Honey Bacon Sweet Potatoes (Kids Who Are INSPIRED to Cook!)

We LOVE sweet potatoes! And sweet potatoes are what Zoe picked for the second dinner she wanted to make us. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but since we are talking about sweet potatoes here, there is a really great book called, Sweet Potato Power, that I love.

But back to the kids. Zoe’s idea for her second dinner (created all by herself) was Honey Bacon Sweet Potatoes. (And now I’m thinking this sounds like an awesome pancake recipe – honey bacon sweet potato pancakes! But again I digress.)

I got some great feedback from you guys after the last Kids Who Are INSPIRED to Cook, which got me thinking. Some of you hinted at the mess that kids make when they cook. This is true. But I have a few thoughts and suggestions about that:

1) Kids will be messy whether it’s in the kitchen or everywhere else (am I right?) so we may as well let them be messy doing something valuable, like learning to cook and eat healthy :-)

2) Get them cooking outside! When the weather is nice let them wash their veggies on the patio!

3) It’s surprising how many recipes kids can make with very little work and very little mess. For instance, this recipe required scrubbing the sweet potatoes, putting the bacon on the broiler pan, chopping the cooked bacon and assembling. Very minimal.

Water was spilled, especially when Zoe finished scrubbing and Ginger got rambunctious, but oh well. When one of the kids spills in the kitchen I think of it like, “I guess that spot’s going to get clean now!” This may take some practice, but it’s a great feeling when you really don’t care about these things. I think I’ve gotten especially good at it (not that I’m perfect!) from having a child who is very delayed. It’s like there’s always been a toddler in the house, and now she’s like 70 pounds :-) If I got upset every time Ashley spilled something I would be a very miserable person. So I decided many years ago that I wouldn’t care. And I don’t.

It’s like the saying goes, “I have chosen to be happy because it’s good for my health.” Every day I focus on the positive, like my kids health and happiness, and we dance around the house, and I chose to be happy. And I take pictures of major cuteness. Who doesn’t feel good when they see this smile?


Zoe was very serious about me not helping.

The only guidance I gave her was reminding her how to hold the knife and chop.

I can’t believe how much she’s grown up. It’s bitter sweet.

To make this goodness:
1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Scrub the sweet potatoes.
3. Place the bacon on a broiler pan.
4. Put the bacon and the potatoes in the oven together. (We put the bacon on about the middle rack and sweet potatoes above.)
5. Remove the bacon after about 40 minutes, or when it’s nice and crisp.
6. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and keep baking the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes more, or until they’re done.
7. Chop the bacon and assemble.
♥, Kelly


  1. Anonymous says

    what i love about this is that not only are you encouraging your children to cook together, but Zoe can think about food combinations that SHE thinks will taste good together and experiment with things she likes! She seems to have a wonderful intuition about food and i can only imagine the self confidence Zoe and all children can gain from experiences like this!

  2. says

    This sounds like the best combination of flavors. I’m pregnant and can’t get enough of the spicy-sweet and/or salty-sweet. On my list!

  3. says

    I’m sharing this with Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple–this will inspire the Paleo and Primal families out there to let their kids into the kitchen to use their “noodles” so to speak.

    Is Zoe aware that she’s making a dish that’s both Paleo and Primal friendly?

    Looking forward to that Spunkette blog! :)

  4. says

    That is one of the sweetest posts I’ve ever read. My kids are adults and it made me long for the days when they were little — I wished I’d encouraged my girls more to do what you are doing.
    Hats off to you! You’re a great mom and an inspiration to others.

    • Rosemary Elaine says

      Kelly, I’ve recently realized that sweet potatoes can be rather tasty – I plan to try your daughter’s recipe. Karen, I echo your sentiments – my daughter is also an adult. While I regret that every day meal preparation was never my favorite thing (that has improved some in recent years as I’ve returned to more wholesome, non-processed, enjoyable meals), I tried to encourage her interest to the best of my 60-hr, 2 job work week, single parent ability at that time! Once, her step mother was worried I would feel offended/dubbed that she let my daughter bring cookies home that they had baked together. I quickly let her know what a blessing that was for them to share that interest and to cultivate my daughter’s interest, that it left me feeling less guilty about my lack of interest in cooking, and that it freed up time for us to do other things we both enjoyed together, such as scrapbooking and anything to do with music!!

  5. Anonymous says

    Thanks for sharing great ideas and the beautiful photos of your beautiful kids! Cooking 101 is on our summer schedule this year for my 10 and 12 year-old kids. I will be *trying* to take your advice and not worry about mess.

  6. says

    I love this! We also love sweet potatoes in our house (“sweeties”). Since I love them enough to have started a specialty food business around sweet potatoes, when I first started and used to make my food in the house, there would be yammies roasting early in the morning, and when they came downstairs they would beg for hot sweeties for breakfast. I would ask them, “Have you been very, very good?” because having them was such a treat!

    Their favorite way has always been a hot sweetie with feta cheese crumbled on top.

    For what it’s worth, I have created a small e-cookbook of family-friendly sweetie recipes, which I give away as welcome gift to my fellow Yambassadors who join the tribe at my website: http://YummyYammy.com

    If it is something you or your readers can benefit from, I’m happy to let you know about it.

    Keep on yammin’!
    Lisa Johnson, Yambassador, Yummy Yammy

  7. Brenda B says

    I was planning on putting some sweet potatoes in my electric smoker this weekend. Now, I am definately going to do it. Yummy!

  8. says

    This looks and sounds delish!! I love what little ones will come up with 😉 My daughter, who was two at the time, is obsessed with capers and suggested adding it to a dish I was making. Brilliant! You never know what kids will come up with, especially those you are in the kitchen with you.

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