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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food – Butternut Squash

Now that my sweet little man is five months old (!), we have been advised to start introducing vegetables and fruits.  I couldn’t be more thrilled, as this is my first chance ever to cook for him.  I am happy to make his food for many reasons, but most of all because I know exactly what is going into it, it is much cheaper than store-bought food, and it is more environmentally friendly because it does not require disposable packaging for each serving.

The first vegetable puree I made was butternut squash.  Both acorn and butternut squash are good introductory veggies.  They are easily digested and rarely induce food allergies.  Butternut squash is also an excellent source of beta-carotene.  As far as cost goes, this wasn’t that much cheaper than store-bought baby food.  It ended up being about 40 cents per serving versus 50 cents per serving for store-bought.  I did save quite a bit of money with my sweet potato puree though, factoring out to about 15 cents a serving versus 50-75 cents for store bought.

Let’s make baby food!

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Using a large, heavy duty knife, slice both ends off of the squash.  Cut in half.

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Scoop out the seeds from inside the squash.

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Place the two halves face down in a baking dish and fill with water about 1 inch deep.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the skin looks puckered and brown (as in the picture above).

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Once the squash is cooked, scoop the flesh from the skins and place it in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

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Puree until very smooth.

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Add water and blend as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

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Fill silicone ice cube trays with squash puree and freeze.  (I have found that using a small scoop with release mechanism makes this job much easier.)   Once completely frozen, transfer cubes to freezer bags or other storage container.  Label and date, and store until ready to use.  One squash yielded about 24 cubes.  Since our son eats 3 cubes in one serving, this works out to about 8 servings of squash from one batch.

To prepare food for baby, thaw cubes in refrigerator one day in advance of use.  Alternatively, thaw in the microwave on the defrost setting.  However, if you do this be absolutely sure that there are no “hot spots” that could scald your child’s mouth.  I recommend refrigerating for a bit after thawing in the microwave if there is any doubt about the temperature of the food.

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Andrew’s first experience with a food other than rice cereal.  The verdict?  He LOVES it!  So far we have tried squash and sweet potatoes and he gobbles them up.  We are really looking forward to introducing more new foods, and I will continue to share some of the “recipes” along the way.

Sources: Wholesome Baby Food and Top 100 Baby Purees

  • http://www.thepickyapple.com/blog/ Cara

    What a cutie, and YAY for solids!!

  • http://crumblycookie.wordpress.com bridget

    Look at that cute little mohawk!

  • http://cateskitchen.blogspot.com Cate

    Oh my gosh he is SO CUTE! And I think it’s great you’re making his food for all the reasons you mentioned. He’s a lucky kid!

  • Jem

    Oh, what a sweet little man he is! Annie, he is gorgeous.

  • nikkigladd

    This is great, Annie! And, Andrew’s spiky hair is so adorable!

  • Amy (Just2Good)

    I’m glad you’re sharing these! I can’t wait to do this!

  • Amy M

    I can’t wait to see what other foods you make for him!! Did you get your recipes from a book or the internet?

  • http://www.rookie-cookie.com Whitney

    I too have a squishy, rolly, happy 5 month old and we are moving into solids right now too. I am so glad you posted this and plan to post more. So far my sonny is a fan of avocados and bananas. This whole feeding thing can be so fun, especially when you find something they really love.

  • http://vegetarian-hausfrau.blogspot.com/ Laura

    Just found your blog and love it! Our son is due in Jan, and I plan to make his food. Please keep the recipes and stories coming of what’s working for you/your son. He’s a cutie.

  • http://amberskitchen.blogspot.com Amber

    Glad to hear that your little cutie is loving the food his mother made for him. :)

  • http://www.littlemissmel.com little miss mel

    I had a larger squash, so it took almost 20 more minutes or so to get that browning look on the top of the squash. I had enough for 2 cube trays and a bowl full of squash for dinner tonight!

    thanks for the how-to!

  • Tiffany

    I sort of want to make this for myself. And I am not a baby.

  • pri

    hi, my nephew is 5 months too and we’ve started banana, fortified rice and apple with him…is there any other such fruit/ veggie that i can make and freeze except squash?

  • Annie

    Pri, there are absolutely tons of fruits and veggies you can make and freeze for baby food. Check out the website wholesomebabyfood.com. It has a wealth of info on the topic.

  • http://carnivorelocavore.wordpress.com Sofya

    We gave mine a ton of delicata – roasted and mashed – which we grow every year in vast quantities (except this year we didn’t have a very good crop).

  • http://www.betsykingphoto.com It’s me, Betsy

    I’ve got squash in the oven right now for Jocelyn! I made my food for Miles but needed a quick little brush up on good foods for new eaters. Thanks for getting me back on track with homemade food! It’s so fast how time flies! Can’t believe I’m already making baby food!

  • Annie

    Aw, so fun! I am really looking forward to making baby food again. It’s a lot simpler than getting a toddler to eat :)

  • Lori

    Hi Annie, first, Congratulations on your new baby girl! I will start making food for my 5 month old and had a question, how did you prepare your sweet potato? I know there are a variety of ways, but I am curious as to what you did since you have more experience in this area.

    Thank you!

  • Annie

    I think I usually just baked them, scooped the flesh into the food processor, pureed it and added water as needed to get a good consistency.

  • Jayme-Lee Berton

    My name is Jayme-Lee Berton and I am 19 years old. My mom just had a baby in January, so I am a big sister for the first! She had a baby boy named William and we just started introducing him to food. I tried out this recipe and it turned out really good! We are going to get him to try it tomorrow, I hope he likes it as much as your little guy!

    Thank you for all your great recipes!

  • http://kellyskitch.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    I’m getting ready to start thinking about puree food with my baby (he’ll be 6 months around Christmas, when we plan on starting). I was wondering, can you use breastmilk or formula to add liquid to the puree or is water best? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Sure, you can thin it with whatever you like.

  • Judith

    Thank you for sharing. My little girl just started on solids. This was her first homemade dinner and she loved it!

  • Rebekah

    I totally wish I found a site like yours with my first born. 10 years ago. I’ve always wanted to cook my babes foods. They are all off (3 boys) baby food now, but my littlest still likes some of the veggie purees. Only way he’ll eat veggie. So thanks so much for sharing this.

  • Sovay

    I’ve always wondered how to carve one of these… thanks!