When my first child was a young toddler, I didn’t know about the importance of serving a healthy and wholesome fat with vegetables in order to improve nutrient absorption. A healthy fat mashed in with baby food also greatly improves satisfaction from the meal and will result in the child feeling full much longer.
Consequently, when I made baby food for my son, I simply steamed the organic vegetables in a bit of filtered water and then pureed them without adding anything at all before serving.
The problem with this approach is that my son didn’t seem to get filled up very well. He was always hungry again within a very short time and ended up eating way too much – so much so that he developed a condition called carotenaemia which is an orange coloration of the skin from excessive beta carotene in the diet.
Doctors say that carotenaemia is a benign condition that resolves on its own and my son certainly didn’t seem to suffer any ill effects from it – he just looked like he spent a lot of time in the sun which was a very strange look for a young child! But it did seem to indicate very clearly to me that large amounts of organic baby food was less than ideal.
I noticed that my second son, who also was capable of eating large amounts of my homemade baby food, ate much less when I included these healthy fats in the veggie puree. He never came close to eating the massive amounts of veggies that my first son did at the same age and he stayed full between meals and was much more satisfied after eating too.
To my great relief, he never developed carotenaemia either!
Below is the recipe for my second son’s favorite baby food dish made with organic sweet potato and loads of healthy fats. Ensuring that homemade baby food always includes some healthy fats is very important so that baby can absorb all those wonderful nutrients and stay happy and full afterward until the next mealtime rolls around!
Sweet Potato Casserole
1-2 pounds sweet potato
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
2 cups raw coconut cream (where to source)
1/4 cup soured, raw cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (where to source)
Bake (do not microwave) sweet potato until tender and peel while hot. Place in a casserole dish and mash until smooth. Melt coconut cream and butter together over low heat on the stove.
Mix butter/coconut mixture, cream, egg yolks and optional spices with mashed sweet potato in the casserole dish. Whip until mixed well. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon on top if desired. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly on top.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist