When can babies have zucchini ?
Zucchini may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids which is generally around 6 months of age.
Yes. Zucchini is loaded with beta-carotene that our bodies convert to vitamin A, which supports our immune system and powers our eyesight along with the lutein and zeaxanthin that are also present in the summer squash. Zucchini also offers plenty of vitamin C, which helps our bodies absorb iron from plant-based foods to create healthy blood cells. Lastly, zucchini contains vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K, and copper—important vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to thrive. Vitamin B6 is essential for brain development and folate is vital for growth, and both nutrients can be insufficient in toddlers’ diets.
How to prepare zucchini for your baby!
6 to 12 months old: Cook zucchini to a soft consistency and puree it ( very water- like consistency) or serve on its own as spears or sticks. Roasting or steaming sticks of zucchini makes a great meal for a baby and a delicious side dish for the rest of the family. And don’t bother peeling the skin—at this age, your baby may scrape the soft zucchini flesh away from the skin… and maybe even spit out the skin. Once your baby develops the pincer grasp (where the finger and thumb meet), try moving down in size to bite-size pieces. Shredded zucchini is another way to offer this nutritious vegetable to your baby. It can be served on its own with a pre-loaded spoon or easily mixed into other foods like grain dishes, mashed legumes or root vegetables.
12 to 18 months old: Continue serving bite-size pieces of cooked zucchini and mixing this nutritious squash into your casseroles, egg, grain, and lentil dishes. At this age, zucchini fritters, noodles, or pancakes are a great choice, too. As your baby grows older, keep introducing zucchini in identifiable ways, such as in roasted sticks described above to build familiarity with the squash in its whole form. It can be tempting to hide shredded zucchini in breads or muffins—a fine option when served in moderation—but offering the squash in this way may not build familiarity with the taste of zucchini on its own.
18 to 24 months old: At this age, you’ll likely be able to increase the size of the zucchini pieces that you are serving as your toddler may be getting better at tearing apart and taking bites of food. Zucchini sticks are a fun way to serve the squash, and zucchini fritters and pancakes are still a great way to go. Try serving bite-size pieces of cooked zucchini in your favorite dish to put the spotlight on all of zucchini’s glory! Depending on your baby’s chewing skills, by 24 months you may be able to introduce sticks of raw zucchini as a snack to dip in hummus or nut butters!