Sweet Potato Fries | Maeve’s First Feast

easy recipe for sweet potato fries

When I think back to the family dinners we shared growing up, I feel a bit queasy. I know I should feel some sort of sentimental longing, but I don’t. I feel none. Our home was crowded. There were five children. I was the youngest and lived in fear of my more rambunctious siblings.  It was chaos nearly all the time and the dinner table was no exception. There was the time someone threw a fork and it landed in an oil painting on the wall. There was another time when one of my siblings learned to launch peas off the end of his spoon and managed to catapult several of them into our drinking glasses. And, of course, there were the innumerable occasions when I sat alone at the table for hours refusing to eat anything and waiting until just the right moment to squish the inedibles into my secret hiding place under the table. Those were the days I most wished for a family dog.

At some point, my mother, fed up with the fighting and disrest, purchased a swivel stand for the television. The television stood between the living room and the dining room. In theory, the new stand was supposed to enable a smoother transition from one room and into the next. With no break in programming and a blaring laugh track, how could one not eat in peace, right?

It didn’t work. I suppose you can’t blame my mother for trying to maintain some level of peacefulness at whatever cultural cost. We fought over what to watch. I always wanted to watch Three’s Company or The Brady Bunch. My brother always wanted to watch Good Times or a ballgame. I always lost the battle. He was little, but scrappy and fierce.

It’s a wonder I am so full of excitement to create my own family dinners, traditions, and memories. However, I am. I’m quite excited. I don’t plan on having five children. I figure our lives can’t possibly be as crazy as that. So, really, I have no foundation or basis of comparison for an ordinary family dinner. I don’t feel that puts me at any disadvantage. On the contrary, I’m planning on forging this new path with gusto and with lots of love. Of course, there will be plenty of wonderful homemade food too.

With that said, we are starting the tradition this week with a big announcement. My little red fox is eating solid foods. I didn’t expect to start so soon. She’s only just over four months old. However, she is a curious little fox who is constantly eyeing my food. She’s particularly interested when I eat while we’re breastfeeding. She used to ignore the crumbs raining down upon her and becoming entangled in her red locks. This is no longer true. When she sees me eating, she immediately stops what she is doing and stares intently at the food.  This behavior, coupled with her low weight percentage, convinced K and I the time was ripe for solid foods.

So I thought about it and decided that we were all going to eat together. That means Maeve, whenever possible, will eat what we eat and when we eat. That doesn’t mean, of course, I’m going to feed her a hot curry or a greasy steak. No, Maeve’s not ready for all of that. Instead, we’ll take a bit of this vegetable or a bit of this fruit and feed it to her during our meals.

recipe for sweet potato baby food

This week, it worked out perfectly. I had a serious craving for sweet potato fries. There is just something about the sweet and starchy flavor of a sweet potato that really hits the spot sometimes. And, really, these sweet potato fries will satisfy your craving for ordinary fries as well. They’re better. I mean it. I love fries, but I love you more and have no intention of misleading you. These oven baked fries certainly aren’t as crispy as their more caloric counterparts, but you won’t miss the crunch. You’ll be too busy enjoying the salty, sweet, and lime flavors. Absolutely delicious. Did I mention they are highly addictive? You have fair warning.

recipe for sweet potato fries

I’m also including the recipe for Maeve’s meal of roasted sweet potato baby food. The verdict? Scrumptious. She ate with a zeal that suggests a genetic disposition for gluttony. She even learned a new grunting sound, which I interpret as a demand for MORE. I respond to the grunts with spoonful after spoonful. It’s pretty much the best milestone for my budding little foodie. I am still beaming.

easy recipe for sweet potato fries

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, about 1 and 1/3 lb., peeled and cut into 1/4 inch wedges

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

While the oven is preheating, boil a medium sized pot of salted water.  When the water is boiling, add the sweet potato wedges. Boil until they are just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Strain and remove from the water. Place into a large mixing bowl.

Mix the sweet potatoes along with the other ingredients until evenly coated.

Line a baking pan with foil. Pour the contents of the bowl onto the baking pan and spread into an even layer. Bake the sweet potatoes until golden brown on all sides. 

Turn the potatoes often for even baking.


This should take 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with the dip of your choice. I admit I love fries with mayonaise!

Roasted Sweet Potato Baby Food

2 small sweet potatoes, skins in tact, about 10 ounces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking pan with foil.

Pierce the sweet potatoes repeatedly with a fork on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 40-60 minutes, turning once.  Bake until the potatoes are very tender. The skins should come away easily.

Remove skins and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Ooh sweet potatoes. We didn’t start on solid til she’s 5.5 months because she hadn’t doubled her weight yet (she’s tiny) but now it’s been a month with solid food, I realized she prefers pureed roasted veggies rather than the boiled veggies. Ps: Maeve is adorbs!

    • redmenace
      May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

      Roasted veggies are the best. I prefer them too!

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Dexy LOVED sweet potatoes when she was a baby (can’t get her to eat a blessed thing anymore – especially not vegetables, but I hear that’s normal for a 4 year old). I’m hoping she’ll get back into the swing of digging veggies; roasted, mashed, julianned, sauteed, raw, etc. Meanwhile, I can live vicariously through your darling girl’s new found love of all things solid. :-)

    P.S. I’ll assume the turquoise/aqua bowl in the top photo is a Bauer. I love Bauer pottery and have been acquiring them for years. It all started w/ my mom, who had a funky orange Bauer bowl (which I still have btw). I’ll love them forever! You have great style AND cooking ability chica. Thanks for sharing it with us, your readers.

    • redmenace
      May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

      Cheryl, I hope Dexy channels her baby love of good food. I bet she’ll come around again really soon!

