How to cook yellow squash for baby food

Roasted Yellow Squash Baby Food Puree (4+ Months)

Home » Feeding Style » Baby Food Purees » Stage One » Roasted Yellow Squash with Olive Oil + Cilantro Baby Food Puree

by Michele Olivier on July 9, 2014 (updated Jun 29, 2019)

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5 stars (3 ratings)

This fun and tasty Roasted Yellow Squash + Olive Oil with Cilantro Baby Food Puree will be a hit with your little one! Creamy, rich and full of flavor, it’s hard not to love this amazing puree. Great baby food for 4 months and up – stage 1 baby food.

There is something so magically summer about yellow squash.

Maybe it’s their color.

Or maybe it is the way they can be plucked off the vine, still warm from the afternoon sun, mixed with a little olive oil then roasted and used as a side to almost anything you are making for dinner.

Or possibly, it’s the fact that when yellow squash are in season, they are in season! They are like the rabbits of the vegetable family. They just keep coming and coming.

In abundance.

With force.

In shear numbers that are on the edge of creating an army.

And just when you think you have had your fill, suddenly a whole new crop pops up and you have a million more to consume before they go bad.

This is where I step in, since I didn’t plant any this year, I am waiting for that time when all my friends and family, who had the time to plant them and lovenly grow them for me, are at their wits end trying to get rid of them. Then I politely take a couple bags off their hands and get to work. Pureeing, roasting, grilling. You can’t go wrong.

These simple, delicate and versatile little gems are easy to cook and filled with an abundance of Vitamin A, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium and Calcium. They are a perfect first food for your little one because of their smooth flavor and silky texture.

So if you are in the same boat as I am and didn’t think ahead to plant some, go ahead and make some new friends that have. They are going to need someone just like to you unload their armies of squash on in the next couple of weeks.

Other ways to enjoy this healthy puree:
  • Mix with Mango puree and tuna or salon puree for a caribbean inspired dish
  • Puree with white beans, olive oil, paprika and tahini for a scrumptious toddler dip
  • Whisk puree in with eggs, cheddar cheese, green onions, chopped spinach and leeks for an easy and healthy omelet
  • Combine squash puree in with healthy whole wheat or gluten free pasta noodles, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and a dash of black pepper

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  • 2 medium yellow squash cut into 1/2″ half moons
  • 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup liquid water, breast milk or stock
  • Heat oven to 400 Degree. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place the cut squash onto the baking sheet and bursh with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the squash and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  • Place the squash and cilantro a blender or food processor and puree on high for 1-2 minutes, adding the liquid in if needed.

Age: 4 months and up

Yield: roughly 15 ounces

Additional Spices: Feel free to use the following spices instead of the curry – 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of cloves, 1 fresh garlic clove, 1/2 tsp of chopped fresh thyme, 3-4 basil leaves, 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary or even a big pinch of fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder.

Storage: Fridge – store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freezer – can be frozen for up to 4 months (this and this are my favorite freezer storage containers).

Favorite Kitchen Tools: Get a list of my favorite kitchen tools to make the best baby food here!


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Zucchini and Summer Squash for Baby Food

Image: Shutterstock

The Goodness of Summer Squash for your Baby

Summer squash can be wonderful for baby and easy to turn into baby food recipes. While it contains less nutrients than do the Winter squash, it’s still a great vegetable for baby food.

Why are there less nutrients in summer squash varieties? There are less nutrients due to the fact that Summer squash are immature when they are harvested and eaten. Below you will find a nutritional summary accounting for all summer squash varieties below:

Summer/Zucchini Squash (1/2 cup boiled & drained with peel)

Vitamin A – 1340 mg

Vitamin C – 5.5 mg

Pantothenic Acid – .3 mg

Niacin – .05 mg

Riboflavin – .04 mg

Thiamine – .04 mg

Folate – 20 mcg

Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.

Potassium – 304 mg

Phosphorus – 48 mg

Magnesium – 26 mg

Calcium – 16 mg

Sodium – 287 mg

Iron – .42 mg

Also contains small amounts of selenium, copper, manganese and other.

When can I introduce Zucchini & Yellow Squash to my baby? 

