Monday, January 17, 2011

Song, Song of the South: Sweet potatoes! *Stage 1*

Ah, sweet potatoes.  A great alternative to the mashed potatoes every grandmother & great-grandmother tries to sneak across the Thanksgiving table into our babies mouths *sigh*  Not as starchy as its white-fleshed cousin, the sweet potato is full of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, & fiber, just to name a few benefits!  Of course no baby cares about nutritional value, so there's an added bonus to sweet potatoes: they have enough natural sweetness that babies go nuts for it :)  No need to add sugar, so please resist the urge or you'll create a monster!   Believe me, you don't want your baby to get used to sugar.

It's cheap, it's considered a stage 1 food so you can feed it to a child as young as 4 months old*, & there are several ways to cook it.  Personally I steam mine, but don't think you have to run out & purchase a steamer!  I put mine in an aluminum foil packet with some water & throw it in the oven.  See?  Cheap, cheap, cheap!

Here goes for steaming:
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • water (for foil packet)
Peel & cut up sweet potato into small chunks, steam in a steamer or wrap up in aluminum foil with water & bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Once done cooking & slightly cooled, put in mini processor with ¼  cup of water & pulse until smooth.  If it’s not watery enough, add remaining water & process until desired consistency.  Makes 1 to 1-½ cups of pureed sweet potatoes.

One sweet potato, pierced; wrap in aluminum foil like a baked potato, bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until flesh is easily pierced with a butter knife.  Skin will easily peel off, but either wait for the potato to cool or use gloves to peel the skin off!  Once peeled, put in processor & follow same directions as above.

*Can be fed to children who meet the developmental requirements to eat baby food such as: being a "supported sitter," not pushing the food out with his/her tongue immediately after feeding, can hold his/her head up.  Always talk to your pediatrician before introducing baby food into your child's diet.

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