Solid foods are introduced to babies’ diet when they are about six months old and winter squash, acorn squash, delicate squash, hubbard squash and butternut squash are some of ideal solid foods that can be given to a baby. They are healthy alternatives for processed baby foods and can be prepared easily at home.
They are also good sources of vitamin A, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, carbohydrate and protein. Since the squashes have hard rinds they don’t get contaminated by pesticides. All these squashes have sweet taste with a velvety texture. Most of the babies like this food.
- While purchasing the squash check the moisture content in the squash. If stored for long the moisture content in the squash diminishes and hence pick up heavy squash that retains most of its moisture and remain fresh. Moreover large squashes provides richer flavor. Furthermore choose firm, brightly colored and blemish free squash for making baby food. Avoid squashes that have glossy, green and soft skin as they may be the immature and won’t have the same taste of a mature one.
- Wash the squash under running water and scrub the skin either with the hand or with a vegetable brush so that all the dirt and bacteria that are present on the rind of the squash gets washed away and won’t get transferred to the flesh while cutting the squash.
- Cut the squash longitudinally in to two halves and remove all the seeds and stringy materials present in the squash. The seeds of the squash can be used to make snacks for grownup kids. For this wash the seeds and dry them properly and then toss with olive oil till it becomes crispy and dry. The roasted seeds are then sprinkled with salt and can be served.
- Slice the squash in to small pieces and try to cut them in to uniform sized pieces as it helps to cook all the pieces at the same time. While cutting the squash you can keep the skin on the squash itself as it gets peeled off easily after cooking.
- Fill a pot with water and allow the water to boil. Thereafter add the pieces of squashes in to the pot and boil for six to eight minutes or till it become tender and soft. You can also bake them to get good taste and retain most of the nutrients in them. Bake squash at four hundred degree F for forty minutes or till the skin turns darker or pucker. Once the squashes are properly baked, then scoop out the flesh from each piece or remove the skin of the boiled squash with the fingers.
- Make a puree out of the squash flesh and the consistency of the puree can vary depending on the age of the child. Either you can mash the flesh with a fork or liquefy it with the help of a food processor or blender. When pureeing the squash you can add water, breast milk or formula milk to make it of the desired consistency. Once the baby is used to eating solid foods then you can slowly increase the thickness of the puree.
- This puree of squash can be fed to the baby as his next meal. If there are excess squash then store the cooked squash cubes in the freezer by locking them in zip lock bags for future use. Properly stored squash may last for three to six months in the freezer.
Here is another good article for this: http://inspiralized.com/how-to-spiralize-a-butternut-squash/