Lentil finger food baby

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Cheddar Croquettes


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These delicious sweet potato, lentil and cheddar croquettes are a great food for baby led weaning, as well as a good way of sneaking in some veggies to fussy children.

One of the first recipes I posted to Little Grazers, this Sweet Potato, Lentil and Cheddar Croquettes is very popular.

I love how versatile lentils can be. I use them often in soups, chilli, bolognese, curry and a great source of protein and fibre.

A couple of my favourites are:

  • Lentil Bolognese
  • Lentil Shepherds Pie
  • Lentil Curry 
  • Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry
  • Mini Zucchini Parmesan Lentil Patties
  • Mexican Lentil Bake
  • Aubergine, Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

For these Sweet Potato, Lentil and Cheddar Croquettes, I use red lentils, they have a much softer texture and are almost like a paste when cooked compared to chunkier brown or green lentils, which hold their shape.

Just a few ingredients combined make this recipe perfect for forming into little croquettes that your little ones can pick up and devour.

I don’t add salt to these when making for little ones, but if making for older children or adult, you may want to adjust the seasoning. You could even add some spices or herbs of choice.

When cooking the lentils, it’s important to let them sit with the lid on for 10 minutes, with the heat off, once the majority of the liquid has absorbed, as the steam trapped underneath will continue to cook them and make them lovely and soft. If you don’t follow this important step, the mixture will be too wet and impossible to form into any shape.

For the sweet potato, I pierce and cook in the microwave, again this avoids any excess liquid, which helps the consistency of the mixture. If not cooking in the microwave, I recommend steaming over water, to avoid the mashed sweet potato from being too wet.

All these steps ensure this recipe, doesn’t need any flours and keeps it gluten free.

If your little one is allergic to eggs, you can ensure this binds together by either adding more cheddar or using a flax egg, which you can make by combining 1 tbs of flaxseed meal to 3 tbs of water, this will be a replacement for 1 egg in a recipe. Once combined allow the mixture to sit for approx 10 minutes until it has a beaten egg like texture.

To spray the Sweet Potato, Lentil and Cheddar Croquettes with oil before cooking, I use either olive oil or avocado oil in my Misto Sprayer, but if you don’t have one of these, you can carefully brush over the top with a silicone pastry brush, this just helps them to brown in the oven, because they are not being fried.

I love packing these in the kid’s Yumbox lunch box with a dip (usually tomato based) like my Low Sugar Ketchup. They are also a great side alternative to homemade chips (fries).

They should freeze perfectly too, just add back to the oven for a few minutes to heat through.


  • 100 g Lentils, uncooked, 1/2 cup
  • 300 g sweet potato, raw, 10.5 oz
  • 70 g carrot, grated, 2.5 oz
  • 100 g cheddar, grated, 3.5 oz
  • 1 large egg
  • 40 g frozen peas, 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • olive or avocado oil
  • 240 ml low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, 1 cup


  1. Add the lentils to a saucepan, cover with the broth, bring to a boil and simmer till all liquid is almost absorbed, turn off heat, cover with a lid and leave for 10 mins. 
  2. Pierce sweet potato with a fork and microwave for approx 6 mins, until soft to touch (if you don't have a microwave you can steam)
  3. Remove skin from sweet potato and mash until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 200c or 400f
  5. Add lentils to a bowl, along with sweet potato, cheddar, carrot, paprika and combine
  6. Add the egg and mix till combined
  7. Stir in the peas
  8. Form into croquettes or patties (approx 15) and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  9. Spray or brush over the top with olive or avocado oil
  10. Bake in the oven for approx 30 mins, until firm and lightly golden.
  11. Enjoy!!


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Lentils for Babies - MJ and Hungryman

Jump to Recipe

Get all your burning questions about serving lentils to your baby answered! Regardless of whether you are doing purees or baby led weaning, these tips and EASY recipes will help boost your baby's iron levels while inviting fun and variety!

When can babies eat lentils?

Lentils can be offered to babies as soon as they’re ready to start solids, usually around 6 months. It's important to remember that your baby is unique and that rather than going by the calendar, you need to make sure your baby is DEVELOPMENTALLY ready to start solids.

If you're unsure, be sure to grab my FREE handout!

Are lentils good for babies?

Lentils are SO amazing for babies as they’re an excellent source of two most essential nutrients, iron and zinc. They are also high in protein and fiber and packed with B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. 

Iron is particularly important for babies starting at around 6 months as neither breastmilk nor formula alone are sufficient to meet the baby's high nutritional needs.

½ cup of cooked lentils provide about 3 milligrams of iron (varies slightly depending on the variety).

It is important to note that plant-based sources of iron aren't as easily absorbed compared to the animal products. One way you can enhance absorption is by pairing with vitamin C rich foods, like berries, mangoes, broccoli, and bell peppers. I can't emphasize this enough!

