How To Cook Zucchini For Baby

Since raw squash is too difficult for babies and young toddlers to gum or chew, the best option for them is zucchini that has been cooked. The versatile vegetable can be prepared by steaming, roasting, sautéing, or baking; peeling is not required! Just make sure it is cooked to the point where it can be easily mashed between your fingers. When serving younger eaters, stick with larger and thicker slices.

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a versatile and healthy vegetable for babies. Here is everything you need to know to serve it in a way that is safe and delicious.

A four image collage showing different ways to serve zucchini to baby.

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WHEN CAN BABIES EAT ZUCCHINI?

It can be offered to babies as soon as they’re ready to start solids, usually around 6 months. It’s important to remember that your baby is unique and that rather than going by the calendar, you need to make sure your baby is DEVELOPMENTALLY ready to start solids.

If you’re unsure, be sure to grab my FREE handout!

HEALTH BENEFITS

Fun fact – while it is referred to as a vegetable, it is technically a fruit. It is a great source of vitamin B6, which supports brain development and function, and vitamin C, which helps enhance the absorption of iron.

It contains smaller amounts of vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and potassium.

Best iron rich foods for babies

SELECTING THE BEST ZUCCHINI

While it is available all year round in most grocery stories, you will find the best zucchini in the summer.

Look for shiny skin that is free of bruises, blemishes, and soft spots. The skin should be firm, particularly at the stem. It should also feel heavy for its size.

TOP COOKING METHODS

Here are the three best cooking methods for babies. It’s VERY important that the flesh is cooked until soft enough to be easily smooshed between thumb and forefinger.

I personally don’t recommend roasting for this age as the exterior of the vegetable can get too crispy or even burnt before it softens. You can boil, but I don’t recommend it as most of the nutrients will leach into the water.

In regards to size, cut into big spears. Once cooked, you can cut into smaller pieces depending on your baby’s age. This way you can serve both big and small pieces as suggested below.

STEAM

Steamed zucchini with fork piercing through a piece.

Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil. Add zucchini, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 8-10 minutes. It should be easily pierce-able with a fork.

STEAM ROAST

Steam roasted zucchini spears in a white pan.

This method is my personal favorite! You can learn more about steam roasting as well as cooking times for ALL other vegetables.

Add zucchini to a baking pan, toss with oil and seasoning(s) of choice, COVER, and roast at 425°F for 10-15 minutes! Perfectly soft and flavorful!

Herbs and Spices for Baby Food

SAUTEED

Sauteed zucchini rounds in a pan.

I don’t recommend doing this with spears as they won’t get soft enough. Slice into thin rounds and cook in a skillet with oil and seasoning(s) until soft. This is great for 9+ month olds.

ZUCCHINI FOR BABY LED WEANING

A graphic showing how to serve zucchini to babies from 6 to 15 plus months.

6+ MONTHS OLD

Pureed – Add cooked zucchini into a blender and blend until smooth. Add breastmilk/formula, water, or even broth to thin out to desired consistency.

Mashed – Whether you are advancing in texture after doing purees or starting with baby led weaning, this is such an easy and versatile way to serve zucchini to your baby.

Finely grated

You can add mashed or finely grated zucchini to (so many options!)

How to start baby led weaning

6-9 MONTHS OLD

Bigger is better and safer at this age so your baby can easily grab the food with their palm and bring to mouth.

Big spears are perfect! Again, the zucchini should easily smoosh between your thumb and forefinger.

9+ MONTHS OLD

As your baby develops their pincer grasp and is able to pick up small pieces of food using their thumb and finger, you can cut into small, bite-sized pieces. I still suggest continuing to offer larger pieces so they can practice taking bites.

It is a great skill that will help your child to slow down and take bites rather than shovel, which is what my son did for the longest time because I always cut his food into small pieces.

You can also offer raw grated zucchini by itself rather than folding into foods.

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15+ MONTHS OLD:

Depending on your child’s chewing abilities (and your comfort level), you can start to offer raw zucchini.

I highly recommend using different cookie cutters (I LOVE these). They played a tremendous part in getting both of my kids interested in raw vegetables.  

