Delicata squash baby food

Delicata Squash for Babies - First Foods for Baby

When can babies eat delicata squash?

Delicata squash that’s been peeled, deseeded, and cooked to a soft consistency may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months old. Delicata is a great first squash because it can be easily cut into rings, which are easy for little hands to pick up and hold.

Is delicata squash healthy for babies?

Yes! Delicata squash is full of vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to thrive. Rich in B-vitamins, which convert nutrients into fuel for cell and tissue growth, delicata squash also has a good amount of vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper, which aids iron absorption. Delicata squash also contains beta-carotene, which helps with eyesight and acts as an antioxidant to protect a baby’s body from toxins and irritants.

★Tip: Save your seeds! Just like whole seeds and nuts, delicata squash seeds are a choking hazards for babies and children under the age of five, but they’re a safe and healthy choice for you. All you need to do is toss them with oil and salt and bake them until they’re dried and toasted.

Is delicata squash a common choking hazard for babies?

Delicata squash should not pose a choking risk as long as it’s been peeled, deseeded, and cooked to a soft consistency. That said, any food can be a choking hazard in theory, so be sure to watch closely as your baby eats.

When serving delicata squash to your baby, take care with the rind: it is edible but it may present a choking hazard for young eaters. After your baby becomes a more experienced eater (or around 18 to 24 months old), you can try leaving some of the rind on after cooking.

For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.

Is delicata squash a common allergen?

No. Allergies to delicata squash are rare, though there have been reports of people getting an itchy rash on their hands after handling winter squashes.1 To minimize any reaction, wash your baby’s hands and face and your own hands after handling winter squashes and pumpkins.

How do you prepare delicata squash for babies with baby-led weaning?

Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.

6 to 9 months old: Peel the cooked squash and cut into thick 2 inch rings, removing the seeds as you go. Alternatively, you can serve mashed delicata squash on a pre-loaded spoon. Try offering the spoon in the air so the baby can easily take it from you or rest it on the edge of a bowl for them to pick up independently.

9 to 12 months old: For babies who are 9 months and older, you can either continue with the cooked rings as described above or try serving smaller, bite-sized pieces of peeled, cooked squash to encourage development of baby’s pincer grasp (where the pointer finger meets the thumb).

12 to 24 months old: Continue to serve peeled, cooked, bite-sized pieces of delicata squash. You can offer these on their own, as finger food, or with a fork for utensil practice. Encourage the child to self-feed by scooping with their hands, and if you’d like to encourage utensil use, pre-load an age-appropriate utensil and rest it next to the food for the child to pick up. Try not to apply too much pressure—consistent and accurate utensil use will come in due time—probably between 18 and 24 months of age.

A cooked circular slice of delicata squash for babies 6 months +Cooked, bite-sized pieces of delicata squash for babies 9 months +

How often should you offer solids? See our sample feeding schedules for babies of every age.

Recipe: Delicata Squash Rings


  • Delicata squash
  • Avocado, coconut, or olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Rinse the squash after peeling and pat it dry.
  3. Slice off each end of the squash, then cut crosswise. Scoop out the seeds and set them aside for yourself. Finish preparing the squash by cutting it into rings that are about ½-inch thick.
  4. Coat the squash rings with the oil of your choice. Arrange the rings in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish, and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are soft.

Flavor Pairings

Delicata squash pairs well with wintery flavors such as butter, maple, nutmeg, sage, and thyme. After cooking the squash, trying adding it to salads, soups, and stews for extra nutrition.

  1. Potter, T.S. & Hashimoto, K. (1994) Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) dermatitis. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1994.tb00588.x. (website) Retrieved Friday, January 3, 2020.

Squash Baby Food Recipes, Make Homemade Squash for Baby Food, Introducing Squash to Baby

While the recommended age for starting solid foods is generally 6 months of age, many babies start solids between 4 and 6 months of age. These recipes are appropriate for this age range.

Winter Squash, like butternut squash and acorn squash, is a wonderful first food for your baby. High in Vitamins and Calcium – smooth, delicious and very nutritious, these winter squashes are sure to be a hit with your baby.

Just check out the amount of Vitamin A and Folate 1 cup of baked squash cubes contain: Folate – 57.40 mcg and Vitamin A – 7,291.85 mg.

When can I introduce Butternut Squash or Acorn Squash to my baby?

Squash may be offered as early as 4 – 6 months old. Butternut and acorn squash are wonderful additions to baby’s first foods. These winter veggies roast up to tasty flavorful perfection and blend and puree into as thin of a texture as you require.

