Zucchini is a member of the squash family and a great option for babies! They’re packed with water, making them super hydrating. It’s also a softer vegetable even without cooking.
Benefits of zucchini for babies
Obviously, we’re looking to start littles on the most nutrient dense foods we can! While you might not think about it, zucchini is definitely that! It’s also primarily water, making it a great option for hydrating babies.
Here’s what the USDA tells us is in 100g (less than 1 cup) of chopped zucchini.
- Essential vitamins like calcium, Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc,
- 1.2 grams of protein, making it a surprising source of protein for babies.
- 1 gram of fiber to help keep your nugget regular.
How to prepare and serve zucchini for a baby
Zucchini is the perfect first food for your baby. It’s soft naturally so it’s easy to gum, but once you cook it, it’s even softer for little mouths.
If you’re using purees with your little, steam or roast your zucchini and then blend until smooth. It’s great for mixing with other vegetables as the flavor is super mild.
Practice BLW with purees by offering preloaded spoons!
If you’re looking fo an in between, mashed is smart! Steam your zucchini then gently mash with a fork.
A bit of texture is fine, but avoid any big chunks if giving to a baby 6-9 months. If you think the skin is thick and won’t mash, peel before steaming, though this isn’t super necessary.
Feed to baby on the tray, allowing them to use their hand and fingers to pick up and feed themselves. Alternately, give baby preloaded spoons with the zucchini mush.
Zucchini is great for serving in whole food form. When it’s raw, it’s firm but soft enough to gum. (Cold sticks are great for teething!)
We like to cut a large zucchini in half width-wise then cut each half into sticks, toss in olive or avocado oil, and bake for 10 minutes or so at 350 until soft. Steaming the sticks are great and soft as well.
You want your sticks to be the traditional finger length and width. Learn about how to cut food for baby led weaning here.
Another option is thick rounds, either roasted or raw.
Cutting them smaller can be a great option to hone baby’s pincer grip. Cut your cooked, soft zucchini pieces into smaller pieces and serve to babies 9+ months.
Grated or Spiralized.
If you want to serve raw but are nervous about large pieces coming off, try grating. This is a great option to teach baby how to pick up the pieces as well as to introduce different textures.
You can also spiralize your zucchini and serve it similar to spaghetti squash for babies with sauces.
Some of our favorites: