It’s been a long time since I posted any baby food recipes, mostly because my little man Grayson (now 13 months and walking), finally reached his “picky stage”, refusing to eat anything presented on a spoon. This leaves out most baby food.
Instead, I have to make up creative baby finger foods, like these sweet potato bites. They are naturally sweet and delicious and the soft potato is easy for babies and toddlers to eat. This was one of the first finger foods I gave Grayson and they are still one of his favorites – on most days.
Every now and then, I’ll make a batch with a touch of maple syrup. They are a little sticky, but make a delicious, healthy treat that are better than cookies. I usually have to hold myself back from eating them all, so make a few extra just in case someone gets hungry.
Preheat oven to 425° F/ 220° C.
Chop sweet potato into small chunks or strips, about ¼ - 1/2 inch thick. They will shrink a little during cooking, so keep that in mind.
Line a baking sheet with foil and add the sweet potato. Sprinkle with olive oil and maple syrup (if using). Toss the sweet potato until well coated and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and barely brown on the edges, turning once during cooking. Be careful not to let them burn (if using maple syrup, they burn more easily).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I’ve been making baby food for my little one since he started to eat solids at six months. I started with a book of recipes, but soon left the book on the shelf to create my own. Now that he’s 8 months old, I sometimes just puree what we are having for dinner. He loves variety and I can see the excitement on his face when he tries new foods. He’s already had every type of seasonal organic fruit and veggie I could get my hands on, plus yogurt, cheese, beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb, octopus and fish. That’s quite a good start for my little foodie-in-training!
This recipe is a basic one I keep on hand, changing the ingredients according to what I find at the market. Something I like to do is roast my veggies instead of boil them. The flavor is much more intensified, because the water is removed from the veggies as they roast. Quinoa is a great way to add protein and it cooks faster than other grains.I bump up the protein and flavor by cooking it in chicken broth.
Roast the sweet potato and apple whole without oil in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. You should see juice coming out of the potato and the apple skin blistering. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a pan, combine the quinoa, thinly sliced carrots and chicken broth. Add any seasonings like ginger and cinnamon here. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes. You will know the quinoa is done when little sprouts pop out from the seeds and the liquid is absorbed. Carrots should be fork tender. Let cool.
Peel the skin from the sweet potato and apple. It should come right off in your hand. Slice the apple from the core. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I use a Cuisinart mini prep for this job). Blend until smooth, adding additional liquid until you get the consistency you like.