When Can I Give My Baby Mashed Potatoes: Baby Feeding Safety

By Lynn •  Updated: 01/16/22 •  9 min read
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Although feeding your baby solids can be an exciting experience, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing what you can and cannot feed your baby can be difficult to navigate, especially because babies still have developing digestive systems. In this post, we are going to focus on an American family-favorite – mashed potatoes. Is it healthy? Should I feed it to my baby? When can I give my baby mashed potatoes? We will answer all of that and more. So, let’s jump in!

Mashed Potatoes For Baby

When can a baby have mashed potatoes?

Generally speaking, your baby can have mashed potatoes at around 6 months of age. But before you start spooning up heaps of creamy potato goodness, let’s take a second to talk about what kind of mashed potatoes we are talking about. 

When babies are as young as 6 months old, it is imperative that most, if not all, of their foods are homemade. This is because certain additives within prepared or pre-packaged food can cause upset stomachs and digestive issues for little ones, while also increasing the risk for health problems later on in life. 

Due to the processed nature of many boxed and packaged mashed potatoes, you are much better off whipping up a fresh batch of potatoes in your kitchen. They’ll taste better, be better for you, and will better nourish your baby – without all the yucky stuff. 

Just be careful not to overdo it – mashed potatoes can be high in calories, depending on how you prepare them, and are full of starch and carbohydrates.

baby mashed potatoes

Can a 2 month old eat mashed potatoes?

A 2-month-old should never eat table foods – including mashed potatoes. 

Though many parents are chomping at the bit to give their babies real food, the truth is that 2 months of age isn’t the right time. 

In fact, attempting to give your baby table foods this young will not only upset your baby’s tummy, but you may also find your child spitting the food back out at you. 

This is because your baby will still have his or her tongue reflex which naturally thrusts out anything that enters the mouth. The result? Even if you tried to give your baby mashed potatoes –which we don’t recommend – it likely won’t make it to your baby’s tummy anyway.  

Can babies eat mashed potatoes at 3 months?

No. 

Again, this is all based on when a baby is physically and developmentally ready to ingest foods. A baby that is 3 months old still doesn’t have the proper head and neck control to be able to consume foods and is likely not interested in eating what you’ve got on your plate anyway.

Instead of taking the risk of digestive issues or other complications, we’d recommend that you simply relax and wait. Most pediatricians recommend that babies begin solids around 4-6 months, with the ideal age being the latter. Thus, a 3-month-old baby is much too young to begin eating solids.

Can I feed my 4 month old mashed potatoes?

If you are wondering about mashed potatoes for baby 4 month old, you’re in luck. At this age, you may be able to feed your baby mashed potatoes. But there are many factors you should consider before doing so.

First and foremost, you’ll want to assess whether or not your baby is developmentally and physically ready to indulge in solid foods. A few of the signs that your baby might be ready for food include:

  • Showing Interest in What You Are Eating: Does your baby seem to pay special attention to what you are eating or even attempt to reach out and grab it themselves? If so, your baby may be ready to begin eating solids soon.
  • Good Head and Neck Control: Does your baby appear to have good control over his or her head and neck? Can they sit upright in a high chair without slumping when supported?
  • Opens Mouth When You Touch It With a Spoon: Does your baby open wide when you guide your spoon towards his or her little mouth? If so, don’t feed your baby until you are sure that he or she is ready. Otherwise, you run the risk of your baby choking, thrusting the food back out, or experiencing an upset stomach.  

Next, you’ll want to consider what the mashed potatoes you desire to serve your baby are made out of. We’ve already discussed the issues with artificial or boxed potatoes, but even homemade mashed potatoes may have a few risks. 

If your baby isn’t used to consuming cow’s milk, they may experience digestive issues if you’ve put cow’s milk, butter, sour cream or cheese in the potatoes. On top of that, mashed potatoes tend to be very starchy which may irritate your baby’s gut.

Overall, though your baby can technically begin to try solids at 4 months of age, we would recommend leaving mashed potatoes off of the menu until he or she reaches at least 6 months. 

Can babies eat mashed potatoes at 5 months?

Five months is a bit of a gray area when it comes to solids for a baby, but it certainly is feasible to give your baby a taste or two of table food if he or she meets the previously listed requirements for food readiness. 

If you simply can’t wait to give your baby mashed potatoes at this age, we’d recommend you prepare them with water or breastmilk and that you skip added butter, cheeses, or cow’s milk. 

In addition, we’d recommend that you mix the potatoes well until most lumps are gone as lumps that are large may pose a choking hazard to your little one, especially as he or she is just beginning to learn to eat. 

Lastly, you’ll want to nix any added salt to any of your baby’s homemade table food. Babies at this age don’t need added salt and it could harm their health. Rather, stick to seasoning herbs that are flavorful but aren’t spicy such as garlic and thyme.

Can a 6 month old have mashed potatoes?

Yes! At 6 months of age your baby may have mashed potatoes. 

You’ll still want to check for large lumps though, and you’ll still want to prepare your baby’s mashed potatoes only with water or a little breastmilk to start. 

Remember that your baby will be new to all of this, so don’t be surprised if much of what you attempt to feed him or her gets spit back out. 

At most, your baby will likely eat a couple of tablespoons of mashed potatoes, or any other food, per meal. If they eat less than this, don’t force it. And if you find that your baby becomes constipated after being given mashed potatoes, discontinue serving them for the time being. 

baby eating

Mashed Potatoes FAQs 

Can babies eat mashed potatoes with milk?

We wouldn’t recommend it, but honestly, it depends on what your baby is used to. 
If your baby is used to consuming dairy formula then he or she will be less likely to have a reaction to mashed potatoes made with cow’s milk. But remember that butter, salt, cheese, sour cream, and other common ingredients in mashed potatoes are other causes for concern.
Rather than take the risk, we recommend preparing your baby’s potatoes simply with water, no salt, and a few seasonings– such as garlic and herbs – to help with the taste. Mix it well until it is smooth and virtually free of lumps. 
If your baby is breastfed and has never consumed dairy, then you won’t want to risk serving your baby mashed potatoes with milk. Doing so may cause your baby general discomfort and excessive gas. It may also increase mucus production which can lead to a stuffy or runny nose

Can babies eat mashed potatoes and gravy?

For the sake of modesty, we’re going to say to nix the gravy on this one.
Using a pre-packaged gravy on mashed potatoes is a definite no-no for babies because most of them are chock full of preservatives and other additives that make them taste good and keep fresh.
Homemade gravy, on the other hand, is often made up of butter, drippings, and flour, all of which could irritate your baby’s digestive system. Thus, when it comes to adding gravy to your baby’s mashed potatoes, we recommend you skip it – at least until your baby is a little older. 

Can a baby eat instant mashed potatoes?

Can babies have instant mashed potatoes?
As mentioned before, giving your baby any form of boxed or packaged mashed potatoes, or any food for that matter, should be off-limits. Eventually, your baby will be able to consume these types of meals, but when your baby is under a year, it is best to steer clear of these types of meals. The many additives and ingredients in these types of potatoes could have devastating impacts on your little one’s health. Simply serve the potatoes homemade and plain for your baby to enjoy. 

When Can I Give My Baby Mashed Potatoes: Don’t Rush It

To close, we think it is best to avoid serving your baby a delicious warm plate of potatoes until he or she is at least 6 months old. Although it can be hard to wait, remember that there is something exciting that happens at nearly every stage of your baby’s life. Try to enjoy the moment and to stay present. Rushing your baby along too fast, especially when it comes to food, could have negative impacts on your baby. 

Lynn

Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.