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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Butternut Squash Baby Led Weaning (BLW) 101

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Butternut squash baby led weaning is a great first food to provide for your baby! In this post, I outline what baby led weaning (BLW) is, and how to prepare, and serve butternut squash to your baby to encourage self feeding!

baby in high chair eating sliced butternut squash bites

Baby Led Weaning or BLW is the method of adding foods to your baby’s diet in addition to breastmilk or formula. The philosophy behind BLW is that your baby is encouraged to feed his/her self instead of receiving food from a spoon from you. Baby eats healthy foods, self-regulates, and shares in the experience of family mealtime.

BLW encourages baby to be the only one putting food into his/her mouth. Trust is put into your baby to know how much to eat, rather than you encouraging them to eat more or less.

Butternut squash is one of the best foods to start with when following the BLW approach.

When Can Babies Eat Butternut Squash?

Butternut squash is one of the foods baby can try as soon as they are ready to give solid foods a try at around the age of 6 months. It is slightly sweet with a bit of a nutty taste. It is a squash that tastes similar to pumpkin.

It can be pureed smooth in a butternut squash puree, or cooked well and cut into bite sized pieces.

Is butternut squash healthy for babies?

Yes, butternut squash is very healthy for babies! It contains vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. This makes it a nutritious food to give to your baby as they start eating solids. It is considered a superfood for babies!

It is rich in vitamin A for eyesight. High in B vitamins for healthy blood. And it’s packed with vitamin C for healthy skin. In addition, it is rich in vitamin E for brain development.

Is butternut squash a choking hazard for babies?

No, butternut squash is not considered a choking hazard. You can cook it well and dice it so that when baby puts it in his/her mouth they can easily mash it with their gums. You can also puree the squash making it even easier for baby to eat.

While butternut squash itself is not a choking hazard, the seeds inside a butternut squash can be. Make sure to clean and remove all of the seeds before cooking the squash for your baby.

Is butternut squash a common allergen?

No, butternut squash is not a typical allergen. That is why it’s one of the best first foods for your baby. However, handling the butternut squash in your hands has been known to cause an itchy rash, but that commonly goes away quickly, and is not a cause for concern.

butternut squash cut in half with seeds removed on circular cutting board

Can you eat butternut squash seeds?

You should not feed your baby butternut squash seeds. They are a choking hazard for your baby.

Is Butternut Squash easy to digest for babies?

Yes, butternut squash is easy to digest for babies. The mild flavor, low risk of allergens, high fiber and and high nutrient content, along with it’s ability to easily be digested makes it a great first food for your baby.

baby in high chair with blue bowl in front of her holding butternut squash bites

How Do You Prepare Butternut Squash For Babies With Baby Led Weaning?

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds.
  • Place squash flesh side down on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper.
  • Pour 8oz water onto the parchment paper.
  • Roast for about an hour until tender. The squash should be bubbling and caramelized.
  • Allow to cool 10-15 minutes until you can hold it without a problem.
  • Peel off the outside skin. Allow to cool longer until it is just warm or at room temperature before serving it to your baby.
  • Ensure that is soft, and mushy. Cut into small crescent moon shapes, or small pieces mashed with a fork.
  • Serve to baby.

Buying and storing butternut squash

When butternut squash is in season, or on sale, buy a few! They can be stored in a cool, dry place for a couple of months.

When buying a butternut squash look for the following attributes:

  • Firm to the touch
  • Solid beige color, no brown or dark spots
  • Free of cracks, bruises or soft spots
  • Feels heavy for its size

How to cut and peel butternut squash for BLW

Make sure to remove all of the peel from the butternut squash and ensure it is fully cooked, soft, and not too hot. Then cut it into a crescent or half moon shape to serve to your baby. If you aren’t comfortable giving your baby chunks, then you can mash it a bit with a fork, and then give it your baby to feed him/herself.

How To Cook Butternut Squash For Your Baby

Cooking a butternut squash for baby led weaning is much the same as if you were cooking it for adults. However, it is even easier, in some ways, because you do not need to peel and dice the squash before you roast it in the oven.

Simply cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and place it in the oven at 400 F, flesh side down on parchment paper. Pour water on top of the parchment paper to help steam the squash.

Do not add any oil, salt, or spices.

How To Serve Squash To Babies

You can serve it to your baby in small bite sized crescent shapes, cut into pieces and mashed a bit with a fork, or as a puree.

Easy Butternut Squash Recipe For Baby Led Weaning

Here’s a simple butternut squash baby lead weaning recipe.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (cut in half and seeded)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 F. Cut your butternut squash in half and remove all of the seeds. If you wish, you can peel your butternut squash, and cut into chunks. It just depends in your personal preference. (I find it easier to peel the squash after it’s been baked, then to peel it prior to baking.

Step 2: Place your butternut squash cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour about 8 oz of water on top of the parchment paper to help it steam.

Step 3: Bake for about an hour, or until the squash is soft and tender.

Step 4: Allow the squash to cool until you are able to handle it without burning your hands. Peel the skin off of the flesh of the squash. This should come off quite easily now that the butternut squash is cooked.

Step 5: Cut the squash into small bite sized half moon or crescent shapes. Serve to baby. If you prefer mash the pieces slightly with a fork, but not so much that your baby cannot pick up the pieces.

Or try these 9 Tasty Butternut Squash Baby Food Recipes!

Butternut squash is a great, healthy option for Baby Led Weaning!

baby in high chair eating small bite sized pieces of butternut squash

Check Out These Other Baby Food Recipes and Tips!

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Baby Food Recipes ·

Your little one will love my DIY healthy baby food purees. For a twist, try making a “smoothie”!

It’s so easy to make your own nutritious baby food at home. Introduce ingredients at your own pace and create unique flavors for your baby.

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