I can’t think of any more quintessentially American kid food than the “tater tot”; unfortunately the store bought ones are usually made with ingredients that are at best not health-promoting and at worst, downright disgusting and off limits for kids with allergies and food sensitivities. But with this recipe for sweet potato bacon tots, kids of all ages can enjoy a version of a tot that is actually even more delicious than the food it mimics!

The recipe comes from a brand new cookbook from the kitchen whiz and mom of three you may know as predominantly paleo, Jennifer Robins, called The Paleo Kids Cookbook. I knew it would be good before I even opened the cover based on how much I enjoyed her previous books, Down South Paleo (reviewed here, with a sneak peak recipe for sweet and savory slow cooker pulled pork) and The New Yiddish Kitchen (reviewed here, with a sneak peak recipe for Bubbe’s brisket), and she did not disappoint. In fact, I would argue that of the three, this is her very best work.

I’m thrilled that Jennifer gave me permission to share this recipe with you and that she also gave me a copy to give away to one lucky reader. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter before Monday, October 3.

But first…

What makes The Paleo Kids Cookbook so great?

The recipes in this book were clearly created by someone who knows what kids like and who understands how busy most moms and dads are today. Nothing requires hours of preparation or has huge and complicated ingredient lists. Along with each recipe are even tips “for little hands” that give ideas of how to involve the kiddos in the preparation, which I’m told is a highly effective strategy for getting picky eaters invested and more likely to drop the “picky” part of that label!

The book has 100 recipes that will keep your family fed and happy from breakfast through dinner and everything everything in between. Breakfast staples like allergy-friendly waffles and the creative “Pale-O’s” cereal are included as well as Jennifer’s famous “legit” sandwich bread to keep the carb monsters happy until the next snack attach, when they will enjoy gummy worms or animal crackers. When dinner time comes around you can whip up chicken nuggets, pizza pockets, or mac ‘n cheese – and all of them are grain-free and dairy-free!

I don’t have any little ones in my house, but do feed a big kid I fondly call Mr. Gutsy and admit that even I have cravings for childhood comfort foods and really like Jennifer’s weeknight paleo tortillas and her cheesy dip and nut-free “cheese” are both incredible (and I love cheese!). Combine the two, and you can make ham and “cheese quesadillas or even chips and dip! Sure, it’s not fine dining, and takes a bit of effort to pull it all together, but that’s all part of the fun. Jennifer’s directions are easy to follow, even for people without a lot of cooking experience, so there is no need to be intimidated.

What about allergies or healing diets?

Every recipe is free of grain, gluten, dairy, peanuts, shellfish, and soy and are also made without refined sugar. Additionally, a banner at the top of each recipe calls out which are also nut free and egg free. If you need to avoid nuts and/or eggs, you’ll have to skip most of the baked goods, but that still leaves lots of other options everyone can enjoy.

Some of the savory recipes are naturally compliant with the extra restrictions of the paleo autoimmune protocol and many more can easily be modified by omitting a minor ingredient (these sweet potato tots are an example) or making a simple substitution.

The bottom line

Clearly, this books is an excellent choice for kids with allergies to dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, or peanuts. I also recommend this book for anyone cooking for kids (and kids at heart!), even if you don’t have any specific dietary restrictions but just want to shift the family’s diet to something more “real” than what typically ends up on kid’s plates.

Not convinced yet? Check out this sneak preview recipe for paleo tater tots…

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots Recipe

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots from The Paleo Kids Cookbook
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Most tater tots are made with pretty unsavory ingredients, and for those who are extra sensitive to cross contamination, eating them out becomes basically impossible. I made these with sweet potato and bacon for a flavor kick and no risk of the yucky stuff like rancid oils or traces of gluten!
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 5 strips of crispy bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic sea salt (or less, to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (Note from Jaime: Omit for AIP)
  • ½ cup (80 g) potato starch or cassava flour (Note from Jaime: Use cassava flour for AIP)
  • Avocado oil or light olive oil for frying
  1. Boil the sweet potato submerged in water for about 10 minutes. Remove the sweet potato from the boiling water and once cool enough to handle, peel or slice the skin off. Grate the sweet potato, using a hand grater, mandolin or food processor.
  2. Once the sweet potato is grated, use a hand towel or a few paper towels to squeeze out the excess water from the potato. This step is important, as you do not want to have soggy tots!
  3. Add the other ingredients (minus the oil) to the grated sweet potato in a mixing bowl and combine by hand. Preheat oil for frying in a large skillet over medium/high heat; it does not need to be enough oil for deep frying, but it should be enough to generously cover the bottom of the skillet.
  4. While the cooking oil heats, begin shaping your tots. Roll about a tablespoon (15 g) of the dough into a ball, and then elongate it and flatten the ends to give it that distinctive tot shape.
  5. Fry the tots, rolling them around on all sides to make sure they crisp up. Once all sides are cooked, around 5 minutes or more, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the tots and transfer them to a towel-lined plate to cool slightly. Serve alone or with my Awesome Sauce.
For little hands: Allow your child to help shape the tots. It's okay if they are not shaped perfectly as they will fry deliciously regardless. Older kids can help fry the tots while supervised.


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One lucky reader will win a copy of The Paleo Kids Cookbook. To enter, make sure you do the following:

  1. Check out the book on Amazon.
  2. Come back here and post a comment on this post. Tell me which recipe you are most excited to try or why you want to win this book.
  3. Verify your entry with the Rafflecopter widget below and earn additional entries. I will use the random number generator feature to select a winner.

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Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Round Table

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