Many have wondered, “When can I give my baby mashed potatoes?” It may seem an odd question at first or, if your family members are avid potato lovers, it may not seem odd at all. When it comes to solid foods for a baby, exercising caution is always key. There are crucial factors you should consider for when your child will be able to enjoy this meal, along with the other meals that might crop up on your family menu. So, grab a seat and get comfortable as we delve into the topic of mashed potatoes for baby.
Mashed Potatoes For Baby
When Can a Baby Have Mashed Potatoes?
When a baby can have mashed potatoes depends largely on his or her age.
Ideally, you’ll wait until your little one is at least 4-6 months old, and even then, introducing mashed potatoes will come with a few caveats.
By and large though, mashed potatoes are smooth, easy to digest and are a quick meal to pull together. So if your baby likes them and is old enough to enjoy them, then there are very few reasons not to do so.
Can a 2 Month Old Eat Mashed Potatoes?
At 2 months of age, a baby shouldn’t consume anything but breastmilk or formula. The reason? Young babies at two months will be unable to properly digest table foods, even if they are properly mashed. To give your baby mashed potatoes this early may upset his or her tummy and throw off the balance in his or her gut.
Moreover, a baby at this age will still have his or her tongue thrust reflex, meaning that they’ll likely spit something like mashed potatoes right back out of their mouth anyway.
Does that give you the green light to go ahead and have a baby try it? No.
Never try to introduce any sort of table food to babies under the age of 4 months… even if others encourage you to do so.
Can Babies Eat Mashed Potatoes at 3 Months?
At 3 months of age, babies start to light up and take in the world. He or she may begin to swipe at toys, smile, babble and much more. But despite this newfound glee in your little one, it is important to remember that he or she is still very young. As such, table foods are still not a good idea according to most doctors. While conflicting reports still exist, doctors agree that feeding a baby too young will contribute to the habit of taking in excess calories which may continue into their childhood leading to obesity and otherwise unhealthy weight gain.
Can I Feed My 4 Month Old Mashed Potatoes?
At four months old, your baby may be able to handle a side dish like mashed potatoes, but don’t be so eager to do so just yet.
Before you whip up a batch of that creamy mashed potatoes, check your baby for the following signs of readiness:
- Baby No Longer Has Tongue Thrust Reflex
- Your Baby Can Sit Up Without Support
- Child Grabs Food and Tries to Put It in His or Her Mouth
Reviewing the aforementioned list, you’ll probably notice that your baby has met few of these requirements to start eating mashed potatoes. Nevertheless, if you feel your baby does meet these requirements, it is important to get the advice of a health professional first before jumping that the chance to give your baby solids before it is time.
Can Babies Eat Mashed Potatoes at 5 Months?
If you’ve waited thus far, take heart…your baby is only a month away from the age that the World Health Organisation, otherwise known as WHO, says you should feed your baby solids. By waiting the additional month, you can save yourself some worry, and potentially, save your baby from an unnecessary tummy ache.
If you must feed your baby mashed potatoes at this age, go slowly. Use only plain potatoes without added salt and consider thinning the consistency with breastmilk, formula or water so that it will be easier for your little one to digest.
Want to feed your baby potatoes by mixing both breast milk and formula? Find out if it is safe to mix breastmilk and formula.
Can a 6 Month Old Have Mashed Potatoes?
Finally… the green light! At six months, your baby is finally ready to chow down on mashed potatoes!
But still, you need to exercise caution. Why? Because you are just beginning to introduce your baby to solids, make sure that whatever he or she eats is prepared properly and is free of harmful additives.
In order to do this, always prepare your baby’s meals fresh and at home. When you prepare the mashed potatoes, be sure to nix the salt and any dairy that your child isn’t accustomed to, like butter and cow’s milk. Use breast milk, formula or water instead.
Once you’ve grabbed your fresh ingredients, it is okay to add a little seasoning, like garlic or herb, but don’t overdo it. Also, be sure to puree the mashed potatoes completely, leaving no chokable lumps behind. Wash your babies hands, or slather on some baby-friendly hand sanitiser, and let your baby experience the joy of homemade mashed potatoes.
One additional tip for preparing mashed potatoes? Don’t put them in a blender.
Although blending softened fruits and veggies for baby is commonplace, it isn’t a good idea for potatoes. Mums that have already tried say that the results are a gluey unappetising mess… so it might be best to mash them thoroughly with a fork or use a hand-held mixer, instead.
Bear in mind, too, that, although potatoes are a vegetable and are safe for babies to consume at the age of 6 months, you may wish to limit the amount of potatoes, in any form, that you give to your baby. The nutrient content of russet potatoes can be low compared to its sweet potato counterpart. It isn’t the heftiest source of nutrition for littles out of the multitude of vegetables available.
Giving your baby excessive amounts of potatoes may lead to unhealthy weight gain, so be sure to offer this as a side dish or occasional meal, rather than everyday. And with the introduction of solids to your baby’s diet, be sure to thoroughly brush his or her teeth after. See what to do about bad breath in a child.
When Can I Give My Baby Mashed Potatoes: FAQs
Can Babies Eat Mashed Potatoes With Milk?
Yes and no.
Provided that your baby is the right age to consume solid foods, then yes, but as always, do so with caution.
We recommend using water breastmilk or formula to thin out the mashed potatoes, as using cow’s milk may upset baby’s still immature digestive system. If you must use cow’s milk and butter, do keep a close eye on your baby’s behaviour and his or her nappy to ensure that the introduction of cow’s milk hasn’t constituted diarrhea, constipation or general gassiness.
Can Babies Eat Mashed Potatoes and Gravy?
We don’t recommend it.
Depending on how the gravy was prepared, this likely isn’t something you’ll want to add to your baby’s diet, just yet. Homemade gravy may taste delicious but usually has flour and butter in the ingredients. These can constipate the baby or promote gassiness.
Moreover, the jarred or canned version of gravy is worse. It has chemicals and additives that can harm your baby’s health.
Our recommendation is to mix veggies into the potatoes to make them more flavourful, or add seasonings like garlic and herb to jazz them up a bit. You can even drizzle a little of the drippings leftover from meat over the potatoes, provided that the drippings are thoroughly cooked and do not contain any raw meat.
Can a Baby Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes?
Similar to jarred gravy, instant mashed potatoes have a whole host of forerign ingredients in them. Dodge these and go for the real stuff, instead.
Yes, Your (Older) Baby Can Have Mashed Potatoes
So, there you have it! Yes, your older baby can have mashed potatoes. Answering the question “When Can I Give My Baby Mashed Potatoes”, they can start having this and other more solid food at 6 months.
When it comes to preparing mashed potatoes for baby, be sure to wait until your baby is the right age, preferably 6 months according to the World Health Organisation, and be sure to prepare the potatoes fresh and at home.
As always, speak with your healthcare provider before giving your baby solids to ensure that your baby is indeed ready to take on new foods.
For more information on what to feed your baby, check out this article by the NHS on what to feed your 6 month old child.