Last Updated on January 28, 2023
Mashed potatoes seem like a wonderful option when you are looking for pureed and soft foods to feed your baby. However, there are a few considerations for you to keep in mind, depending on your baby’s age and developmental readiness.
Overall, mashed potatoes can be given to babies when they are four to six months old. However, it is important to ensure that the mashed potatoes are appropriately prepared without cow’s milk, gravy, cheese, or skin until the baby is ready.
Let’s dive into more detail about when babies can begin to eat mashed potatoes and how to make them safe and healthy.
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Can Babies Eat Mashed Potatoes?
When babies are developmentally ready, mashed potatoes are a soft and nutritious option with a naturally pureed texture. Once babies reach four to six months, they can begin to transition from only formula or breastmilk to solid foods, including purees (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
Once the baby reaches 10-12 months of age, you can feed thicker and more chewable amounts of food.
Additionally, mashed potatoes are a starchy vegetable rich in energy, vitamins, and minerals that are important for the baby’s growth and development.
Check out this chart for more information about when and how to offer mashed potatoes to your baby at different ages:
|Age in months||Can they eat mashed potatoes? (Source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)|
|6||Yes – pureed completely|
|7||Yes – pureed thicker|
|8||Yes – pureed thicker|
|9||Yes – can have skin in very small pieces|
|10||Yes – can have small chewable pieces|
|11||Yes – can have small chewable pieces|
|12||Yes – can have small chewable pieces|
Mashed Potatoes with Milk Mixed In
Cow’s milk is commonly added to mashed potatoes to make them creamier. As a drink, cow’s milk should not be introduced to a baby until 12 months of age. However, beginning at six months, the baby can have cow’s milk in small amounts mixed into foods (source: National Health Service [NHS]).
Mashed Potatoes with the Skin Left on the Potatoes
Potato skins can be difficult for young babies to chew and swallow. However, around 10-12 months of age, a baby can have soft and chewable chunks of food (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
The skin in the mashed potatoes can also boost the nutrient composition of the mashed potatoes, including increased fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Mashed Potatoes with a Topping Like Gravy or Cheese
Mashed potatoes with gravy or cheese are high in saturated fat and sodium. While not necessarily unsafe for babies, it is best to avoid feeding babies mashed potatoes that are topped with gravy or cheese because of the fat and salt.
Additionally, too much cheese topping could be a choking risk if it is in large amounts that are difficult to chew and break down.
Mashed Potatoes with Egg, Butter, or Other Ingredients Mixed In
Eggs are a common allergen that many parents worry about feeding their children. If the mashed potatoes contain eggs, including egg yolks, introduce them separately from any other foods that contain common allergens.
Many believe that common allergens, such as eggs, should be avoided. However, some research suggests they should actually be introduced early and repeatedly to reduce the risk of allergies (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
Some people like to add butter to their mashed potatoes. However, when you are feeding a baby, butter adds saturated fat and should be avoided.
If the mashed potatoes contain any other ingredients, make sure they are blended into a puree if the baby is younger than nine months. Chewable chunks are safe for older babies (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).
Can Babies Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes?
While instant mashed potatoes have some nutritional value, they often contain a significant amount of sodium. Therefore, it is best to serve homemade mashed potatoes to your baby to ensure that you can control exactly how much sodium is added.
Will Mashed Potatoes Give my Baby Gas or Constipation?
There is no evidence that mashed potatoes can cause a baby to be gassy or constipated. On the contrary, mashed potatoes can have beneficial amounts of fiber to help reduce constipation, especially if you include the skin.
I hope you found this article helpful as a guide to deciding when and how to feed your baby mashed potatoes. Overall, they are a great nutritious option that can be customized with many different ingredients, including egg yolks, blended or cut-up vegetables, and more.
|This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.|