Zucchini is a versatile veggie, with a sweet, mild flavor, and a diversity applications in both sweet and savory recipes. This article covers how to serve zucchini for baby-led weaning (BLW), as well common questions about zucchini for babies.
A summer favorite, zucchini can be served in a variety of forms for baby-led weaning. Cut it into sticks and roast it, grate it and add it to oatmeal, or finely chop it and add it to an omelet – there are so many ways for babies to try zucchini.
Nutrients found in zucchini
Zucchini offers several nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and manganese.
- Vitamin C: Supports immune function and tissue formation/ collagen synthesis.
- Potassium: Important for muscle contraction and nerve function.
- Vitamin B6: Involved in cognitive development, carbohydrate metabolism, and immune function.
- Manganese: Antioxidant, involved in nutrient metabolism, bone formation, and wound healing.
As a reminder, babies don’t get much nutrition from food at first. However, over time it will become their predominant source of nutrition. The early days of eating are all about exposing your baby to a variety of colors, flavors, and textures, and helping them develop the motor skills necessary for eating.
10 ways to serve zucchini for baby-led weaning
As I mentioned earlier, zucchini can be served to your little one in a variety of forms. Here are 10 ideas for serving zucchini for baby-led weaning:
- Cut it into sticks and steam or roast with extra virgin olive oil until soft.
- Grate it and stir it into oatmeal.
- Finely chop and add it to scrambled eggs.
- Spiralize, stir-fry, and combine with low-sodium pasta sauce or passata.
- Grate and combine with an egg, mashed banana, and flour to make pancake batter. Griddle over medium heat to make pancakes.
- Cut it into sticks, dip the sticks in egg and panko breadcrumbs, and roast or air fry until golden to make zucchini fries.
- Spiralize, stir-fry and combine with ricotta, lemon juice, and finely-chopped basil.
- Grate and add it to an omelet. Cut the omelet into strips to serve.
- Grate and combine with dried basil and parsley, an egg and flour. Pan-fry in olive oil over medium heat to make zucchini fritters.
- Steam or roast it in olive oil until soft and mash it with a fork.
When can I offer my baby raw zucchini?
Raw zucchini is difficult babies to chew when they first start solids and therefore, can be a choking hazard. Although there’s no official guidance on when to introduce raw zucchini to your little one, a good rule of thumb is to wait until your baby is at least 12 months to serve raw zucchini and supervise them closely as they eat.
Can babies eat zucchini skin?
Yes, your baby can eat zucchini skin providing that it’s offered in an age-appropriate form such as soft, roasted or steamed zucchini sticks. Zucchini skin offers both fiber and antioxidants, and helps zucchini hold its shape when cooked.
Is zucchini hard for babies to digest?
Raw zucchini should generally be avoided until age 1 because it’s difficult for babies to chew. However, cooked zucchini is generally well-tolerated.
- Cooked zucchini can be served in a variety of forms for baby-led weaning including cut into sticks and roasted; spiralized and stir-fried; and grated and mixed into oatmeal.
- Zucchini offers several nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and manganese, which support immune function, collagen formation, nerve conduction, cognitive development and more.
- Raw zucchini is difficult babies to chew when they first start solids and therefore, can be a choking hazard. Hold off on offering raw zucchini to your baby until they are at least 12 months.
Ready to start baby-led weaning? Get the complete guide to baby-led weaning including 60+ pages of handouts, printables, recipe ideas, and more HERE.