Related post: Best iron rich foods for babies and toddlers

What about antinutrients?

It’s true that legumes contain antinutrients, such as phytic acid, lectins, saponins, and tannins, that reduce the absorption of certain nutrients, including iron, zinc, and calcium. 

However, many other healthy foods, like grains, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds all contain antinutrients. So does this mean we should limit or avoid them? Absolutely not.

Instead, always aim for variety and balance! Unless lentils are all you are serving to your baby, the benefits outweigh the risks of consuming antinutrients. Not to mention cooking will decrease the amount of antinutrients significantly.

All this to say, DON'T WORRY!

Which Lentils are the best for babies?

All varieties of lentils are an amazing first food with slight differences in the nutrients. Since introducing your baby to a wide variety of flavors and textures from the start is important in setting a strong foundation for healthy eating, I encourage you to try to introduce them all. They all have a unique flavor, color, and texture.

I will say that for the no-recipe recipes I'm sharing here, red and yellow lentils (moong dal) work best. They are smoother in texture so will be easier to shape into balls.

Note that yellow lentils and yellow split peas are not the same. Here’s a really great guide with pictures to explain the differences!

Do lentils cause constipation?

First, know that constipation is common and to be expected when your baby first starts solids. They’ve only been drinking breastmilk/formula up to this point and their digestive system needs time to adjust to processing real food.

Keep in mind that not having daily bowel movements is NOT a sign of constipation. If stool is soft and your baby doesn’t seem too distressed, there’s no need to worry. I

If your baby is in excessive pain or having hard/pebble-like poops then lentils can definitely help! That’s because it’s a great source of fiber.

There's no official recommended amount of fiber for babies. Fiber is great for the gut and overall health, but you do want to add them into your baby’s diet slowly. Not to mention, their tummies are small! And too much fiber can be too filling, leaving little room for other important nutrients.⁠

Need to Presoak?

Unlike many other legumes, they don’t need to be soaked prior. If you’d like to you can. You do want to rinse before cooking to eliminate any impurities. 

How to Cook Lentils for babies

Stovetop vs. Instant Pot

While you can cook in an Instant Pot, I recommend cooking on the stovetop because you'll have better control over the texture. While stirring, if desired texture has been reached, simply remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid. 

Water to lentils ratio

Generally, the lentils to water ratio for cooking on the stovetop is 1:3. However, for these recipes, I suggest a 1:2 ratio. This will ensure that the lentils don't get too mushy. You want the texture to be slightly firm.

This is very important if you want to shape into balls as I suggest. You'll be adding other ingredients that will add moisture, so if the lentils are already mushy, then you won't be able to shape them into balls that can be picked up easily by tiny hands.

In other words, it's better for the lentils to be on the drier than mushy side.

Cooking time

Add lentils and water to a pot (make sure it's high enough to prevent overflow). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender/firm.

Yellow lentils: 20-25 minutes. I like to stir occasionally to check on the texture.

Red lentils: 5-7 minutes.


I suggest cooking a big batch to enjoy throughout the week. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for up to 1 month. I recommend freezing in ¼-1/2 cup containers so that you can easily pull out single serving portions, whenever you need!

EASY lentil recipes for babies 6 months and up

What can you mix with lentils for baby food? Here are some fun ways to invite variety into your little one's diet! So EASY!


The world is your oyster when it comes to add-ins, just like overnight oats and chia puddings. I've provided some suggestions to help get you started!

While I give measurements for the ingredients below, these really are no-recipe recipes. You can add more or less depending on your preferences.

How to cook broccoli perfectly for baby, Beets for baby

How to serve to baby

If you're doing purees, add all the ingredients and blend until smooth. I do want to emphasize that it is really important to move forward with texture by 9 months.

If you feel like you're stuck on purees and need extra guidance, I'm here to help!

When you and your baby are ready, skip the extra step of blending and follow the instructions below. For baby led weaning, here are two options:

  • Combine all the ingredients. Thin out with ingredients suggested below, if necessary. Serve in a bowl. Will be easy to scoop with their hands. Can also preload onto a spoon.
  • Shape into balls (just like these oat balls). I recommend refrigerating for at least 30 minutes as doing so helps them to firm up and hold their shape better. These are especially great for babies just starting to self feed as they are easier for them to grab with their palm and bring to mouth.

Another recipe to try - Iron-rich Baby Pasta

Troubleshooting tips

As mentioned, you don't need to measure all the ingredients exactly. Taste as you go. If the mixture is too soft/mushy, simply add more lentils. You can also add ground nuts and/or seeds like flax seeds and hemp seeds.

If too dry then add water, breastmilk/formula, milk (I especially love coconut milk for its flavor. Go for full-fat always), yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, banana...anything that will add moisture.

