  2. Mash the potatoes while they are still warm.
  3. Add half a cup of water or vegetable stock and whisk or mix well.
  4. Add the remaining water or vegetable stock to make a smooth mash your baby can swallow.

3. Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup

This dish has a nutritious broth loaded with protein and helps develop your baby’s body. Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup is perfect for babies introduced to non-vegetarian foods.

What You Will Need:

  • 100 grams of minced chicken
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cooked sweet potato

How to Cook:

  1. Cook the chicken in a pot with some water.
  2. Put the cooked sweet potatoes into a blender and add the chicken and broth.
  3. Blend until you get a smooth mixture.
  4. Add some boiled water to adjust the consistency or dilute the soup.

4. Sweet Potato and Milk Rice

This recipe is rich in dietary fibre, which helps prevent constipation. It also makes for a healthy dessert option for toddlers without using any sugar.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk/breastmilk

How to Cook:

  1. Boil the diced sweet potatoes and rice in a saucepan with some water.
  2. When they are half cooked, add the milk and stir it.
  3. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once it is cooked well, let it cool before feeding your baby.

5. Sweet Potato and Plantain Soup

Plantain is another healthy food that helps in building the immune system. This soup recipe with plantain and sweet potatoes will help bring about healthy development in your little one.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup of chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup of milk/breastmilk

How to Cook:

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are golden and tender.
  2. Add the plantain and sauté until they turn brown.
  3. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for at least 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked.
  5. Let the mixture cool down.
  6. Remove the bay leaf from the mixture.
  7. Blend the sweet potatoes with the plantain and the chicken stock till you get a smooth mixture.
  8. Transfer it to the saucepan again and heat it on the gas stove.
  9. Add the milk and mix well.
  10. Simmer for ten minutes.
  11. Serve when it cools down.

6. Sweet Potatoes with Peas and Cauliflower

This is another great recipe for babies over 7 months old. It has all the goodness of the three vegetables, sweet potatoes, peas and cauliflower.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup florets of cauliflower
  • 1/4th cup of green peas
  • 3 to 5 cups of water

How to Cook:

  1. Boil the vegetables in water. Add more water if required to cook them.
  2. Let the mixture cool a bit.
  3. Blend it to form a smooth paste.

7. Sweet Potato Bites

These are tiny bite-sized sweet potato treats perfect for little hands.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed), 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • a pinch of paprika

How to Cook: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C for fan-assisted). 
  2. Toss sweet potato cubes with olive oil and paprika. 
  3. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy.
  4.  Allow to cool before serving.

8. Sweet Potato Pancakes

This recipe is a nutritious twist on classic pancakes made with sweet potatoes.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and grated), 
  • 1 egg, 
  • 2 tablespoons flour, 
  • a pinch of cinnamon.

How to Cook: 

  1. Mix grated sweet potato, egg, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. 
  2. Heat a non-stick pan and drop spoonfuls of batter onto the pan. 
  3. Cook until golden brown on both sides. 
  4. Serve as finger food or with a dollop of yoghurt.

9. Creamy Sweet Potato Porridge

This is a creamy delight for your toddler: 

What You Will Need:

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of breast milk or formula (substitute with cow’s milk for babies over 1 year old)
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

How to Cook: 

  1. Steam the diced sweet potato until tender.
  2. Add breast milk or formula to a blender. Transfer the sweet potato to a blender.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until warmed.
  5. Add a pinch of cinnamon if desired.
  6. Allow the porridge to cool before serving your baby.

10. Roasted Sweet Potato Fingers

This is the most tasty delight for your little one.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into finger-sized sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika (optional)
  • Pinch of dried thyme (optional)

How to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) or 400°F.
  2. Toss the sweet potato sticks with olive oil, paprika (if using), dried thyme (if using), and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  3. Arrange the sweet potato sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly golden, turning them halfway through.
  5. Allow the roasted sweet potato fingers to cool before serving them as a portion of tasty finger food for your baby.

11 . Sweet Potato and Apple Mash

Easiest to make and yummiest to eat.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Water for boiling

How to Cook:

  1. Place the sweet potato cubes and chopped apple in a saucepan.
  2. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
  4. Drain the water and transfer the cooked sweet potato and apple to a bowl.
  5. Mash the mixture with a fork or blend it for a smoother texture.
  6. Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the mash and stir to incorporate.
  7. Allow the mash to cool before serving it as a delightful and nutritious meal for your baby.

The sweet potato dishes mentioned above can be frozen too. If you are a working mother, you can prepare these dishes in advance and heat them just before feeding your child. However, always try to feed your baby freshly made dishes as you will provide your little angel with maximum nutrients.

Tips for Preparing Sweet Potatoes for Babies With Baby-Led Weaning

When feeding sweet potatoes to babies, follow these tips to make it a good meal: 

  1. Choose firm, blemish-free sweet potatoes for baby-led weaning.
  2. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove dirt and residue.
  3. Bake or steam sweet potatoes to retain nutrients and flavours.
  4. Cut sweet potatoes into finger-like strips or small cubes for easy self-feeding.


1. Can I Feed My Baby Sweet Potatoes Every Day?

Yes, you can feed your baby sweet potato daily as part of a balanced diet. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and can be a great source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. They are also relatively easy to digest, making them suitable food for babies. However, it’s important to introduce new foods gradually and watch for any signs of allergic reactions or digestive issues. 

2. Are Sweet Potatoes a Choking Hazard for Babies?

Sweet potatoes are generally not considered a choking hazard for babies when cooked until soft and mashed into a smooth consistency, but if you provide them with bigger chunks, then they can pose a choking threat. However, always closely supervise your baby while they eat and avoid giving large chunks or sweet potatoes to younger infants just starting solids.

Sweet potatoes are an amazing first food to give your child. It is a natural multivitamin and antioxidant that provides many health benefits to your baby. There are many baby food recipes that you can make with sweet potatoes, like sweet potato and apple puree, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, etc. So, please don’t shy away from cooking it for your little one. It is tasty and healthy too!


1. Introducing Solid Foods to Infants; Colorado State University; https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/introducing-solid-foods-to-infants-9-358/

2. Vegetable of the month: Sweet potatoes; Harvard Health Publishing; https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/vegetable-of-the-month-sweet-potatoes; November 2018

3. Sweet potato, raw, unprepared (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program); U.S Department Of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168482/nutrients; January 2019

4. Amagloh. FC, Yada. B, Tumuhimbise. GA, et al.; The Potential of Sweetpotato as a Functional Food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Its Implications for Health: A Review; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156662/; May 2021

5. Gordon. B; Nutrition Tips for Relieving Constipation; Academy of nutrition and dietetics; https://www.eatright.org/health/health-conditions/digestive-and-gastrointestinal/nutrition-tips-for-relieving-constipation; April 2021

6. Sweet Potato Puree; Eat fresh; https://eatfresh.org/recipe/sweet-potato-puree-baby-food

7. Liu. M, Li. X, Zhou. S, et al.; Dietary fiber isolated from sweet potato residues promotes a healthy gut microbiome profile; PubMed Central; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31909777/; January 2020

Also Read: Benefits of Beetroot for Babies

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