Sweet Potato Fries

I keep a few sweet potatoes sliced into sticks in the freezer, because we eat the preseasoned fries from the freezer section of our grocery store in approximately 6 seconds and always want more. Belle can always request fries and we’ll make them.

Grinding salt
Use salt and pepper grinders to build in some midline coordination.

I am trying to give Belle a sense of the flavors involved in various spices, so we spend a lot of time smelling the spice options. Choosing one of three is advanced, so I tend to present “a or b” choices in the same family. For instance, Penzey’s vindaloo and garam masala blends are similar, but vindaloo has more chili heat to its spice. I might let Belle choose which she prefers and put away the other.

Adding oil
A nearly empty bottle is perfect to manage spills.

I also give Belle control of the spice and oil bottles, from opening the cap – so she can recognize the difference between flip top and twist off and use the right fine motor skill – to shaking over the bowl for gross motor precision. Our fries are sometimes overspiced but generally it’s a lot of surface area to cover so hard to mess up. I keep a hand on the oil or give her a measuring cup for it, because it pours so quickly.

Skills worked on:

  • Gross motor (strength, midline coordination)
  • Fine motor (strength for opening bottle caps)
  • Following directions


  • Cookie sheet(s), probably 2
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon (optional)

Sweet potato friesRecipe (10 min prep, 25-30 min bake, yield: 1 sweet potato’s worth):

  • Sweet potato
  • Oil (olive, vegetable, canola, whatever)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices
  1. Slice sweet potatoes into thin sticks, roughly the size of McDonalds fries. Freeze in ziplock bags, or continue.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Break apart frozen fries into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add about 3 tbsp oil per sweet potato to coat the fries. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other spices until it looks like every fry will get some seasoning (1-3 tsp of each spice per potato). Use a wooden spoon or hands to toss.
  4. Spread in a single layer on cookie sheet(s). The more space between fries, the crispier they’ll get.
  5. Bake for 20 min, stir, bake additional 10 min.

This recipe is part of our coronavirus/Covid-19 quarantine bake-along. See the previous recipe here: Irish Flapjacks. See the next recipe here: Pretzels.

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