Sweet potato is one of the best first foods for baby! It’s stocked full of nutrients, super tasty and easy to cook in a variety of ways. I’ve already included it in my baby food puree recipes, but with my third baby I decided to try some baby led weaning. The first foods I gave him are almost exactly as I did with purees. Started with avocado slices, then banana pieces followed by sweet potato and apples. Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges is the first recipe I tailored specifically for him. It’s super easy and can be modified to a puree or served to your whole family.
What is Baby Led Weaning?
If you already know what baby led weaning is and are just interested in the recipe, feel free to skip this section! I want to give a little context to the basics of blw (baby led weaning) and my stance on feeding babies. Most importantly, feed your baby however you like. 🙂 There is no absolute right way to go about this and like most things, can depend on your baby and your family’s needs.
Baby led weaning is essentially skipping purees all together and going straight to finger foods. “Weaning” is a little misleading, should be baby self feeding but the term was coined in the UK where it started. Babies have to be sitting up so essentially at least 6 months, able to grasp objects and have outgrown tongue thrust of pushing food out of their mouth.
There are some moms that are 100% baby led weaning and never looked twice at a puree. That is obviously not my stance as I started with purees for both my other boys, and I’ve also done some purees with Rhys (my third) as well. Originally I was going to skip purees this time, why not experiment since I had a whole other baby! 🙂 But he was not sitting up at 6 months, or 7 and did not have a general interest in feeding himself. So in addition to one meal that was a finger food he could self feed, I also did a couple meals of purees. Now that he’s 8 months and sitting up perfectly, he has a better handle on self feeding.
How do I Know if I Should try BLW?
One of the biggest advocates for blw is that you don’t have to cook extra food, your baby gets exactly what you are already making and it’s easier for the whole family. Since I prep my baby food a month at a time, it’s never been a huge chore for me. Just one afternoon and I’m done for the next 30 days. Easy peasy, as my 5 year old loves to say.
The other arguments for blw were enough for me to give it a try. First off, feeding babies purees originated when it was recommended that babies start getting food at 4 months. This age is too young for most babies to be sitting up and be ready for table food. That recommendation is slowly starting to go away, as more and more doctors and dietitians are saying there is no benefit for starting that early. If you think about it, what were babies eating before the invention of blenders and mashed up food? They ate what their family ate.
Additionally, advocates for blw explain that babies can self pace and learn essential skills of feeding themselves. I’ve always started this by 10 months, but with blw you can start earlier. The food is cut into bigger pieces since your baby has not developed their pincer grasp at this point. And since they are just getting used to eating food, biting off a big piece is safer than putting a small piece in their mouth that they can immediately swallow.
Tips to Follow if using BLW
- Baby is sitting up at a 90 degree angle. This position is important for them to chew, swallow and digest the food properly. So if you were advised to start feeding food to your baby at 4 months by their pediatrician, do not start with blw.
- Always monitor your baby while they eat. Do not leave them unattended while trying new foods.
- Don’t put the food in their mouth for them. If they are not eating, you can cut off a small piece and pre load it on a spoon.
Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges
One of the best things about this recipe, and sweet potatoes in general. They can be modified very easily! You can mash them into a puree for your baby if they are not interested in the wedges. Or you can sprinkle a little salt and feed them to your older children and spouse. A variety of spices work well that helps introduce flavor variety, which is a great thing to do for babies! Just nothing spicy and no honey- after that, options are endless.
Sweet Potato Wedge Recipe
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Step 2: Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Cut those halves again. Then again until you have 1 inch wedges.
Step 3: You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet. Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat.
Other spice options: Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon, cumin and cinnamon or an italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary). *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for baby as much as possible.
The cinnamon and nutmeg remind me of Fall and Thanksgiving, they always come out delicious. But feel free to play around with your favorite spice or herb combination.
Step 4: Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don’t overcrowd.
Step 5: Roast for 25 minutes.
Step 6: Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Storage: Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges can be eaten right away, but also keep well for a later date. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
Rhys is a fan. 🙂
Enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts or modifications below!
Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges
- Baking Sheet and Oven
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Cut those halves again. Then again until you have 1 inch wedges.
- You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet. Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat. *Read Notes for other options.
- Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don't overcrowd.
- Roast for 25 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper
- Smoked paprika and cinnamon
- Cumin and cinnamon
- Italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary).
- *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for babies as much as possible.
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