      And, yes, that’s a Bauer pot. Great minds. I love Bauer pottery. I really love the flower pots the best :)

  • Jodie Pomeroy
    May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Congrats Maeve on your first step to becoming a big girl! Thanks for sharing the baby food sweet potatoe recipe Robin. Keep the baby recipes coming please!!

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    I never ate a sweet potato until I ate a sweet potato fry. In fact, it’s still the only way I’ve eaten sweet potatoes! So yummy!

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    I can’t believe it, she is eating solids! Only Chef’s and foodies would say what I’m about to say! That is just awesome soooo awesome! I can’t wait for that day eventually when I have children and they start eating solids for the first time ;) Love fries…especially with a touch of mayo…and sweet potatoes are my fave! xoxo

    • redmenace
      May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

      This opens up a world of possibilities. I’m beyond excited about it!

      Hope you’re doing well, Mrs. xoxoxox

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    We LOVE sweet potatoe fries! Such a perfect first food for a budding little foodie like Maeve!

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Hahaha, this is very funny. This reminded me my son Carlos. A baby sitter fed him at night while I was finishing my classes and then he used to join us at the table while my husband, daughter (4 years at that time) and myself had dinner. He pointed our food all the time, telling us: “ah, ta….”, so I decided that it was about time he started to have dinner with us. The first day he did it, he was about 7 months, and he clapped his hands with joy, he was so happy!. Oh god, time flies….it´s not fair.

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Btw. Your girl is really quick. Four months is pretty early.

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh my GOD that is a cute baby. And the bumbo! I love the bumbo. We have many many pictures of our kids in that thing. I adore that shot with her holding the whole potato.

  • May 5, 2011 - | Permalink

    A healthy first feast! Without a doubt, she will become a gourmet…

    Those pictures of Maeve are awesome!



  • May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    I’d definitely want this for my first meal – she is too cute!

  • May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    I can’t think of a better food for a first feast! I love sweet potatoes–especially in the fry form.

  • nome plume
    May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    A gathering of foodies!! How adorable! Stroke, stroke, stroke! You guys are adding so much wonderfulness to the world.


  • May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    I like the idea of lime on the sweet potato fries. Go Maeve! No processed chicken nuggets for this little one, she’s too evolved for such things ;)

  • May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    Roasted sweet potatoes was the first food I fed my little guy – it’s still a favorite even after venturing into yummy things like bananas, pears, and applesauce. Going to try blueberries this afternoon.

    Curious to see how you introduce summer squash. We tried that this week. He gagged!

    • redmenace
      May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

      Hi Lisa,
      Isn’t it exciting?! Let me know what he thinks of the blueberries. I simply cannot wait for berry season around here!

  • May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh. . .sweet pots!!! How fun! I can’t wait to see the pics of your little love in the near future. . .my boys ate so many sweet pots and carrots when they were babies that it turned their little noses orange!!!! Funny part is that I didn’t notice it then, I only notice it now when I look back at old photos! Orange features are the signs of healthy babies!!

    Be Blessed!

  • Amy H
    May 6, 2011 - | Permalink

    It’s great that you have a little foodie already. We waited until 6 months to start Zel on solids since he was so sensitive to food in my diet. I was only able to start eating nuts, wheat, and eggs during the past few weeks, and I still can’t have dairy (I spent 2 hours with a gassy baby in the middle of the night learning that). We started giving him sweet potato a few days ago and he was not too excited about it. I’m going to try avocado next, maybe he’ll like fruits better. He’s been going crazy whenever we eat, although his excitement has subsided a bit since I’ve started feeding him. He did seem to eat a little better when I was also eating and when I let him hold the spoon. He loves to drink water from his sippy cup though. It’s super cute to watch too.

  • May 7, 2011 - | Permalink

    Congrats that Maeve is eating solids now! She looks quite happy about it too =). Both recipes look fantastic.

  • May 7, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh…. feed her whole foods and she will grow! Sweet potatoes are great, and so are regular potatoes and yams for that matter. I started feeding my baby at 4 months and she has doubled in length since birth, I kid you not!

  • May 8, 2011 - | Permalink

    Wishing you a happy Mother’s Day!!!

  • May 9, 2011 - | Permalink

    YUM! i can’t wait to try these. I’ve only had them out but I’m eager to make them at home. Thank you!

  • May 9, 2011 - | Permalink

    These look delish! My family has always loved making homemade taters. It looks like Maeve really enjoyed them. What a cutie!

  • May 10, 2011 - | Permalink

    Firstly, Maeve is adorable! :) I remember how excited I was as well when my little girl started on solids…So amazing to watch those first bites and see her discover new tastes and flavors. I’m still enjoying it!

    I love sweet potatoes too, and roasting them (and other veg). Roasting really brings out the flavors and inherent sweetness in veg which I love :)

  • May 11, 2011 - | Permalink

    Wow you are raising a gourmet, it seems :) I love sweet potatoes, so I can’t blame her for wanting more! Good luck for the future food adventures :)
    And good gracious! 5 kids at a dinner table! I would not be able to handle that!

  • May 11, 2011 - | Permalink

    love sweet potatoes! and maeve looks sooo cute eating in that chair. :-P

  • May 16, 2011 - | Permalink

    Wow sounds like you had a hectic childhood! I am not usually a fan of sweet potatoes, perhaps I should try the like this though.

  • June 8, 2011 - | Permalink

    I was so excited when my boy, now nearly 5, was eagerly eating everything as an infant. He ate Everything, and all of it was real food I made. How he turned into a picky eater, I have no idea. I’m hoping he’s coming full circle, since yesterday he did polish off a bowl of chilled asparagus soup. I felt the same elation: he likes it!

  • June 10, 2011 - | Permalink

    awww i love the series of pics of her. too cute.

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