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Babies grow up so fast, and before you know it, they are ready to eat solid foods. As a mother, you will be sceptical about introducing different foods to your baby. Have you had some experienced mothers tell you that you can feed potatoes to your baby when you are weaning him out? If yes, you are probably wondering how much and in what form you can feed your baby this vegetable. Well, you will find all the answers in this article. Read on to know all about potatoes, it’s benefits, when to feed your baby and some simple recipes that you can prepare in no time.
When to Introduce Potatoes in a Baby’s Diet
Potatoes are available in almost all parts of the world. They are rich in carbohydrates and provide ample energy to your growing baby. It is one of the safest vegetables that may be introduced as an early food to your baby. However, it is low in nutrition and high in calories, which may make it a little difficult to digest if your baby is not moving much. Therefore, ideally, potatoes should be introduced to babies at around 7 to 10 months of age, when they are more active.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of potatoes.
Nutritional Value of Potatoes
Potatoes are power-packed with energy. One medium-sized potato would provide over 100 calories of energy. Refer the table below to know the other nutrients in a medium-sized potato:
The table above mentioned the approximate values present in one medium-sized potato, and these may vary as per the size of the potato.
So, how exactly are potatoes beneficial for your baby? Let’s find out.
Health Benefits of Potatoes for Babies
Potatoes are a great energy food for your baby. Here are some more benefits that your baby may derive from potatoes:
1. Good for Your Baby’s Gastrointestinal Health
Potatoes can help develop your baby’s gastrointestinal health. Potatoes assist in the growth of friendly bacteria. The substantial amounts of alkaline sugars in potatoes keep the acid levels down in your baby’s body and thus keep acidity at bay.
2. Lowers the Chance of Infections
Some varieties of potatoes, such as those with red flesh, are loaded with anthocyanins, a biochemical which has antiviral properties. They help in fighting various infections like influenza. Therefore, adding potatoes to a baby’s diet can keep the risks of infections at bay.
3. Good for the Health of Liver
Potatoes are good for the health of your baby’s liver and can protect it from various kinds of chemical damages.
4. Heals Insect Bites or Bug Bites
Gently rubbing a slice of potato on an insect bite or bug bite can reduce the inflammation and can help reduce the symptoms of dermatitis in babies. However, some babies may not respond to this remedy and might develop an allergy or a side-effect. When you are sure that you can use this remedy, be very gentle when rubbing the potato slice.
5. Good for Your Baby’s Skin
Potatoes have starch, vitamin C, and various enzymes that can protect and nourish your baby’s skin.
6. Good for Your Baby’s Bones
The magnesium and calcium in potatoes can help strengthen your baby’s bones during his growth years. When your baby has been introduced to combination foods, potatoes can be mixed with other ingredients to increase the nutritional value of your baby’s meals.
After reading the benefits of potatoes for babies, we are sure you are eager to feed your little one this energy food. But, there are certain things you must bear in mind before you pick that spoonful of mashed goodness.
Things to Remember While Feeding Potatoes to an Infant
Potatoes are healthy for babies. However, you need to note the following points before feeding a potato to your baby:
1. Clean and Peel the Potatoes Thoroughly
Potatoes are grown underground, and therefore you must get rid of all the dirt and pesticides before giving it to your baby. Make sure you peel the skin and wash it thoroughly before cooking it properly.
2. Start Small
Babies like the taste of potatoes, but that does not mean that you feed them in excess. Potatoes are rich in starch; hence too much of it will be difficult for your little one to digest. Therefore, begin by giving a few spoons of thoroughly cooked mashed potato only.
3. Give Steamed or Baked Potatoes
Include steamed or baked potatoes in your baby’s diet. This is because when you boil the potatoes, most of its nutrients are lost. You may steam and mash the potatoes and give it your baby.
Video: How to Make Potato Puree for Babies?
Here’s how you can make potato puree with steamed potatoes:
Potato Puree Recipe for Your Baby
The best way to give potatoes to babies is in the pureed form as it can be gummed when babies cannot chew their food. Here’s how you can make some potato puree.
- 2-3 potatoes
- Take the potatoes, wash them thoroughly, and peel off the skin.
- Cut the potatoes into small chunks.
- Take a steamer basket and place the chunks on it. Take water in a saucepan (1/4th of the saucepan).
- Keep the steamer basket in the saucepan and cover it with a lid.
- Steam the potatoes; keep checking the water. If required, add some more water.
- When the potatoes are steamed to perfection (soft and mashable), take them off from the flame and puree them in the mixer to your desired consistency. Add the leftover water if required.
- Your baby’s potato puree is ready.
If your baby has grown past the age of eating plain pureed potatoes, and you are introducing more foods into his diet, you may try some of the recipes given below also.
Other Potato Recipes for Infants
Here are some variations of potato recipes you could try for your baby. If you like, you can add other vegetables along with the potatoes to introduce different taste, textures and also increase the nutritional value of the meal.
1. Broccoli and Potato Puree
This is a mashed potato recipe with a twist, and it is definitely a nutritious option for your baby. Here’s how you can make it.
- 1 medium-sized potato
- 1/4th cup broccoli florets
- Take the potatoes, wash them, peel and chop them in small pieces.
- Take the broccoli florets and wash them thoroughly.
- In a steamer, steam the broccoli florets and the potato.
- After the vegetables are cooked, mash them into a smooth puree.
- You can add some water if required to make a smooth paste.
- Cool the puree down to room temperature before feeding your baby.
2. Potato and Squash Puree
This recipe is ideal baby food for babies who are older than 6 months.
- 1 acorn or butternut squash
- 3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes
- Take the squash and potatoes, clean them, and cut into small pieces.
- Put them in a steamer and steam them till they are cooked.
- Alternately, you can bake the squash and potatoes in an oven.
- Once done, puree them to form a smooth paste, and feed your baby.
3. Potato and Beetroot Puree
This recipe is filled with the goodness of beetroot and potatoes. It is easy to make and is another healthy way you can feed potatoes to your baby.
- One medium-sized potato
- One medium-sized beetroot
- Thoroughly wash and peel the potato and the beetroot.
- Chop them up into small pieces.
- Pressure cook the chopped vegetables (2 to 3 whistles).
- Mash the vegetables in a mixer/blender.
- Add water if required to make a smooth paste.
- Allow the puree to cool completely before feeding your baby.
Potatoes are generally one of the first foods of babies. You may include this amazing vegetable in your baby’s diet as soon as you start weaning him on to solid foods (after he turns six months old). If you wish to include potatoes in your baby’s diet, it is suggested that you consult a doctor first. And, when you do, feed the vegetable baby in mashed or pureed form. However, bear in mind that you do not feed him in excess as it could lead to medical and weight issues.
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