At around 6 months old, most people start the process of introducing solids to their babies. For a long time, some people have been puréeing the food (or buying purées) while others have been doing baby-led weaning – letting the baby feed himself or herself softened but more intact solid foods. I’ve chosen to do a little bit of both because that’s what works for me. You do what works for you! And I personally like to know what is going into my child’s food, so I have a lot of fun preparing whatever he eats myself, whether it is a purée or a more solid choice. Making your own baby food is not only cost effective but also can be fun if you enjoy spending a little time in the kitchen. Even if you are a terrible cook, baby food might be a great starting place for you.
The first solid food we tried with my son was a sweet potato purée. I liked the idea of making the food myself rather than purchasing something store bought, and now that I know what I’m doing, it takes very little time and brain power. I’ve now done it two different ways, and I think both worked perfectly. I made a large batch of purée using my Instant Pot and a smaller batch in the microwave.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Purée
- Wash your sweet potatoes with a vegetable brush, giving them a good scrub.
- Place the metal trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot and pour about a cup of water in the bottom.
- Chuck in however many sweet potatoes you want up to the max fill line. Don’t worry about peeling them – it comes off later.
- Close the lid and the vent.
- Set it to pressure cook on high for anywhere from 8-15 minutes. I did 12 minutes and they came out perfect.
- Let them cook. Then release the valve however you want, quick release or slow, open the lid and let them cool down enough that you can handle them.
- Peel them and feed the peels to your dog. He/she will thank you.
- Either hand mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or fork OR do what I did and put them in a food processor like a Ninja blender with a little bit of the water from the Instant Pot. Any nutrients lost in the cooking process will be in that water. Some people would rather throw in some breast milk or formula here – do whatever works for you.
- Turn it on for a bit until it looks like a good consistency. Voila!
I bought some cute little 4 oz. Ball Mason jars with plastic lids from Walmart and used them to freeze the purée. I simply poured the purée into the jars leaving a little bit of room at the top for expansion. Then I put the lids on and let them cool off in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer.
Microwave Sweet Potato Purée
- Wash your sweet potatoes with a vegetable brush, giving them a good scrub. Poke a few holes in them with a fork. Now is a good time to get rid of any aggression you have pent up inside of you.
- Chuck 1 or 2 in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid with a little water at the bottom.
- Cook on high for 5 minutes.
- Turn the potatoes over, then cook on high for 5-10 more minutes.
- Let them cool off before peeling them. Again, your dog will think the peels are a tasty treat, so why not get him/her involved in your kitchen clean up?
- Mash them with some of the water from the microwaving process and then get ready to serve up some tasty food to your baby – as long as it has cooled off enough of course. You can freeze this option just as well as the Instant Pot version.
If your little one isn’t enjoying sweet potatoes as much as you’d hoped, feel free to throw a pinch of cinnamon in to mix it up. Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!