The goodness of Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, and other Winter Squash for baby food

Winter Squash

As the nutritional content of Winter squash varies with the variety of squash, you will find a nutritional summary accounting for all varieties below:

Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked-baked, butternut cubes)

Univ. of IL – Watch Your Garden
Calories – 79.95
Protein – 1.82 grams
Carbohydrate – 17.94 grams
Dietary Fiber – 5.74 grams
Calcium – 28.7 mg
Iron – 0.67 mg
Potassium – 895.85 mg
Folate – 57.40 mcg
Vitamin A – 1144 IU

How to select and store Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and other Winter Squash for baby food

 According to the EWG, winter squash such as butternut and acorn are not one of the “dirty dozen” foods that are most highly contaminated with pesticides. Hard rind or shelled fruits and veggies usually keep out any contaminants. Purchasing organic is a personal choice.

A squash is characterized as a “Winter” squash not only due to the season in which it grows, but also due to the way the squash itself grows. Winter squash actually mature on the vine and do not further mature or ripen once harvested. The rind or shell of a Winter squash is very hard and thick. Peak season for Winter squash is November through December.

Acorn and the Butternut are the best choices for baby’s first squash experience. Additional varieties of winter squash can be found below.  These types of squash are best given to an infant between 6-8 months old. (If you start solids early at 4 months, winter squash is also appropriate.)

images: Getty

Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is light tan in color, and is bell-shaped or shaped like an elongated pear. Butternut squash has a deep orange flesh, and is loaded with a sweet, nutty flavor.

Acorn Squash:  This squash is probably one of the most easily recognized and most often eaten. It does have an acorn shape to it, along with deep furrows. The acorn squash is typically a deep dark green, however there are some varsities that are yellow or orange.  Regardless of the color of the acorn squash, the meat is sweet and yummy baked with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

Hubbard Squash: You can’t miss a Hubbard. This squash is typically very large and looks like a misshapen teardrop. Bumpy and thick-skinned, it has a blue-gray or sometimes a sea green color. The flesh is rich and slightly sweeter than a banana squash.

Delicata Squash: You may know this squash as sweet potato or bohemian squash. It is a bit like an acorn squash in shape though more cylindrical, like a butternut. The shell of a Delicata is rather pretty; it is yellow with green stripes and reddish-brown spotting or spattering. The meat is a pale yellowish-orange and the taste is mild and a bit like corn.

The best way to store butternut squash, acorn squash or other winter squash for baby food

Winter squash typically may be stored for a long period of time. Depending on the variety, a winter squash such as the Butternut, may be stored for up to four months. Store your winter squash in a cool dry place for optimal storage times.

The best way to cook butternut squash, acorn squash and other winter squash for baby food

The best way to cook butternut squash, acorn squash and other winter squash for baby food recipes is to bake or roast the squash. You retain the most nutrients while bringing out the most flavor. Roasting or baking winter squash is also easier because you won’t spend forever and a day tying to peel and cube the squash for steaming or boiling.

How to bake or roast a butternut squash for baby food

Step 1: With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the butternut squash in half – lengthwise.

 Kristi wrote to us to share this little tip for cutting hard winter squashes:

“I recently read about a great tip to help cut butternut squash (I haven’t tried acorn but also works well with small pumpkins). Place whole squash in the microwave and cook on high for about 2 minutes. This makes the initial cutting of the squash really easy.”

Step 2: Scoop out the seeds from the round end of the cut butternut squash

Step 3: Lay butternut squash “face” or meat-side down in a baking dish with about 1-2 inched of water.

Step 4: Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until shell/skin looks puckery and turns a darker tan.

From here, you’re ready to make a variety of purees, below.

Enjoy these butternut squash baby food recipes, acorn squash and other winter squash baby food recipes

Butternut or Acorn Squash – Basic Purée (4)6 months+


  • 1 acorn or butternut squash
  • Follow directions as to how to bake or roast a butternut squash for baby food above.

Step 1: Place squash “meat” into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.

Step 2: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.

You can also peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into chunks and boil/steam until tender (like when boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes) then follow steps 4 and 5 – this way is most difficult however and rather time consuming.

Photos: Chelsea Foy


Rice with Apple and Butternut Squash Purée – (4)6 months+


  • 1 squash – acorn, butternut or other winter squash
  • 1 or 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce


Step 1: Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds

Step 2: Place halves face down in a pan and cover with an inch of water

Step 3: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell

Step 4: Place squash “meat” into your choice of appliance for pureeing

Step 5: Add cooked rice and applesauce and blend

Step 6: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency


Baby’s Acorn Squash & Apple Bake – 6-8 months+


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 or 3 Macintosh apples
  • pinch of cinnamon


Step 1: Peel and dice apples

Step 2: Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds

Step 3: Place halves face UP in a pan and add with an inch of water to the pan

Step 4: Place diced apples in the squash “holes” where the seeds were

Step 5: Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired

Step 6: Pour water over the apples so that there is water in the squash holes – cover pan with tinfoil

Step 7: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” and apples out of the shell

Step 8: Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required. You may also chop or dice and serve as a finger food meal.