How to introduce raw vegetables

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is zucchini safe for babies?

As long as it is offered in an appropriate size and texture as I have shown here, it is safe. It is also not a common allergen.

Do I have to peel zucchini for baby food?

 It is not necessary as your baby will be able to gnaw/suck the soft flesh away from the skin. Most likely they will spit out the skin.

Can babies eat raw zucchini?

Only if it’s grated. It is best to hold off on offering larger pieces until your baby has had more practice with chewing.

What is the best way to store cooked zucchini?

Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Since they’re very soft in texture, I don’t recommend freezing them. If you have a lot of leftovers and want to invite more variety, add them to the recipes I suggest below!

What is the best way to reheat?

I suggest reheating very briefly in the microwave. Otherwise, the zucchini will get too mushy. I like to serve straight from the fridge or allow to come to room temperature.

What is the difference between zucchini and yellow squash?

Zucchini has dark green skin and is straight in shape while yellow squash is rich yellow and has a wide bottom and narrow top. Yellow squash also contains more seeds.

They are both part of the summer squash family  (and cousins of winter squash) and have a mild flavor. Prepare yellow squash the same as zucchini as I have shown you here. You can also use them interchangeably in recipes.steam roasted zucchini and yellow squash spears.

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If you want to learn how to prepare other specific food(s), check out my How To Series!

BABY-FRIENDLY ZUCCHINI RECIPES TO TRY

Whether you have an abundance of zucchini or want to incorporate more variety into your child’s diet, try these recipes! You can also freeze fresh zucchini.

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BREAKFAST/SNACK

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

A graphic showing how to serve zucchini to babies from 6 to 15 plus months.

How to Cook Zucchini for Babbies

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a versatile and healthy vegetable for babies. Here is everything you need to know to serve it in a way that is safe and delicious.

5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Servings: 4

Author: Min | MJ and Hungryman

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ▢1 medium zucchini, sliced into spears
  • ▢Oil for steam roasting or sauteeing
  • ▢Seasoning(s) of choice

Instructions

Steam

  • Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil. Add zuccchini, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until easily pierce-able with a fork.

Steam roast

  • Add zucchini to a baking pan, toss with oil and seasoning(s) of choice. It’s ok if they overlap a little bit. It will create more steam resulting in softer zucchini.
  • COVER with baking mat, and roast at 425°F for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender.

Saute

  • Recommended for 9+ month olds. Slice into thin rounds instead of spears. Heat oil or butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the slices, stir in seasoning(s) of choice.
  • Cook several minutes until tender, flip so they cook evenly. You can also add a splash of water and cover to speed up the process.

Notes

  •  It is not necessary as your baby will be able to gnaw/suck the soft flesh away from the skin. Most likely they will spit out the skin.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Since they’re very soft in texture, I don’t recommend freezing them.

Do You Leave The Skin On Zucchini For Baby Food?

Image result for How To Cook Zucchini For Baby

When preparing zucchini, you should not remove the skin; this is especially important if you are going to puree the vegetable to use as a baby food. Consuming the skin will provide the infant with all of the wonderful vitamins and nutrients that they need.

This zucchini (courgette) baby puree is mild tasting and a great first stage puree. Serve it as it is, mix with other purees or add fresh herbs for flavour.

Zucchini Puree in White Bowl with White Spoon

Contents  hide 

1 Reasons to Love this Puree

2 Watch How to Make it (Video)

3 Ingredient Information

4 How to Choose and Store Zucchini

5 Process Shots and Cooking Tips

6 Zucchini Baby Puree Combinations

7 Storage Instructions

8 Frequently Asked Questions

9 Zucchini (Courgette) Puree

9.1 Equipment

9.2 Ingredients

9.3 Instructions

9.4 Video

9.5 Recipe Notes

10 References

REASONS TO LOVE THIS PUREE

  • TEXTURE – Zucchini (courgette) has a high water content which makes the puree nice and thin and easy for your baby to swallow. It is fantastic for thinning out thicker vegetable/meat purees.
  • TASTE – Zucchini has a delicate flavour making it a great first taste food. It combines well with a range of vegetables, meats and is a good canvas for experimenting with different herbs and spices.
  • NUTRITION – Zucchinis are a good source of vitamins and minerals including beta carotene (which converts to vitamin A), vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.
  • FREEZER FRIENDLY – Prep ahead for busier nights.

WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT (VIDEO)

INGREDIENT INFORMATION

Flat Lay of Zucchini and Basil (Labelled)

Zucchini is the only ingredient needed to make zucchini puree. Due to their high water content, no extra liquid is needed.

Basil (or herb of choice) adds flavour, try serving it with and without herbs to provide your baby with a variety of flavours.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE ZUCCHINI

  • Look for zucchinis that are small to medium-sized (no larger than 15 – 20cm (6 to 8 inches)), larger zucchinis tend to be more watery, flavourless and have larger seeds.
  • Choose zucchinis with vibrant, smooth skin free of nicks and cuts.
  • Ensure your zucchinis are dry and store them in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Do not wash them until just before using. Avoid wrapping in plastic bags, as they can cause excess moisture and the zucchini can get soft/slimy.

PROCESS SHOTS AND COOKING TIPS

Collage of 4 Images Showing How to Make Zucchini Puree 1) Chop zucchini 2)Steam Zucchini 3)Mash Zucchini 4)Puree Zucchini
  1. WASH & SLICE: Wash, top and tail the zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then slice.
  2. STEAM: Steam for around 8-10 minutes or until soft and tender.
  3. MASH / PUREE: Puree smooth or mash to offer your baby a more textured puree. It is always good to start adding texture and not only offer smooth purees.
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ZUCCHINI BABY PUREE COMBINATIONS

Zucchini has quite a mild flavour and is a good canvas for adding other flavours. Good partners with zucchini include:

Try changing up the flavour by adding…

  • basil
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • marjoram
  • onion
  • parsley
  • thyme
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STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS

Store in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze for up to two months. Read more on how to safely store baby food.  

Zucchini Puree in Ice Cube Tray
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is zucchini a common food allergen?

What age is this puree suitable from?

Should I peel the zucchini skin?

Do I need to remove the seeds?

Looking for zucchini finger food ideas? Why not try

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Zucchini Puree in White Bowl with White Spoon

5 from 1 vote

ZUCCHINI (COURGETTE) PUREE

Zucchini steamed and pureed. Delicious on its own or mixed with other purees.

PREP TIME:5 minutes

COOK TIME:10 minutes

TOTAL TIME:15 minutes

SERVES:10

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EQUIPMENT

  • ▢Food Processor or Blender

INGREDIENTS

  • ▢2 medium zucchinis
  • ▢1 or 2 basil leaves (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wash and remove the ends of the zucchinis. Slice into rounds.
  • Steam the zucchini for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
  • Add cooked slices to a blender along with the basil. Blend until smooth.

VIDEO

RECIPE NOTES

Basil is optional or can be replaced with a different herb such as parsley or thyme. 

As babies age, you want to add more texture. This puree can be easily mashed for a chunkier texture. 

I find you need 2 zucchinis for a larger blender to blend properly. If you have a smaller blender or plan to mash then you can half the recipe. 

Nutritional information is a rough guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator. 

Nutrition Facts

Zucchini (Courgette) Puree

Amount Per Serving

Calories 7Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Sodium 3mg0%

Potassium 103mg3%

Carbohydrates 1g0%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 83IU2%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 6mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course:Baby Food

Cuisine:Puree

Keyword:Courgette Puree, Zucchini Puree

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag me on Instagram at @healthylittlefoodies or leave me a comment & rating below.

REFERENCES

  1. Reindl, J., Anliker, M. D., Karamloo, F., Vieths, S., & Wüthrich, B. (2000). Allergy caused by ingestion of zucchini (Cucurbita pepo): Characterization of allergens and cross-reactivity to pollen and other foods. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 106(2), 379–38

Disclaimer: This guide is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the personalised care and advice given to you by a health professional. You should never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here. Please refer to our full disclaimer for more info.

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