How to Make Sweet Potato Puree for Babies

Beta carotene-rich sweet potatoes are a nutritious addition to baby's diet. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to learn how to make sweet potato puree.

sweet potatoes on patterned background
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Getty Images (1)

Wholesome sweet potatoes are a classic baby favorite. They're sweeter in flavor than white potatoes yet still mild, and they take on a fluffy texture when mixed with breast milk or formula.

Sweet potatoes are also a superfood thanks to their incredible nutrition profile. They are high in fiber, which helps to keep your baby feeling full, and they are packed with vitamins A, B5, B6, C, E, beta carotene, potassium, and antioxidants. Not to mention, it's a fantastic source of fiber, protein, and water, which can help with hydration.

One marvelous aspect of sweet potatoes is that they freeze exceptionally well. You can easily freeze single-serve portions for your baby's future meals by whipping up a big batch of sweet potato puree. The sweet potato will retain its nutritional profile, texture, and flavor after thawing.

Here's how to make sweet potato puree.

Step 1: Select & Buy the Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but the peak growing season is fall. Look for sweet potatoes (or yams) that are small or medium in size and that are free of cracks or soft spots. One medium sweet potato yields about five ounces of puree, but if you're unsure, use the grocery store scales to weigh them.

Sweet potatoes are great for storage because, in the right conditions, they can last a long time before you cook them. If you don't plan to make your puree immediately, that's OK! Just make sure you store the sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place. They need to stay away from sunlight to prevent them from turning green.

Step 2: Wash and Prep the Sweet Potato

Rinse the sweet potato in cold water. Scrub the skin with a small vegetable brush to remove dirt. Rinse again, then peel with a veggie peeler. You don't want to peel dirty skins because the peeling can push harmful bacteria and germs into the flesh as you peel them.

Dice into small, 1/2 to 1-inch-sized chunks, making the step easier and faster.

Step 3: Cook the Sweet Potato

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat (until bubbles are soft) and cook sweet potato chunks until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain sweet potatoes and rinse them with cold water for three minutes to stop the cooking process.

The longer you cook the sweet potatoes after they reach peak softness, the more nutrients will cook out of them. To keep the vitamins and minerals, rinse your cooked sweet potatoes in cold water to stop the cooking process. Touch the chunks and make sure they don't feel warm to the touch.

Step 4: Puree the Sweet Potato

Puree cooked sweet potato in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. You can also add breast milk or formula to add more protein and nutrients.

If you plan to freeze your sweet potato puree, make sure to skip the addition of breast milk or formula as it may not freeze well. Instead, freeze the cooked sweet potato puree in ice cube trays and when you thaw them, add the milk before serving to your baby.

Once your baby is ready for finger foods, typically around 10 months, you can serve them sweet potato that's been cooked and cut into tiny pieces.

Step 5: Awesome Additions to Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet potatoes are delicious alone or mixed with a variety of other veggies, fruits, meats, and spices. Make sure your baby is old enough to eat mixed foods before you try these.

Try mixing sweet potato puree with:

  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Raisins
  • Applesauce (with or without yogurt)
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt and butternut squash
  • Peaches
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Beef
  • Chicken

Step 6: Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Sweet Potato Puree

After cooking and pureeing the sweet potatoes, put them in a glass or BPA-free plastic container and store them in the fridge for up to three days. When ready to serve your baby, you can add breast milk or formula to thin the sweet potatoes out while adding some protein and other nutrients.

If you plan to freeze your sweet potatoes, scrape the cooled, pureed mash into ice cube trays, creating perfect portions and freeze. Once frozen, you can pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag for up to three months.

To thaw, simply take the number of cubes you want, put them in a covered bowl, and let them thaw slowly in the fridge overnight for the next day or at room temperature. Once thawed, you can add breast milk, formula, or other additions like fruit, cinnamon, or rice.

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