Zucchini For Baby
Zucchini are affordable, versatile, and have so many important nutrients for kiddos! When you feed baby zucchini you are feeding them something that is nourishing their growing bones, teeth and skin. You see a lot of this veggie during the summer months, but it’s amazing year round. When zucchini is in abundance and people are showing up at your door with free bags, take it! Cook, puree and freeze your zucchini and baby will be able to reap the nutrient benefits throughout the year. This health food can be enjoyed raw as a finger food, cooked and pureed, or even in a piece of warm zucchini bread!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Zucchini
Vitamin A – important vitamin for bone growth, eye health and baby’s immune system
Vitamin C – helps to heal small cuts and wounds and keep gums and teeth healthy
Pantothenic Acid – also known as Vitamin B5, this Vitamin helps your body use protein, carbohydrates and fats and is essential for healthy skin
Niacin – also known as Vitamin B3, this Vitamin is essential for good circulation and helps to keep skin and gums healthy
Potassium – this electrolyte mineral helps keep baby’s heart and muscles working properly
Phosphorus – crucial for building healthy bones and teeth
Magnesium – helps to maintain baby’s nerve and muscle function and helps to support baby’s immune system
Calcium – crucial for baby’s new bones that are growing each and every day
How to Select and Store Zucchini for Baby Food
Zucchini has a thin skin that bruises easily, so make sure to look for zucchini with shiny, blemish-free skin. Bigger is not better when it comes to zucchini and you should purchase those that are about 6-8″ long for the best flavor and texture. It is best to store zucchini in your vegetable drawer unwashed since tiny water droplets may start to decompose the skin. When ready to use, wash the skin thoroughly to remove any dirt that may be on the veggie, but don’t peel the skin! This is where you and baby will find the majority of the nutrients.
Steaming, boiling or baking is the best way to prepare zucchini for baby. This will soften the skin and flesh making it very easy on baby’s digestive system and tummy! When pureed, zucchini can become very watery, so it might be best to mix it in with another, thicker puree that baby already enjoys. For a fun treat, consider a small piece of homemade zucchini bread. Sweeten the bread with applesauce and use whole grains for a healthy snack!