So vegetable or starchy? The potato is a tuber, which makes it a starchy food, just like pasta, rice and... corn! Having arrived in France in the 18th century, the potato is appreciated by all French people with an average consumption of 30kg per year, (to which you have to add 25kg in the form of processed products!). What are the nutritional characteristics of the potato? From what age can we give some to baby? What is the recommended amount of starchy foods in baby's meals? What are the recipes and varieties to offer baby?
Nutritional value of the potato
Eating potatoes is above all interesting for its energy supply thanks to its starch content, i.e. carbohydrates (on average 17g per 100g). It is also a source of fibre (approximately 2g per 100g). As a reminder, fibre helps to prevent constipation and regulate satiety.
The potato is also a source of vitamins B6 and B9, which are necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system and the reduction of fatigue. This tuber is also a source of potassium (on average 400mg per 100g). This mineral contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscular functions and the maintenance of good blood pressure.
Introduction of the potato
At the very beginning of diversification, only vegetables are sufficient as long as the infant milk intake remains unchanged, it is the discovery of the taste of vegetables. When baby naturally increases his quantities of purees, it is necessary to introduce a little starchy foods, fat and then protein to compensate for all the nutrients in milk (maternal or infant). It is at this time that the potato very often comes into play, i.e. at around 5/6 months of age. You can follow an easy to remember principle: 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 starchy foods! The potato will then serve as a binder in your preparations, making them more tasty and gourmet.
Valuable preparation guidelines...
- On average, a potato weighs between 80 and 320g!
- And to help you in the kitchen, if it is the size of an egg, it will be 50 to 60g.
- There are 150 varieties of potatoes:
- For mashed potatoes: bintje, monalisa, marabel...
- For the gratins: charlotte, ratte, amandine...
- As you know, potatoes are only eaten cooked. It can be steamed, boiled, baked. For the youngest ones, it will be necessary to limit cooking with fats such as pan-frying and frying.
- To store potatoes, choose a dry, dark place and avoid direct contact with climacteric fruits and vegetables such as bananas, apples or pears.
Potato-based recipe ideas
When diversifying the diet, basic but so good recipes can be given to baby: this is the case of mashed carrots , squash , fennel, green beans or white leek with potato, quite simply!
Here are some more recipe ideas:
- Cream of watercress soup with goat's cheese and potatoes
- Mashed potatoes with nutmeg or gratin dauphinois
- Shepherd's pie, oven-roasted potatoes with Provençal herbs
- For the older ones, you can offer :
- Spinach, potato, mozzarella cheesesticks
- Omelettes with potatoes and diced ham
- And with the holidays approaching, here's a gourmet recipe: monkfish cheek and celery vitelotte potato puree !!!
As you can see, the potato can be prepared in all forms and offered at any age. All you have to do is go ahead and treat baby! Don't hesitate to show us your preparations and share your recipes on social networks.
Dietitian - Pediatric Nutritionist
- CIQUAL. https://ciqual.anses.fr/ (November 2020)
- INTERFEL. https://www.lesfruitsetlegumesfrais.com/fruits-legumes/pommes-de-terre/pomme-de-terre/carte-identite (November 2020)
- APRIFEL. https://www.aprifel.com/fr/fiche-nutritionnelle/pomme-de-terre/ (November 2020)