An iron rich, deliciously silky and flavorful homemade baby puree! packed with nutritious spinach and sweet potato with a hint of sweet spice, this baby food has it all: ticking lots of nutritional boxes while helping baby learn gourmet flavors to boot!
So after a pretty long pause, we are back with another iron rich vegetarian baby food recipe! Woo!
So far, my baby food recipes have proven popular and I am so happy to hear how many babies across the globe have enjoyed them.
But let’s face it, babyhood is short, so there were only so many ideas I could test on Veggie Jr before she grew up and moved on.
Fast forward a couple years… along comes baby #2 and before I knew it, my mini blender and I picked up where we left off. After working our way through his big sister’s old tried and trusted recipes, the little man’s being treated to some new blends too!
I am excited to start sharing them with you all.
Starting here… this spiced spinach and sweet potato puree! This one ticks lots of boxes:
Iron is the first nutrient that babies start needing to get from solids rather than milk. Makes sense to prioritise iron with baby’s first meals, and for those who don’t eat meat, we need to additionally make sure we’re combining plant based iron (like spinach!) with sources of Vitamin C (sweet potato!) to make that iron absorbable.
When you’re making my baby food recipes, I want you to lick the spatula and feel good about what you’re serving your baby. This one is delicious thanks to the addition of gentle spices to the spinach.
I’ll finish whatever he isn’t having, thankuverymuch.
I am all for adding gentle spices and flavorings to baby food. It makes a lot of sense to introduce the tastes you enjoy cooking with from the start. Studies have shown it can help with a range of food acceptance later on too.
Though I think we need to be realistic and understand that it’s biologically normal for toddlers and children to be picky, and your choice of puree recipes probably won’t make or break their picky eating habits aged 2 and 1/2. It still feels great to feed your baby a meal that you can agree is delicious.
Super smooth & creamy
This puree works well for babies who are just starting out on solids, or who have shown themselves not to like too much texture. Blended sweet potato has a lovely silky texture and the spinach completely pulverizes into it.
You don’t need a fancy blender to get this one super smooth either. My mini food processor can’t turn everything into super smooth baby food, but it manages this recipe very well.
The Method: How to Make This Spinach & Sweet Potato Puree
So there’s a printable recipe card with full instructions below, but if you’re researching baby food recipes on the internet, there’s a distinct possibility you haven’t slept for 6 months or so. I will therefore show you the whole process in photos first so you can get a sense of what you’re getting yourself into.
You’ll bake some sweet potato. I find the quickest and easiest way to do this is to slice the sweet potato and cook it face down in a pan. Then you’ll scrape out the flesh.
(You could steam the sweet potato if you prefer! I just prefer the taste and texture of baked, and find steaming awkward.)
While you’re waiting on your sweet potatoes, you’ll sautee some spinach in garlic, ginger and nutmeg.
The nutmeg scent is a little strong at first, but don’t worry – it’s getting blended into lots of sweet potato which mellows it right out.
Now be sure to sneak a taste before serving to baby.
I do hope your baby agrees! And be sure to check our my other iron rich puree recipes if you’re in the market for more:
More Iron Rich Baby Foods
Spiced Spinach & Sweet Potato Baby Food Puree
- 1 medium, or 1/2 large sweet potato
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 100 g (3.5 oz) spinach, about 3 large handfuls, no need to be too precise
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Bake your sweet potato. Slice into quarters and place face down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Poke a few holes into them with a knife and bake at 400F / 200C for around 25 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, prepare your spinach. In a frying pan, lightly sautee garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the spinach and nutmeg and continue to sautee on a low heat until just wilted.
- When the sweet potato is ready, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and blend with the spinach until completely smooth.
- Add water or baby’s usual milk as desired if you would like to thin the puree out.
This magic tastes like fruit loops! I used 3 (boiled) sweet potatoes and kept everything else the same. Now, I need to double it because 1/2 is for me and the other is for baby, who also loves it!
Hi! is it ok to give babies garlic, ginger, and nutmeg?
And another question: Is it necessary to add some fat to the recipe?
This is our first baby and he’s eating like a champ and has had sweet potato and spinach puree and loved it. But I’m a bit apprehensive about feeding my 6 month old garlic and ginger 🙂
Hi Kat, it’s totally a personal choice. There’s no reason not to, from a health perspective, no health bodies advise against it and many encourage the use of herbs and spices in baby’s food to help them not get stuck on bland foods BUT for a lot of people it feels right to introduce things more gradually. I spent a few weeks introducing things plain to build confidence in my babies digestion before I moved them on to purees like this one. Some babies more readily accept food when it’s got some extra flavor. Mine were definitely in this category which is reflected in my recipes. As for the fat – not necessary, but again it’s not advised against using a little oil in cooking for babies, and it’s encouraged for babies who struggle with weight gain.
I found this article interesting and have referred to it in a few of my recipes – https://www.livescience.com/36487-babies-spicy-food-introducing-solids-spices.html
Other parents I know never added anything to their baby foods and had great eaters who liked vegetables in their natural form so that worked out perfectly for them.
So I wouldn’t want you to encourage you to do anything that makes you feel apprehensive. Follow baby’s cues and over the next few weeks or months you may start to feel like he could handle a little something extra in his food. You know him best! And if that happens, come back because I have a million ideas! But there is no rush at all.
Thank you, Christine! That is such a nice and thoughtful response.
I guess it’s mostly common belief in that case about the spicier stuff. I’m sure relatives said something about it 🙂 Thank you for pointing me to the article and the scientific background. I really appreciate that.
I’ll try out gradually adding some stuff. This recipe is really great and I’m sure it’ll make his spinach and sweet potato that he’s been eating for a month now even better. He definitely likes bland food like his zucchini-carrot puree less than he does the more flavorful combinations. He pretty much agrees with us adults, it seems.
Hi! Could you do ginger powder if you don’t have it fresh?
Yes I haven’t tried it but I’m sure that would be fine, you would want 1/4 tsp of ginger powder.
Thank you so much for this recipe!!! I have a 6 month foodie on my hands and needed some exciting puree recipes. She absolutely loved this and frankly so did I! It was delicious!
I am delighted to hear this – thank you so much for your feedback!
I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been a big hit. I’ve steamed the sweet potato due to time and replaced the nutmeg (didn’t have any) with a mixed spice that contains nutmeg instead. Great simple recipe