Many parents want to know when baby can eat zucchini and other yummy summer squashes. Summer squash is best given to baby around 8 months old as the skins may be difficult for a younger tummy to digest. There are many babies who may do just fine with this variety of squash however if your little one is prone to digestive upsets, then it might not be wise to introduce before 8 months old.

How to select and store Zucchini & Yellow Squash for baby food

 Summer Squash are not known to be contaminated with high levels of pesticides so purchasing organic is your choice. Please do be sure to thoroughly wash these summer squashes if you will preparing them with the skin on.

The skin of summer squash is thin and delicate. This causes summer squash to be less hearty for storing. Handling summer squash with care is necessary so as not to bruise the squash. summer squash may be stored in the refrigerator, unwashed as water droplets may cause tiny spots of decomposition. Store your summer squash in the crisper box of the refrigerator.

Some varieties of summer squash are as follows however the Zucchini and Yellow are the best choices for baby’s first summer squash experience.

Zucchini: Some may know zucchini to be called Italian squash and in Europe, it may be know as a Courgette. Zucchini resembles a cucumber and is green as a cucumber is. It should be between six and eight inches for best taste. The meat of zucchini is whitish-yellow or may appear a pale green.

Yellow or Crooked Neck: This squash is yellow and may be a bit bumpy looking. It is shaped much like a bottle with a long, curved neck. The meat of the Yellow squash is much like that of the zucchini but contains more seeds.

The best way to cook Zucchini & Yellow Squash Squash

You may steam or boil summer squash. Sauteing zucchini and yellow squash together in a wee bit of olive oil with spices is also quite yummy for baby.The best way to cook Zucchini & Yellow Squash Squash

The color of the Summer Squash will change when it is done cooking; it will appear more translucent and less colorful.

A Few Zucchini & Yellow Squash Squash Baby Food Recipes

Squash (summer) Puree – Basic

Step 1: Choose yellow squash or zucchini that are somewhat small in diameter, as these are the most tender.

Step 2: Wash squash thoroughly and cut into small slices or chunks. Do not remove skins. (*You may remove skins however an infant of 7-8 months old should be able to digest squash puree with skins on)

Step 3: Steam until tender then Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.

Step 4: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency

**Summer squash becomes very watery when cooked; you will probably not need to add any water for your older baby.**

 TIP: Baby food cubes (pictured) are a great way to store baby food when making in batches. Check out our page on making baby food cubes to learn more.

Yellow & Green Squash Medley

Step 1: Boil or steam or zucchini and yellow squash until tender

Step 2: Puree or mash as needed, adding water to thin if required.

**Summer squash becomes very watery when cooked; you will probably not need to add any water for your older baby.**

Summer Squash & Pasta Medley

(8 months + due to cheese & peppers which are optional)

Step 1: Boil or steam or zucchini and yellow squash until tender

Step 2: Prepare pasta such as Pastina or Ditalini according to package directions

Step 3: Add squash to the cooked pasta and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with grated cheese and/or basil and garlic powder

**Toss in some finely diced roasted red peppers for extra color and flavor temptation.**

Zucchini & Carrot Fritters

Best for those 8 months of age and over. Exchange the cayenne with a bit of garlic powder if desired. Make a cucumber yogurt dip.


  • 1 medium carrot (peeled)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese – *Skip ricotta and sub in 1/3 cup of milk if you prefer
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • olive or canola oil spray


Step 1: Wash vegetables.

Step 2: Grate carrot and zucchini and chop the onion.

Step 3: Mix vegetables, ricotta cheese (or milk), egg, flour and pepper.

Step 4: Lightly spray non-stick fry pan with oil spray and warm pan on medium heat

Step 5: Place large spoonfuls in fry pan, flatten and cook for 7 minutes or until golden.

Step 6: Turn to other side and cook a further 7 minutes or until golden. Serve with cucumber yogurt dip

Step 7: Cut the fritters into pieces that your baby will be able to handle.

You could also bake these at 375 F, on a lightly olive oiled baking sheet for approx 20-25 minutes.

Turn half way through cooking and be sure to check on the progress often to avoid burning.

