Babies develop on their own timeline. The preparation suggestions below are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional, nutritionist or dietitian, or expert in pediatric feeding and eating. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
6 to 12 months old: Offer large wedges of cooked potato that baby can grab and munch, or mashed potato that baby can scoop with hands or eat from a pre-loaded spoon. Stir in breast milk, formula, your milk of choice, fresh ricotta cheese, or unsweetened whole milk yogurt to add nutrition to mashed potatoes and drizzle with a healthy oil or a sprinkle of groundnuts for an extra boost. Serve mashed potatoes as a base for hard-to-scoop foods like amaranth, lentils, quinoa, and rice to minimize the mess and make it easier for baby to eat these foods.
12 to 24 months old: Fork time! Offer small, bite-sized pieces of cooked potato (pre-loading the fork as needed), coaching how to spear the food with the fork. Don’t worry if the child is not interested in using a utensil and wants to continue eating with their hands. Many toddlers prefer to use their fingers to self-feed and toggle back and forth between using a utensil and their hands. This is age-appropriate and a healthy part of development. Try not to apply too much pressure consistent and accurate utensil use will come in due time probably between 18 and 24 months of age.
Yield: 2 cups (4-8 child-sized servings)
Time: 30 minutes
Age: 6 months+
- 1 large russet potato
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small onion
- 4 large stalks fresh kale or 1 cup frozen kale leaves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- ½ cup whole milk or plant-based milk of choice
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, fresh ricotta cheese, or unsweetened yogurt
This recipe contains a common allergen: dairy. Only serve to your child after this allergen has been safely introduced.
- Wash and peel the potato. Discard the skin. Chop the flesh into large chunks.
- Add the potato to a pot and cover with water by 1 inch.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook until the potato chunks are tender and a knife easily inserts into the thickest chunk, between 10 and 15 minutes. Drain.
- While the potato cooks, peel and mince the garlic and onion, and defrost and wash the kale. Pull the kale leaves from any large stalks. Finely chop the leaves. Discard or reserve the stalks for another use.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet set on medium heat. When it is done foaming, add the garlic and onion and stir to coat. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the kale to the skillet and stir to coat. Cook until the greens have wilted and brightened in color, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the milk into the skillet. When the liquid starts to simmer, add the drained potatoes and cheese or yogurt. Mash the mixture until mostly smooth. A little texture is okay as long as there are no large clumps of potato or kale.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Cool to room temperature before serving.
- Serve: Scoop some colcannon into a baby bowl. Exact serving size is variable. Let baby’s appetite determine how much is eaten. Place the bowl in front of baby and let baby self-feed by trying to scoop with hands. If baby needs help, pass a pre-loaded spoon in the air for baby to grab from you.
To Store: Colcannon keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.