Monday, February 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Risotto (toddler recipe)

As my daughter Sophie is getting bigger I'm being constantly challenged to come up with new ways to challenge her pallet, introduce her to new flavors and provide her with a well balanced meal.  I've been making her sweet potato mash since she was 3 1/2 months old, so she's an old hand at polishing off large bowls of the sweet stuff.
In an effort to give her something more interesting both flavor wise and texturally I made her Risotto Style Sweet Potatoes.
 This recipe would be a great way to introduce flavors like onion and garlic to your toddler.  The earlier you introduce these common flavors to your child the easier it will be to transition them to table food.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into baby bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil or butter
2-3 cups of water or chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 small pinch chili powder or cayenne (optional)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

In a small sauce pot warm your stock or water.  Hold over low heat.
In a medium sauce pot saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft.  Add in the sweet potatoes and a ladle of liquid.  Stir with a a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.  Once the liquid is absorbed add another ladle or two of liquid and repeat until sweet potatoes are cooked through.  Add in your nutmeg, chili and cheese and stir thoroughly.
Portion into single serving containers and your toddler is ready to enjoy!

If you have a younger toddler whose jaw muscles aren't as developed you can puree half of this mixture with some extra liquid (try milk or formula) and fold it into the sweet potatoes pieces.  This makes for an excellent transition food.
You could substitute half the liquid for milk (which I usually do) it adds great vitamins and flavor.

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