Baby Led Feeding Journey Program

If you are at the early stage of introducing solid food to your baby or are stuck on purees and needing guidance on moving forward with texture safely, you're in the right place!

Perhaps you've started to realize feeding your baby is becoming a part-time job which requires so much time and energy you don't have.

What if I told you I can totally SIMPLIFY this whole process so all you have to do is follow a no-fuss daily game plan for the next three months! No more guessing or stressing!

Instead of pouring all your precious free time into finding recipes, researching what is safe for baby to eat, and cooking meals that rarely turn out....Let me guide you through video and photos of exactly WHAT and HOW to serve your baby so you can have the peace of mind your baby is getting what they need to grow and THRIVE!

Inside this all in one program you get to follow me and my baby along every EVERY SINGLE DAY for three months in REAL time. This is seriously the closest thing to me being in your kitchen, guiding you along the process! ​

Do you want to minimize picky eating and set a solid foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits?

Check out this 3 month mastering self-feeding program! It’s the closest thing to me being in your kitchen

Baby-Friendly Recipes with Lentils

Lentils for babies

Get all your burning questions about serving lentils to your baby answered. Here are tips and EASY recipes to boost your baby's iron levels.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

Author: Min | MJ and Hungryman

  • Freezer Tray

  • ▢ 1 cup red or yellow lentils
  • ▢ 2 cups water
  • Add lentils and water to a pot (make sure it's high enough to prevent overflow). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally.

  • Cooking time for red lentils: 5-7 minutes / yellow lentils: 20-25 minutes.

  • Combine ¼ to ½ cup cooked lentils with add-ins of choice. Suggestions below to help get you started.

  • If you want to thin it out, add water, breastmilk/formula, or unsweetened full-fat milk of choice (you can use cow's milk in recipes. Just don't offer as a drink). If it's too soft/mushy, add more lentils and/or ground nuts/seeds.

  • Serve in a bowl and allow baby to eat with their hands, preload onto a spoon, or shape into balls (refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The balls will firm up and hold shape better).

Flavor Combinations - to ½ cup cooked lentils, add:

Peanut butter banana

  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts

Carrot cake

  • ⅓ cup finely grated carrots
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground walnuts

Beef and broccoli

  • 1 tablespoon finely minced beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cooked broccoli
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Beet hummus

  • 2 tablespoons beet hummus or dip

Helpful tips:

  • Cook a large batch of lentils to keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 1 month. I recommend freezing in ¼-1/2 cup containers  (I like to use the tray above) so you can easily pull out single-serving portions and add all kinds of fun mix-ins.
  • Once you add in the other ingredients, start by offering a small portion to your baby. You can always offer more as you follow your baby's lead. That way you can store untouched leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Fiber: 14g | Iron: 3mg

Course breakfast, lunch, dinner

Cuisine baby led weaning

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag me @KidFriendly.Meals today!

90,000 lentils with vegetables for children, step -by -step recipe for 466 kcal, photo, ingredients

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Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and simmer the onion until translucent.

Put the carrots and celery into the pan with the onion and simmer for about 5 minutes until soft.

Add lentils and sweet potatoes. Pour hot broth or water, bring to a boil, lower the temperature, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until all vegetables and lentils are cooked.

Blend everything in a blender.

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composition, benefits and harm, at what age can be given


At what age can you give lentils to a child

  • Vitamin composition of lentils
  • Is it possible to give a child lentils
  • Benefits and harms of the product
  • From what age can children be given
  • Contraindications for the use of

  • Garden
  • Lentils
  • The benefits and harms of lentils
  • At what age can you give a child lentils


Lentils have a lot of useful properties, but many mothers are not sure whether to cook it for their, for example, one-year-old child. In this article, you will find the answer to this question, as well as all the useful information about eating lentils.


  • Vitamin composition of lentils
  • Is it possible to give lentils to a child
  • Benefits and harms of the product
  • At what age can children be given
  • Contraindications for use
  • 908014 Vitamin composition of lentils


    This type of legume is full of vitamins and nutrients.

    Nutrition information for this product:

    • calories: 295 kcal;
    • fat: 1.5 g;
    • proteins: 24 g;
    • carbs: 46.3 g

    Chemical composition (macro- and microelements):

    K (potassium) 672 mcg
    Si (silicon) 80 mg
    Mg 80 mg
    Ph (phosphorus) 390 mg
    Fe (iron) 11. 8 mg
    Co (cobalt) 11.6 mcg
    Mn (manganese) 1.1 mg
    Cu 660 mcg
    Mo (molybdenum) 77.5 mcg
    Se (selenium) 19.6 mcg
    Zn (zinc) 2.4 mg

    Vitamin composition of the product:

    B1 (thiamine) 0.5 mg
    B2 (riboflavin) 0.2 mg
    B4 (choline) 96 mg
    B5 (pantothenic) 1.2 mg
    B6 0.5 mg
    B9 90 mcg
    C (ascorbic acid) 4.4 mg
    E 0.5 mg
    H 0.3 µg
    K 5 mcg

    As you can see, the described plant contains a lot of vitamins, each of which is useful for the body in its own way. For example, B vitamins are involved in the metabolic process and are responsible for metabolism.