Foods Good to Mix With Summer Squash

  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork

 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.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash are tasty little veggies. They cook easily and make wonderful additions to your little one’s menu.


Zucchini puree for the first feeding

The introduction of zucchini in the first feeding is recommended by WHO, and zucchini puree for feeding the baby can be prepared without any problems yourself. There is nothing complicated in growing zucchini and the mature fruits of many varieties can be stored throughout the entire frosty period. The pulp of the fruit with elementary heat treatment retains its beneficial properties and is easily absorbed by the child's body even from an early age.


  • How to cook courgettes for the first feeding
  • Courgettes for complementary foods in baby food
  • Composition of marrow
  • Benefits of zucchini for children and adults

How to prepare zucchini for first feeding

If you decide to start feeding your baby, start with zucchini. It will be the best addition to breast milk or adapted formula. Zucchini is a hypoallergenic product and contains a large amount of nutrients needed by the child. nine0003

Zucchini puree recipe

Cooking zucchini puree for the first feeding at home. Of the ingredients you need only zucchini and water. Let's start by rinsing the zucchini under cool running water. Peel off the skin and cut into cubes. Next 2 options. Either put it in boiling water, cook the zucchini for 6-10 minutes, while retaining the benefits of vitamin C. Or steam it, which will undoubtedly be tastier and healthier. Then we wipe through a sieve or grind with a blender. nine0003

You need to start complementary foods with one teaspoon, gradually day after day, increasing the number of spoons. It is important to introduce your child to this product at a very young age. When the child grows up, he will also need nutrients. And you can spoil him with many different zucchini dishes.

How to cook zucchini correctly and how much

For the first feeding, it is recommended to boil zucchini for up to 10 minutes. Usually this time is enough to soften the cut pieces. Do not forget that the longer the heat treatment of the vegetable takes place, the less vitamins and useful trace elements remain. Then everything is thoroughly crushed into puree and the first complementary foods are ready. Depending on the period of introduction of the puree to the baby, you can add a little vegetable oil to the puree if the mass of the portion of the puree has reached 100 g (usually on the 6th-7th day of feeding). nine0003

For the preparation of mashed potatoes, babies need to select only young and fresh zucchini fruits: without rot, cracks and dents. The fruit is thoroughly washed under running water. Then its lateral parts are cut off: the tail and the “butt”; peel is removed. The zucchini is cut lengthwise into several parts, from which the central soft part with seeds is removed. The remaining parts are cut into cubes. If the vegetable is bought at the market or in a store, it is recommended to soak the zucchini in clean water for about 2 hours to remove unnatural trace elements from the fruit in the form of fertilizers and pesticides. nine0003

How to freeze and defrost zucchini? Cooked cut fruit cubes in the right amount are placed in plastic bags or containers, and then in the refrigerator. For the preparation of frozen fruit puree, it is recommended to use a defrosted vegetable. To speed up the process, bags or containers with zucchini are placed in water at room temperature or under running tap water. After 1-2 hours, you can start cooking according to a known scheme.

Squash for complementary foods in baby food

Squash is widely used in baby food for its unique properties. In addition, vegetable squash purees are considered the most popular when introducing the first complementary foods to a child. One-component zucchini puree manufacturers recommend using for children from 4 months.

Table of the introduction of the first complementary foods with zucchini according to WHO recommendations

Baby food recommended for the first complementary foods includes Heinz zucchini puree, which additionally includes corn flour and water. A similar product is Hipp zucchini puree, which contains coarse rice flour. These products are sold in glass jars with a net weight of 80 grams, and the puree contains no salt, sugar, starch, preservatives or dyes. nine0003

At a later age, in baby food, zucchini is used with vegetables, fruits, cereals and meat. For children over 5 months:

  • Frutonyanya Broccoli and Zucchini Puree
  • Puree Frutonyan zucchini and potatoes
  • Frutonyanya puree cauliflower and marrow
  • Puree Frutonyanya apples and zucchini
  • Frutonyanya zucchini-oatmeal puree
  • Gerber potato and courgette puree
  • Puree Gerber apples and zucchini

Children's puree Tyoma beef with zucchini is recommended to try not earlier than 6 months from birth.

