Yummy Zucchini Baby Food Recipes
(Also known as Courgette Baby Food Recipes in Europe!)
Welcome to our Zucchini Baby Food Recipes section – and if you’ve arrived here looking for
Courgette Baby Food Recipes, don’t worry… you’re in the right place!
Zucchini (or Italian squash) – a popular summer squash – is also known as a courgette in many parts of the world…
and to confuse matters even more, some people also call it a vegetable marrow!
On this page…
Do I need to peel zucchini?
Do I need to remove the seeds?
Choosing and storing zucchini
Home grown zucchini – a warning
How to cook zucchini for baby
May I serve raw zucchini to baby
Recipes and ideas
Introducing zucchini baby food to your little one
When you think of vegetables to use for making baby food, you may not immediately think of zucchini. But zucchini …
- is extremely versatile
- *contains beta-carotene, potassium, folate and vitamin C
- is NOT considered a common allergen
- is NOT a constipating food
- has a very delicate flavour (meaning you can add it to just about anything without greatly changing the taste)
All in all, these characteristics make it a useful addition to baby’s diet!
This is because winter squashes are harvested when mature
(hence the thick, tough skin) and summer squashes (including zucchini) are harvested when immature.
You can introduce zucchini to your baby from 6 months of age (although you should always check with your doctor
before introducing any new foods into your baby’s diet).
Zucchini puree – whilst easy to make – is probably not the best choice for baby’s very first food, however.
But zucchini – served alone as a puree – tends to be on the runny side, because it has a very large water content.
The best option is to serve it ‘partnered up’ with another puree your baby is already enjoying!
Did you know…
Although zucchini is usually served as a vegetable, botanically it’s classified as a fruit!
Good partners include…
Do I need to peel zucchini for my baby food recipes?
Almost ALL the nutrients in zucchini are contained in the peel – so we do NOT recommend peeling zucchini for your baby.
This is actually true of many fruits and vegetables (see our article – Should I Peel Fruits and Vegetables for my Baby?).
Zucchini skin is very tender and seems to puree quite well – and, although you can still see the ‘bits’ of skin
in the puree, they are usually so soft that they don’t tend to cause any problems with gagging.
However, some parents prefer to peel zucchini if they are concerned that their babies may have difficulty in digesting
Our babies ate zucchini – skins and all – from 6 months of age with no digestive issues at all, but it’s very
important to remember that what works for one baby may not work for another!
That being said, we’d actually recommend delaying zucchini until later in baby’s first year rather than removing the skin –
peeled zucchini really offers very little in the way of nutrients.
Zucchini baby food – do I need to remove the seeds?
No – the seeds in zucchini are very soft and tender and are easy to puree or mash.
Do, however, beware of particularly large zucchini or those with a hard skin.
The seeds will likely be harder, too – and less suitable for use in your baby food recipes.
Choosing and storing zucchini for your baby food recipes
As mentioned above, zucchini is a small summer squash which is picked when the seeds are immature. If you’re lucky
enough to find zucchini available with the flowers still attached, then you can be sure they’ve been picked at the perfect
time and are very fresh.
Did you know…
The flowers from the zucchini plant are edible, too and are often eaten as tempura (fried in batter). Whilst they may
not be suitable for your baby just yet, they’d make a lovely treat for Mummy and Daddy!
Here’s how to make them (external link)
Zucchini is similar in shape to the cucumber and can be green, pale green or yellow – usually striped and sometimes
Always look for small zucchini (5 to 6 inches or so) – they are superior to larger ones in both texture and taste.
Avoid those that have ‘squashy’ spots – the skin should be glossy and blemish free.
You can store them in the refrigerator for around 3 days. Unlike winter squash, zucchini are delicate – make sure
they’re completely dry when you refrigerate them, or you may find they begin to develop soft, sunken patches.
It is possible to freeze fresh zucchini – but beware! Because of their high water content, their texture changes
completely once frozen. On thawing, they will become decidedly mushy – not too much of a problem if you’re using them
in a stew or soup – but not so appealing if you were planning to serve them alone!
Home Grown Zucchini – A Warning
Growing your own zucchini is very easy and many home gardeners can produce a large enough crop to feed their own
family and some of the neighbours, too!
But – if you plan to use some home grown zucchini in your baby food recipes – do take a little taste to check for
bitterness before serving it to your little one.
This is very important, because bitter zucchini often contains high levels of a natural toxin called
cucurbitacin (a chemical produced by all members of the Cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, pumpkins
The result of consuming bitter zucchini can be a very nasty bout of diarrhea, tummy ache and vomiting.
Cucurbitacins don’t usually present a problem in commercially grown zucchini as the concentrations tend to be
How to cook zucchini for baby
One of the best things about zucchini is the ease of its preparation!
