Sweet potatoes are easy to digest and are also a good source of beta carotene and vitamin B-6. Most babies appreciate their sweet taste and they are usually one of the first foods parents introduce to young babies. Occasionally, though, a baby may show sensitivity to sweet potatoes. Talk with your pediatrician if you suspect your child is allergic to sweet potatoes.
Any food can cause irritation or an allergy, although sweet potatoes do not commonly cause problems. When introducing baby foods, introduce one food per week. If your baby is eating several new foods, it's possible that the allergic reaction is due to another food. The most common foods associated with allergies include eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and chocolate, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Some babies have true allergic reactions to food, while others may show a mild sensitivity. Babies may develop a sandpaper-like rash on the mouth and cheeks after eating sweet potatoes, or they may have gas or indigestion. Some babies vomit, spitup, have diarrhea or develop a red diaper rash around the anus. Occasionally a baby may have runny eyes or a runny nose in response to a food allergy.
If you suspect your baby is allergic to sweet potatoes, eliminate them from the diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms subside. Try introducing sweet potatoes again in two to three months to see if your baby can tolerate them. If the symptoms continue, eliminate other foods, starting with those most likely to cause reactions, until you find the source of the problem.
Allergies often run in a family, so if you have food allergies, your baby may develop them, as well. To minimize the risk of food allergies, wait to introduce solid food until your baby is between 6- and 7-months-old. Start with very mild foods, such as rice cereal or mashed bananas and introduce new foods slowly.