Ingredients of zucchini

Zucchini is a source of substances that have a beneficial effect on digestion. They contain a small amount of calories when cooked (20 to 25 kcal per 100 grams), so you can use them in food during therapeutic diets.

Fruits contain not only carbohydrates, fats and proteins, but also useful trace elements: sodium, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine. In addition, the composition contains vitamins of groups B, C, E, H, PP, A.

Benefits of zucchini for children and adults

Zucchini has a very pleasant taste. Doctors advise them to use those who have undergone surgery on the stomach or intestines. I would like to mention that these fruits are very useful for those who suffer from edema.

Zucchini juice for men and women can help with obesity. Helps the body to get rid of toxins and slags, relieves constipation well, strengthens the heart. The glycogen in them has a positive effect on the activity of the liver. Zucchini significantly improves blood formation, helps to restore strength after prolonged exertion. Zucchini seeds will help get rid of worms. With hepatitis, regular consumption of zucchini will lead to a significant improvement in well-being. nine0003

Thus, the use of zucchini in the first feeding is the best option for both the child and the parents (of course, excluding the case of his individual intolerance).

Zucchini for children: useful properties, recipes

Zucchini is one of the varieties of pumpkin brought to Europe from America about five centuries ago. At first, zucchini was planted only for decorative purposes, and Italian chefs were the first to use young fruits for food. Today, zucchini is very often used to prepare various dishes of Mediterranean cuisine, and it is also found in national recipes of other countries. nineOlo

  • Vegetable stew with zucchini
  • See also:
  • In Russia, zucchini has taken root due to its unpretentiousness: in the summer season, this vegetable grows, probably, in every gardener. As a result, its fruits are relatively cheap, and the speed of preparation and neutral taste give room for culinary creativity: there is, perhaps, not a single category of dishes in which zucchini could not be used. It is added to both first and second courses, salads, appetizers, pastries and desserts. It is pickled and salted, used fresh. Well, in the children's menu, zucchini appears as the first (or one of the first) complementary foods. nine0003

    Useful properties of zucchini for children

    Zucchini is a hypoallergenic product recommended for children as a first food.

    Of course, the culinary quality of the product is an important characteristic when preparing a diet for a baby. But we are much more interested in the benefits that this product can give to the child's body.

    Zucchini is a very useful vegetable. And its main advantage compared to other vegetables is its low allergenicity: zucchini extremely rarely causes intolerance reactions or true food allergies, even in allergic children. That is why pediatricians recommend using zucchini puree as the first feeding in children with symptoms of diathesis, atopic dermatitis, or other types of allergies. nine0003

    If we talk about the nutritional value of zucchini, then its advantages are:

    1. High content of pectin - a type of soluble vegetable fiber. Pectin is able to gently stimulate the work of the digestive organs, activate intestinal motility, and therefore zucchini dishes are shown to babies suffering from constipation. And, unlike the rather coarse fibers of insoluble fiber, pectins do not injure the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, pectin has the ability to absorb and remove various toxins, cholesterol, excess salts and other harmful substances. nine0008
    2. Zucchini is hypocaloric - only 24 kcal per 100 g of product. It can be successfully included in the menu of overweight children.
    3. Zucchini carbohydrates are easily digestible and do not increase blood glucose levels, so it is included in the list of allowed foods for diabetes.
    4. Zucchini contains vitamins and minerals: vitamins C, E, groups B, A, H, PP, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. And although their content in zucchini is not too high compared to the daily norm, they are almost completely preserved with a short heat treatment - after all, 3-4 minutes of cooking is enough to give softness to young fruits, and older children can eat zucchini raw. nine0008

    The nutritional properties of different varieties of marrow (white, yellow, green) and zucchini (young fruit) are about the same.