    They support the processes of growth and development, the work of the heart, nervous and digestive systems. Some of these vitamins are involved in hematopoiesis, the formation of new cells, which is very important at the stage of intrauterine development.

    Vitamin C heals bones and connective tissues, is involved in metabolism and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, participates in the production of collagen, slows down the aging process of the skin. It also prevents blood clots from forming, normalizes blood pressure, and nourishes nerve tissues. Vitamin K plays an important role in kidney health and also helps the body absorb other vitamins.

    Is it possible to give a child lentils

    In terms of protein content, this plant is second only to soy. In ancient times, there was even an opinion that the use of it by children improves their mental abilities and diligence. Indeed, lentils are a storehouse of useful substances, and many of them are necessary for a growing body, so it is possible and necessary to cook her child. This legume will positively affect its activity, health and growth. More children like to eat lentils as part of other dishes.

    Benefits and harms of product

    • Lentils have a beneficial effect on the following organs and systems:
    • Muscles . The large amount of protein contained in these legumes is the main element for muscle tissue. After heavy training or physical exertion, protein intake will help reduce muscle pain.
    • Heart and vessels . Trace elements improve blood flow and promote the distribution of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Fiber lowers cholesterol in the blood, and folic acid makes the walls of blood vessels strong and elastic.
    • Brain. B vitamins contribute to the normal functioning of the brain, as well as to the improvement of memory and attentiveness.
    • Gastrointestinal tract. The high fiber content of lentils promotes normal bowel function, relieves constipation and prevents colon cancer.
    • Leather. Substances in the plant actively fight against UV damage and maintain a healthy water balance in the skin, protecting it from dryness.
    • Immunity. You can often hear that lentils are recommended to be used as a prophylactic against cancer. Selenium in the composition slows down the growth of tumors, accelerates the growth of cells that destroy metastases.

    Important! When preparing lentils, it is important to consider the type of lentils. For example, cooking time for red - up to 30 minutes, brown - up to 20 minutes, green - up to 40 minutes.

    • It is also worth highlighting the benefits of this plant for women:
    • During pregnancy the mother often has an acute iron deficiency, which lentils can make up for. It also virtually eliminates the risk of preterm birth.
    • During menstruation this legume enriches the body with elements that it begins to lack, especially iron.

    And for men, the main benefit is that this type of legume can normalize the production of testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, which play an important role in sexual health. The described product is not harmful when used correctly. The main thing is to get acquainted with its contraindications and with extreme caution to feed them to young children.

    From what age can children be given

    Physicians often differ on this issue. Some argue that from 8 months a child can already be given lentils. However, more often it is believed that until the child is two years old, it is better not to do this.

    This is due to a number of factors:

    1. Legumes are a heavy food for the baby's digestive system, at the age of two years it is still underdeveloped. When used at an earlier age, children form a large amount of gas, as well as painful sensations of colic. There is also a great risk that the product will come out undigested, which means that it did not bring benefits.
    2. Rarely, lentils can cause allergies. The older the child, the lower the chance of an allergic reaction.
    3. The product is dangerous for small children who are prone to dysbacteriosis. It is not advised to use it for problems with the intestines and stomach.

    Also find out how peas differ from lentils and what is healthier.

    For better digestibility, it is recommended to give lentils to the child as part of other dishes. It is good to add to soup, casseroles or salads. It is better to serve the product on your own from the age of three. If you are giving a bean to a child for the first time, then carefully monitor the reaction to it.

    It should be introduced into the diet gradually, in small portions. There is no exact answer to the question of how much lentils can be given to a child per day, but it is not recommended to give more than 200 g at once. Any rash, pain, fever and runny nose are a reason to see a doctor.

    Contraindications for use

    • Even such a useful product has a number of contraindications:
    • It contains substances such as purines. If the metabolism of purines is disturbed in the body, then the use of lentils can provoke the development of gout.
    • High protein intake can damage the renal tubular epithelium. Also, these legumes contain oxalate compounds, which contribute to the formation of stones in the urinary canals.
    • Like other representatives of the legume family, this variety often causes flatulence.

    Important! If you have any doubts about the use of lentils or side effects, you should consult a doctor.

    Lentils are still not widespread in our country, but more and more people are learning about its rich composition and beneficial properties. Many delicious and healthy dishes can be made from this product, which are recommended for children from two to three years old.

    Learn more