Simply wash thoroughly under running water, cut off both ends, then slice or dice according to the recipe you’re
Zucchini is extremely versatile…
It can be boiled (in a VERY little water), sauted, steamed, microwaved, stuffed or barbecued! You can even grate it and add it to your
bread or muffin recipes – it adds moisture and a welcome boost of nutrition.
If you DO use zucchini in your baking, remember that you may need to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe to
compensate for the extra moisture in the zucchini.
To make a basic zucchini baby food puree…
Wash the zucchini, remove the top and bottom, then cut it into slices. Steam them for a few minutes, until tender.
If you prefer to boil the slices, you need just a little water – because the water content of zucchini is already so high!
Cook only to the point where the zucchini becomes tender – overcooking reduces the nutritional value and turns them to a mush!
Once cooked, transfer the zucchini to a food processor and blend until smooth – you shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid.
You may freeze a zucchini baby food puree…
…however, it may seem even more watery when thawed!
This can sometimes be remedied by giving it a good stir –
or read our article How to Thicken Baby Food Purees for some other methods!
May I serve raw zucchini to my baby?
Raw zucchini makes a nice addition to salads and can be grated or even sliced into sticks. Whilst some older babies
may enjoy it as a finger food, the texture may pose a challenge (and therefore a choking hazard) for others. Use your discretion – based on your baby’s
development – when offering uncooked zucchini to your baby.
Zucchini baby food recipes and ideas
Zucchini has such a delicate flavour that you can easily add it to other dishes without altering their taste.
This can come in rather handy if your little one refuses to eat veggies –
sneaking some zucchini puree into a pasta sauce, for example, means you can ensure your tot gets the nutrition
he needs without him even realizing!
Try adding sliced, diced or pureed zucchini to your baby’s soups, stews and casseroles.
Zippy Zucchini ‘N Pasta (6 months+, for babies enjoying soft lumps)
1 bowl of cooked pasta, chopped
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 tsp fresh chives, chopped
Steam the zucchini for around 3 mins, until tender.
Transfer the zucchini to a food processor and add a little olive oil.
Blend until smooth, then stir in the chives.
Pour the zucchini over baby’s pasta and – for a little extra flavour – top with a small handful of grated cheese.
Baby’s Zucchini Soup (6 months+ or later if you prefer to delay the introduction of onions)
1 lb zucchini, sliced
1 medium potato
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
12 fl oz (1 1/2 cups) homemade vegetable stock
1 tbsp natural yogurt
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender.
Cut the potato into small dice and add to the pan.
Cover and cook over a very low heat for 15 mins, stirring often.
Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes more.
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the potatoes are tender (5 to 10 mins more).
Puree, then stir in the yogurt and serve.
Foil Wrapped Zucchini Parcels (6-8 months+)
1 small leek
4 oz (1/2 cup) asparagus spears (woody stems removed)
1 small sweet potato, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
Use a potato peeler to create ‘ribbons’ of zucchini.
Cut the leek into very thin strips and the asparagus into one inch lengths.
Take 2 pieces of foil, around 12 inches by 12 inches.
Share out the veggies between the two foil squares and top with the garlic and tarragon.
Gather the foil up around the veggies to create a parcel and seal, to prevent the steam from escaping.
Place in the oven and cook until the veggies are tender (10-15 mins).
Open carefully (watch out for the steam), remove the tarragon sprig – then chop, mash or puree the cooked veggies to suit your baby.
Super Stuffed Zucchini Boats (a squashy, squidgy finger food!)
4 tbsp fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 tbsp cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 leek, chopped finely
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C).
Carefully cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2 inch thick shell.
Squeeze the excess liquid out of the zucchini flesh and place in a bowl.
Put the zucchini shells, cut side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake for 15 mins.
Meanwhile, saute the leek, garlic and carrot in a little olive oil until tender.
Put the cooked veggies into a bowl with the zucchini flesh and add the breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese and parsley.Mix well.
Remove the zucchini shells from the oven and fill with the veggie/breadcrumb mixture.
Return to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins, until golden.
Cool, cut into manageable pieces, and serve!
Very Veggie Pancakes (12 months+)
2 small zucchini
2 oz (1/2 cup) all purpose (plain) flour
4 tbsp whole milk
Grate the zucchini and beat the eggs.
With a whisk, combine the eggs and the flour, slowly adding the milk as you do so. You should be left with a smooth batter.
Stir in the zucchini.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Add the batter, one tablespoon at a time, and cook for 2 mins. Lift carefully with a spatula and check the undersides -they should be golden brown.
Turn the pancakes over and cook for a further 2 mins.
Serve alone as a finger food – or with a yummy butternut squash or pumpkin puree to use as a dip!
More Useful Tips and Ideas…
Dole – Zucchini