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These Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Patties are an easy way to get picky toddlers to LOVE eating vegetables!  This healthy toddler meal idea can be made ahead of time, is freezer friendly, and perfect for baby led weaning.  Older kids and adults will love them too!

Healthy meal ideas for babies and toddlers

Parenthood is full of surprises.  One of the things that really took me by surprise about being a mom is just how stressful and time consuming feeding a baby and toddler would be.  Not only are you short on time, but you have to feed these kids like 3 times a day!!  Plus snacks! It’s crazy.  Constantly coming up with healthy meal ideas for babies and toddlers is a full time job in itself.  That is why I like to have some easy kids meals stashed in the freezer.  These Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean patties are easy, only have five ingredients, and they freeze and reheat wonderfully.

how to get your picky toddler to eat vegetables

If you follow me on instagram, you may have been following my journey of starting my baby on solids.  Although I started him on purees rather than starting with Baby Led Weaning, we switched away from purees as soon as he was able to.

I’ve enjoyed being able to introduce my son to a variety of foods, and he was such a great eater! I was patting myself on the back for raising a child who loved vegetables – and then I read that it is totally normal for babies to love all kinds of foods and suddenly turn into picky eaters around 13 months.  Que the sad trombone – waa-waaaaa.

Luckily, I had started making these Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean patties when my son was about 10 months old.  I make a batch of 8 patties and freeze them.  Then when I need a quick dinner for my kid, I just reheat it for 30-60 seconds in the microwave!  Bam, healthy, veggie packed dinner in no time flat.  Bonus – my toddler LOVES these sweet potato black bean burgers!  He eats them right up and hardly throws any of it on the floor 😆 – and I feel good knowing that he ate a good serving of vegetables and protein.

Because I developed this recipe for my young toddler, I don’t add any salt to them. It’s especially important for babies under 1 year old to have very little sodium, so when preparing food for my baby I try to add very little or no salt.  But if you want to feed them to adults or older kids, you may prefer to add some salt.  I like to serve these with some avocado and cheese for a nutrient packed, healthy lunch or dinner for my one year old.

If you are looking for more make ahead freezer recipes, check out my Make Ahead Meatballs!

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Sweet potato, Kale and Black Bean Patties for Babies and Toddlers

4.75 from 16 votes
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 20 minutes
Servings 8 Patties
These Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Patties are an easy way to get picky toddlers to LOVE eating vegetables!  This healthy toddler meal idea can be made ahead of time, is freezer friendly, and perfect for baby led weaning.  Older kids and adults will love them too!


  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked 1.5-2 cups when cooked and mashed
  • 1 cup kale torn and washed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


To Cook The Sweet Potato:

  • (Preferred method) In the instant pot: Place sweet potato in instant pot on a trivet with one cup of water. Cook on manual, high pressure for 16 minutes. Remove skin.
  • In the oven: poke holes in sweet potato, bake at 425°F for about 60 minutes or until tender.  Remove skin.
  • In the microwave: poke holes in the sweet potato. Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove skin.

To Steam The Kale:

  • Place a steamer basket in a pot, fill pot with water just under the bottom of the steamer basket.  Add kale to steamer basket and cover. Bring water to a boil, allow kale to steam for 5 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, squeeze excess moisture out of kale.

Make The Sweet Potato Patties:

  • Add kale and sweet potatoes to a food processor, blend kale is in tiny pieces and sweet potato is mashed.
  • Add sweet potato/kale mixture to a large bowl with egg, bread crumbs, beans, and paprika.  Stir until fully mixed.  Form the mixture into 8 equal sized patties.
  • Heat a large pan over medium/ medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add 4 sweet potato patties to the pan.  Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack, repeat with the remaining patties.  Patties can be served right away or frozen for later.

To Freeze The Sweet Potato Patties:

  • Allow patties to completely cool before storing and freezing.  Individually wrap each patty with plastic wrap, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.  To reheat, unwrap sweet potato patty and microwave for 30-60 seconds.


*Because this recipe was developed for babies and toddlers, there is NO salt added.  If making this recipe for older kids or adults, you may want to add  1/4 teaspoon salt.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 107.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.19g | Protein: 4.14g | Fat: 2.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.51g | Cholesterol: 20.46mg | Sodium: 62.15mg | Potassium: 275.61mg | Fiber: 3.36g | Sugar: 2.04g | Vitamin A: 6957.41IU | Vitamin C: 11.07mg | Calcium: 41.06mg | Iron: 1.14mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!

This recipe adapted from Sweet Phi

Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for my now 20 month old for months and he loves them. I cut down on the dishes by microwaving the sweet potato and add the greens when the sweet potato is almost done, mash the sweet potato, finally chop the greens, and mix in one bowl. I also bake these at 350 for 20 min, flipping halfway through, as others have suggested. They come out perfectly and freeze great too. Thanks for the toddler-friendly recipe!

  2. I made these with broccoli instead, because I didn’t have any spinach or kale. All I did was grate the tops off and throw it in the mixture. I also baked them at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, they turned out great!! And my 10 month old loved them!!!!

  3. I have this 5 stars because I have tried it another way and it turned out perfect. For some reason mine were not holding together in the pan (too much moisture). I finely chopped the spinach, and mashed the sweet potato and spinach and black beans together with a fork, added the egg and then tossed in the Pablo. Once that was done I formed into balls and slightly patted them down onto a baking sheet and that worked better for me

  4. 5 stars
    These were great! I am going to make another batch to freeze next time for my little one. He is 10 months old and enjoyed this first experience with black bean patties. I served them with a creamy mixture of yogurt and mashed avocado. I didn’t have any kale and instead used spinach, and now that I think about it I forgot to steam it! Still came out great.

    1. Hi, the oil just helps them get browned and crisp up a bit. I have had readers bake them without oil and they seemed to like them!

    1. Hi Alli – I haven’t tried them in the air fryer! I would spray the basket with cooking spray to make sure they don’t stick.

    1. Hi Christina – I would just sauté the spinach in a little water, then when it is wilted down, squeeze out the excess water. Then add to the recipe in place of the kale.

  5. Would frozen spinach and pinto beans work in place of kale and black beans? I have these on hand and was just wondering!

    1. Hi, yes that will work! You don’t need to cook the spinach, just thaw it out and be sure to squeeze out as much extra liquid as you can before adding it in.

  6. Is it just me, or did these turn out 100% green, not orange. I substituted spinach instead of kale, but I would think kale would make them green too… I think the issue is in the step that says “Add kale and sweet potatoes to a food processor, blend kale is in tiny pieces and sweet potato is mashed.”. Food processing the greens with the potato will turn the mixture green. The picture for the recipe looks like the kale is in small flakes, not processed at the same time as the potato. Also I had trouble with them cooking through and not falling apart.

    1. Hi, the spinach does blend into the mixture more than kale does. Kale is much tougher so it stays in bigger pieces. Spinach still works though! But you ae right, it will make them more green.

  7. I made these for my one year old last night and he loved them! I used low sodium black beans and substituted the breadcrumbs for ground oats. I doubled the recipe (mainly because a can of black beans is just about two cups) and made 24 patties. I also baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. I packed them up and froze them, and will be so easy to take out and heat up as needed. Thank you for a simple and healthy recipe!

    1. The egg is a binder so they might not stay together without it. You could try more bread crumbs or a flax egg.

  8. 5 stars
    Great idea! My 8 month old really enjoyed it. It was soft and kind of fell apart but he still ate a bunch! Didn’t have kale so I substituted it for a bell pepper. I steamed it and peeled the skin off and blended the beans all together to make sure there were no choking hazards. Super yummy.