Around six months old, your baby’s nutritional needs change. They are growing and developing rapidly and begin to need more than they can get in breastmilk or formula, and that’s why six months is about the time to start introducing solids. This butternut squash puree is a great first food for baby! I’m also going to teach you how to add protein to your purees!
When can you serve babies butternut squash?
Butternut squash is a great first food for babies when you are Starting Solids. It’s gentle on baby’s digestive system and is a nutrient dense food. More on that below. You can introduce solids around six months of age or when they are developmentally ready. See our Free Guide: Ready for Solids? to learn more about whether or not your baby is ready for solid foods.
First time making baby food?! Make sure you check out our course Starting Solids: A Gentle Approach to Introducing Real Food. It’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to starting solids in a gut friendly way that supports long-term health and immunity and a positive relationship with food.
What are the health benefits of butternut squash?
Butternut squash is an amazing first food for babies because it’s gentle on the digestive system, and it is also a powerhouse of nutrients.
- Gut friendly
- Packed with vitamins
- Loaded with minerals
- High in fiber
- Rich in antioxidants
What do you need to make butternut squash puree?
I love how simple this recipe is! You only need a few ingredients and about 10 minutes of active hands-on time. Here are the ingredients.
- Butternut squash – see the benefits above.
- Bone broth – this adds extra gut support and collagen, making it a better option than just water.
- Sea salt – for trace minerals.
Homemade bone broth is superfood for babies because It is gentle and healing to the gut lining, which is especially important when introducing solids.
How to make baby’s first puree (Stage One Puree)
My favorite way to make baby food purees is to use either a Slow Cooker or an Instant Pot because you just toss everything in and let it do its thing. Here are the simple steps for making this puree.
- Peel, remove seeds and cube butternut squash
- Add squash, bone broth and a pinch of sea salt to Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
- Set to cook per the instructions below
- Once done, transfer to high powered blender or food processor and puree
- Serve immediately or store per instructions below
How to add protein to purees (Stage Two Puree)
Once your baby acclimates to a simple butternut squash puree, I highly recommend adding protein to this base puree. Your baby’s iron needs increase, and adding animal protein to their purees is a great way to fortify them. Animal protein is also rich in all of the amino acids our bodies need to grow and function properly. So, long story short…don’t skimp on protein for your baby. They need it!
It’s easy to add to your purees as well. Just add about 1/4 pound to the base recipe below and puree it right into the squash. Adding protein changes the consistency of the puree and is something exciting and new for your babe. I like starting with chicken thighs because they are neutral in flavor and blend easily.
If you have a high powered blender, like a Blendtec, it’s especially great for making smooth purees with protein added to them. If you’ve been considering a high powered blender we love our Blendtec and have partnered with them to share a discount with you. Save 20% off your purchase with the code healthylittlebellies at checkout!
Adding seasonings to your baby’s purees
In our Starting Solids course, we cover this in much greater detail. Essentially, when you first start solids your baby still has a very immature digestive system. In this immature state, simple things like seasonings and spices can cause inflammation.
Our nutrition partners, Dani and Whit from Happy Healthy Littles, have seen time and time again babies with food sensitivities that resulted from introducing the wrong foods too soon. We recommend holding off on spices until baby’s digestive system has matured just a little more.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to introduce and when…don’t fret! That’s why we created our Starting Solids course! We want to help mamas everywhere introduce their baby’s to solids in a gut friendly way because when you do this, you set the stage for long-term health.
How to store butternut squash puree?
When we were in the pureeing stage, I liked to keep a small amount in the fridge to be used up over the next 3-4 days. And then I would freeze the rest in these silicone molds.
Once they are frozen, pop them out of the molds and put them in a freezer storage bag to create a freezer stash of baby food. Over time, you will have a stash to pull from and won’t feel like you have to make fresh purees all of the time!
Don’t forget to label your purees so you know what ingredients are used and also how long it’s been in the freezer. Frozen baby food is good in the freezer for up to four months.
Your turn to make your baby’s first purees
It’s easy and budget friendly to make your baby’s first foods. Start simple and then add protein! Leave a comment and rating below to let us know how it goes. We’d love to see your little enjoying their first solids, too! Tag us in your posts on Instagram @healthy.little.bellies and give us a follow if you don’t already. We’d love to stay connected.
Butternut Squash Puree (Stage One + Stage Two)
- Slow Cooker
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed and cubed)
- 2 cups bone broth
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 lb boneless chicken thighs (optional to add-in once baby is used to simple veggie puree)
- Place all of the ingredients in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot.
- Set to cook for 4-6 hours on low in a Slow Cooker or for 20 minutes on Manual High Pressure in an Instant Pot. You can do a natural or quick release with the Instant Pot.
- Once done, transfer to a high powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Serve or store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.