These *NEW AND IMPROVED* Sweet Potato Fritters with lentils and kale are a fantastic high iron first food for baby led weaning, especially for vegetarian and vegan babies.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that we love to share baby led weaning recipes on the feed! When I started solids with my first born, I wanted to introduce some of the major allergens right out of the gate via the baby-led weaning approach.
This meant that instead of relying on infant rice cereal for baby’s first sources of iron, I had to get a bit more creative in the kitchen. This was the inspiration for these sweet potato fritters with lentils which have since become an absolute favourite with my son even now that he’s a full blown toddler!
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
My Big Boy E would be the first to tell you that these sweet potato fritters are the bomb dot com and not to sleep on them! Besides the fact that they kinda taste like a yummy crispy falafel, here are a few more reasons why these sweet potato fritters are great for baby led weaning.
- Packed with with antioxidants and fibre
- Good for regularity
- Easy for baby to eat
- vegan source of iron and protein
- Requires less than 10 ingredients
Red Lentils – we use split red lentil to make these sweet potato fritters because they are super easy to work with and prep! All we do is soak them over night to soften and thats it, no pre-cooking required.
Oats – I will typically use rolled oats for this recipe, but you might find it easier to use quick cooking oats as they are smaller in size which may help to soak up the moisture from the sweet potato fritters slightly better. Otherwise, you can use rolled oats and grind them up a bit in the food processor.
Kale – I love to add a healthy dose of greens anywhere I can when i’m feeding my little one so I threw in some kale to make these sweet potato fritters. But you can of course add any green of your choice. Spinach would work great here as well!
Sweet Potato – Rather than pre-cooking the sweet potato here, we grate it and allow it to cook at the end when panfrying. I would also be mindful to press any excess liquid out from the grated sweet potato with paper towel before combining with the rest of the ingredients as the extra moisture might make it too wet to bind together.
Flax Egg – To make this recipe vegan we use a flax egg as a binder by combining 1 tablespoon of flax seed with 2 tablespoons of almond milk and letting it thicken in the fridge for 15 mins. But if you don’t need to make these vegan, you can use an egg instead.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1-2: To a food processor, pulse the lentils, garlic, kale, sweet potato, cumin, paprika, and flax egg.
Step 3: Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oats.
Step 4: Shape into long finger like “sticks” and place on a lined baking sheet.
Step 5-6: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet, and pan-fry on all sides until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.
These sweet potato fritters are great for batch cooking which is why I like to make a big batch of them for the week! I keep half in the fridge for the week, and freeze the other half. Then every few days, I pull out a few little fritters and let them thaw in the fridge before dinner. Honestly, I’ve eaten a lot of these fritters myself since I like to model the eating in front of my son while he’s having his meal. If I enjoy them even without salt, I know they’re pretty good.
Also, let’s talk about shape. These fritters are easy for baby to pick up and hold because of their finger shape. They’re also soft enough inside that they can chewed on even without teeth.
I also really wanted to introduce kale or other dark nutritious greens, and since it’s hard for babies to eat salad, pureeing them into these baby fritters seemed like a perfect idea.
You definitely can! Although they wont turn out as crispy and golden as they do when pan fried. I’d suggest baking at 375F for 30-35 mins and flipping them halfway.
You can store these fritters in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.
If you don’t need to make these vegan then yes definitely! I also like to use flax seed here because it boosts the omega 3 fats.
To get 1 cup of soaked lentils you’ll need 1/2 cup dry soaked in about 1 cup of water (the lentils will expand significantly).
I’d suggest mixing in more oats (1 tbsp at a time) to help soak up some of the moisture and make it easier to work with and shape. Otherwise, you can also try sprinkling in a bit of flour or bread crumbs as well.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you loved these sweet potato fritters for baby led weaning, then you are going to LOVE these recipes for your little one.
- Salmon Sweet Potato Fritters
- Sweet Potato Apple Muffins (High Iron)
- Mini Broccoli and Egg Muffins
- Hummus Baby Meatballs
Now loves, let me know, what are some of your baby’s favourite homemade snacks that are high in iron?
Sweet Potato Fritters with Lentils & Kale (Vegan BLW Recipe)
- To a food processor, add the lentils, garlic, kale, sweet potato, cumin, paprika, and flax egg. Pulse for 3-5 minutes until fully combined, scrapping down the sides if needed.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the oats. If you find the mixture is too wet to shape, add more oats 1 tbsp at a time.
- Shape into long finger like "sticks" and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or baking sheet.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet, and pan-fry on all sides until golden brown. Fritters might be delicate when flipping so use a spatula and carefully flip them.
- Serve at room temperature.
Leave me a comment below with your thoughts on these sweet potato fritters!
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.