 This baked medley is very nice when mixed with brown rice or quinoa.

Squash & Rice “Soup” 6 months+


  • 1 cup cooked mashed butternut squash (works well with pumpkin too.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • dollop whole milk yogurt (optional for 8 months+)


Step 1: Mash squash with the water in a food processor or blender and slowly mix in the brown rice.

Step 2: Process to a consistency that your baby enjoys and can handle then stir in the yogurt


Butternut Squash Baby Food Recipes – Baked Acorn Squash Bowls

This is a great way to get baby interested in self-feeding; plop down the whole squash bowl and let him chow down (under strict supervision of course and ensuring that he is ready to dive in like this!)


  • 1 acorn or butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • handful of raisins
  • cinnamon (as you prefer)
  • ginger (as you prefer)
  • nutmeg (as you prefer)


Step 1: Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds

Step 2: Wipe insides with butter or olive oil and add raisins and applesauce

Step 3: Add 2 inches of water to a baking pan

Step 4: Place halves face up with shell down in a pan

Step 5: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft.

Step 6: Serve as is in the shell to older toddlers (our kids LOVE this in the shell.) or scoop out the meat and mash then serve.

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Savory Butternut Squash & Potato Puree (or Mash) 6 months+


  • 1 2-3 lb. butternut or acorn squash – you may use any winter squash for this dish.
  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half – 1 cup whole milk yogurt will work as well <optional for 8 months+>
  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped fresh chives
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (omit salt for babies.)


Step 1: Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

Step 2: Peel the shell and cut the squash into 3-inch dices.

Step 3: Place squash and potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and cook until both the squash and potatoes are fork-tender (30-40 minutes).

Step 4: Drain liquid (reserving about 1 cup) and add in cream or yogurt and butter.

Step 5: Using a potato masher, mash well or puree if desired for your baby’s texture preferences; adding cooking liquid if you want it a bit thinner consistency.

Step 6: Add chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Squash Soup** 8 months+ (due to spices)


  • 1 1/2 lb winter squash chopped or 2-12oz pkgs frozen (thawed)
  • 1 small onion *
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric*
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper *
  • 2 cups chicken broth (use no sodium/low-fat or Make Your Own Stock and Broth)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream *


Step 1: Saute Onions then combine squash, onion and spices. . cook on low for 10 minutes.. stir in broth and cook another 15 minutes.

Step 2: Cool Slightly and pour 1/3 into blender and blend until smooth, repeating until all of the mixture is blended .. reheat soup before serving and swirl in some sour cream. 4 thumbs up from my twins.

** Please note that you may leave out the * items as needed for your baby’s age and preferences. I like to keep the onion, replace the spices with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and also use plain yogurt instead of sour cream.**


Baby’s Stuffed Acorn Squash – MEATLESS 8 months +


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (we leave out the mushrooms.)
  • 1/2 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 cups cooked whole-grain rice (orzo or couscous are nice as well. )
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (or juice)


Step 1: Cut each squash lengthwise in half and scoop out seeds.

Step 2: Place squash halves, cut side down, in baking dish with 1-2 inches of water. Bake for 45 minutes or until shell/skin puckers and squash is soft. Let cool.

Step 3: In a medium skillet, sauté apples, onion, mushrooms, celery for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle thyme, oregano and sage. Stir in cooked rice, apricots and raisins. Add apple cider, cook until apple cider is almost evaporated.

Step 4: Place cooled squash on a large nonstick cookie sheet. Spoon stuffing into squash cavities. Bake for additional 20 minutes.

Step 5: Serve blended and chopped by scooping out the squash & stuffing from the shell and transferring to a blender or food processor. To serve “in the bowl” for older toddlers, gently scrape the squash form the shell so that it falls into the middle with the stuffing and then mash a bit with a fork. Adults may be served as is.

Foods good to mix with Butternut or Acorn Squash:

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork

Resources & Learning More:

  • Watch Your Garden Grow – Univ. of IL Extension
  • Tony Tantillo – Vegetables
  • ABQ Journal – Winter Squash
  • VegWeb Squash Recipes

 Visit the Quick Start to Homemade Baby Food page

 Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.

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