Sweet Potatoes are delicious! And they’re also full of healthy carbs, vitamins, and antioxidants. So, why won’t my kids just eat them!?! I sneak sweet potatoes into so many dishes- into muffins, into gnocchi, into stir-fry. But what I really want is for my kids to just eat sweet potatoes as…sweet potatoes.
I once heard that we have to eat a food several times before we actually find it appealing, which makes sense and I’ve even found some research on the web that supports this claim. So, this sweet potato snack has become my attempt to get a few bites of sweet potato into my kids’ mouths (repeatedly) so that they can come to appreciate the sweet potato as the rich, sweet, and yummy vegetable that it is.
While this method might be a little labor intensive, it’s also incredibly simple, fool-proof, and has a high success rate of getting strong-willed toddlers and preschoolers to eat their sweet potatoes. I, for one, would rather spend 15 minutes making a healthy food my children will eat than 5 minutes making something that gets thrown on the floor. Best of all, I can prep ahead of time and then simply throw these in the oven later as a snack or side dish.
To get started, you’ll need to find a few long and skinny sweet potatoes. I bought the two sweet potatoes featured in this post at the Boise Coop, but I’m sure you could find similar sweet potatoes at your local health-food store or farmers’ market. I like to use both a purple variety and an orange variety as the illusion of choice is huge when convincing young eaters to try new foods. And, I’m also a fan of both types of sweet potato, so this really is a treat for me as well.
In addition to sweet potatoes, you’ll also need to find a set of goldfish cookie cutters. I purchased the ones pictured above from Amazon for about $4.00. I usually use the medium-sized cookie cutter, but I’ll also use the other sizes if a sweet potato is especially thin or wide.
After cutting out the fishies with the cookie cutters, I toss them in a bowl along with the sweet potato scraps. I then pour in one tablespoon of avocado oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and I use my hands to distribute the oil and salt evenly.
These will keep in the fridge for several days, or you can throw them in the oven immediately. I recommend baking for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping them over, and then baking for another 3-4 minutes. Let them cool before surprising your young eaters with this fun, delicious, and healthy snack. The scraps are also delicious, which I bake up for the adults in the house or sneak into other dishes we’re making.
My strategy when introducing new foods is to casually eat them in front of my kids until they beg me to make them a plate. You can also get creative in your presentation of these little fishies. Here’s my son’s afternoon snack before hitting up the park. He’s a huge fan of broccoli and blueberries, but couldn’t resist eating up these sweet potato fishies as well. I hope your little eaters enjoy this snack just as much as we do!
Sweet Potato Fishies
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
Use goldfish cookie cutter to cut out fish shapes.
Place all fish shapes and scraps in bowl. Add avocado oil and salt, using hands to distribute evenly.
Bake on prepared baking sheet for 10 minutes, flip over, and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!
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