Potatoes – the perfect ‘kid’ food

Dr Kyla Smith is an Australian paediatric dietitian specialising in managing and preventing fussy eating in kids. The mother of a toddler herself, she also has a PhD in childhood weight management. She is the Founder of ‘Baby Mealtimes’ and ‘Toddler Mealtimes’, two practical and comprehensive online programs that have taught thousands of parents worldwide how to feed their children well, and create stress-free and enjoyable family mealtimes so that their kids grow up to be healthy eaters.


What’s the most popular vegetable with young children?
No surprises, it’s the humble spud!

Our most recent Australian Health Survey showed that potato was the most commonly consumed vegetable for babies and young children. And there’s good reason for this. Not only are potatoes a great source of fibre, carbohydrate, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 (to name just a few), they’re also easy to eat and incredibly versatile.

For babies, you can prepare potatoes in so many ways. First foods can include potato puree, steamed potato wedges and then mashed potato with other flavours. You can mash potato with pumpkin, cheese, parsley or even apple. There are no rules when it comes to flavours for babies!

Toddlers naturally go through a particularly fussy phase at about 18 months, where they often start to reject most vegetables and colourful foods (particularly green foods!) This is a really normal part of development, but can be stressful for parents to watch. Plain, beige foods tend to be better accepted during this time, so potato is a perfect, nutritious option to offer your fussy toddler. You can grate it into fritters, roast and top with baked beans or even include mashed potato in savoury muffins.

This potato and vegetable hash recipe is a perfect option for a family meal that actually suits the WHOLE family. Eating the same food at the same time is one of the best ways to help your children learn to like a wide variety of food.

To serve
You can cut the hash into chunks for your young baby to eat as a finger food, toddlers can have a go with a fork and parents will enjoy the contrast of the creamy feta on top of the hash. I’d recommend leaving off the seeds and feta for babies under 12 months (for the choking risk and salt content respectively). Leftovers also reheat well, particularly for brekkie with a fried egg on top!

Involve your kids
Consider giving your children a chance to help with this recipe. Even a toddler can help with grating the veggies, mixing the ingredients and helping to flatten it into the tray. The more your children are involved in food preparation, the more they learn to like new food. It can take a while, but it is always beneficial.

I hope your whole family enjoys this delicious recipe, I know mine does!

More from Dr Kyla
Dr Kyla Smith is an Australian paediatric dietitian specialising in managing and preventing fussy eating in kids. The mother of a toddler herself, she also has a PhD in childhood weight management. She is the Founder of ‘Baby Mealtimes’ and ‘Toddler Mealtimes’, two practical and comprehensive online programs that have taught thousands of parents worldwide how to feed their children well, and create stress-free and enjoyable family mealtimes so that their kids grow up to be healthy eaters. Dr Kyla is passionate about developing balanced and healthy relationships with food, and fostering positive mealtime experiences for the whole family.
Baby Mealtimes: www.babymealtimes.com.au
Toddler Mealtimes: www.toddlermealtimes.com.au