    Contraindications to the use of zucchini

    There are few contraindications to the use of zucchini, but they still exist:

    1. Food allergies - although rare, zucchini can cause allergies.
    2. You will have to completely refuse or significantly reduce the share of zucchini dishes in your menu not only with food allergies, but also with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) to weed pollen (quinoa, wormwood, ragweed, etc.). It's all about the so-called cross-allergic reactions - the components of the zucchini are similar in structure to the allergens of weeds, because of which the body can "confuse" them: the symptoms of hay fever will intensify or signs of a food allergy will appear. nine0008
    3. Like other vegetables, zucchini is contraindicated in the acute period of diseases of the digestive tract. But it can be introduced after a few days of relief of pain, diarrhea or other symptoms.
    4. Due to its pronounced diuretic effect, zucchini is used with caution in kidney diseases and in violation of water-salt metabolism - it can be consumed only after consulting a doctor.

    How to give zucchini to children

    Mashed zucchini without salt may be recommended as a first food. The optimal age of the baby for the introduction of complementary foods is 6 months. According to individual indications (prolonged constipation, lack of milk in the mother), sometimes an earlier introduction is recommended - after 4.5–5 months, but very carefully. nine0003

    Zucchini puree is given in the morning feeding, starting with 1/2 tsp, daily increasing the portion by another 1/2–1 tsp. As a result, a six-month-old child should receive about 50–60 g of puree per meal, at 7–8 months - about 70, and by 10 months - about 100 g. After zucchini, the baby is supplemented with breast milk or formula.

    During the feeding period, the infant should be closely monitored for any changes. If suddenly there is a disorder of the stool, rashes on the skin, flatulence - zucchini puree is canceled. You can try to reintroduce it into the diet after 1-2 weeks, and in case of repeated failure - after a year. nine0003

    After the baby gets used to zucchini puree, you can diversify the taste by mixing zucchini with other vegetables (carrots, potatoes), fruits (apples) or cereals (rice, buckwheat). Milk or a mixture, butter and vegetable oil, yolk can be added to vegetable puree. By 8 months, zucchini can be offered to the baby not only in the form of mashed potatoes, but also as part of vegetarian mashed soups, and by 9–10 months, to develop chewing skills, zucchini should be given without prior grinding - in small pieces, boiled or stewed, separately, in soup or vegetable stew. nine0003

    After a year, zucchini is used for making casseroles, fritters, first and second courses. But you should not give it in a fried and pickled form to children. Due to the high fat content and roasting of vegetables, traditional squash caviar is not suitable for baby food, but it can be successfully replaced with stewed stew from the same vegetables.

    Zucchini recipes for kids

    Zucchini puree soup is a tasty and healthy dish.

    As already mentioned, the neutral taste and the ability of zucchini to absorb the taste and aroma of other ingredients provide endless opportunities for experimentation in the kitchen. For the preparation of various dishes, both young zucchini and mature fruits are suitable, but the latter will have to be peeled from the core with seeds and a dense peel. The difference in cooking time should be taken into account: a young vegetable will be ready in 3–5 minutes, and you will have to add another 15–20 minutes to cook a mature zucchini. nine0003

    A few recipes as an example:

    First food - squash puree

    Cut the squash into cubes, place in boiling unsalted water (the water should just cover the vegetables) and boil until tender. Ready-made pieces are easily strung on a fork, but do not boil soft. Together with a small amount of broth, rub the zucchini through a sieve or beat in a blender.

    Rice casserole with zucchini


    • small squash or zucchini - 1 pc.; nine0008
    • rice - 1/3 cup;
    • vegetable oil for mold lubrication;
    • egg - 3 pcs.;
    • grated hard cheese - about 1 tbsp.

    Pour washed rice with water (2/3 cup), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove and leave covered for 3-5 minutes.

    Zucchini peeled, grated. Mix with raw eggs, rice and about 2/3 cheese. Put the mass in a form covered with baking paper or greased with oil, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 180 ° C for about half an hour. nine0003

    Zucchini puree soup

    You will need:

    • zucchini – 1 pc.;
    • potatoes - 2 pcs. medium;
    • 1/2 onion;
    • 1/2 medium carrot;
    • meat or chicken broth - 500 ml;
    • vegetable oil - 1 tbsp. l.;
    • cream and herbs to taste.

    Peel the vegetables, cut into cubes and simmer for 5-7 minutes in a deep saucepan in vegetable oil with a little broth.

    Learn more