How To: Make Butternut Squash Baby Food
Stage 1, Stage 2, & Stage 3!
So you want to try making your own baby food? Great! Welcome to the money-saving, clean-eating party!
It may seem daunting, but don’t you worry! We’ll cover butternut squash today and see how we feel at the end.
Butternut Squash is a great beginner food as it is not a harsh flavor, won’t shock their systems, and is very nutritious. It is also a great food to use as a base when you start mixing and concocting recipes.
If you’re ever out of creativity for recipes, simply look up what the baby food companies use together and copy them! Let’s dive right in!
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Your baby has reached the 4-6 month range and you’re ready to start solid foods! Congratulations and get ready to buckle down and be patient…
Stage 1 should be runny. Your baby has been on a liquid-only diet for their entire life and shoving something solid down their throat can take them by surprise. Make the transition as smooth as possible!
Your baby is now agreeing to eating from a spoon and is ready for something a little more filling…
Stage 2 should be thicker, but not chunky. Your baby has gotten over the trauma of solid foods and is showing interest in the spoon. Give their mouth a little more texture and let them get those muscles ready for more.
Your baby is good at solid food and it ready to experiment with “table food” and feeding themselves…
Stage 3 should be chunky. Baby is beginning to chew. You want to be able to squish whatever they’re eating between your fingers with ease. Some will have teeth and some won’t (like mine) but they should be able to mash food with their gums.
How to make Stage 1 & Stage 2
Head to the grocery store or farmers market and grab a fresh Butternut Squash.
Slice it in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds just like you would a pumpkin.
Get out a 9×13 dish and fill with about half an inch of water. Place your halved squash cut-side down in the water and cover with foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour. The water steams and gives you a nice even cook.
When you pull it out of the oven, let it cool so you don’t scald your hands. Scoop the good stuff out of the skin and toss it into a food processor. I use this Hamilton Beach Food Processor and I adore it!
In a few weeks, I made 6 months worth of baby food and it never let me down! You can also use a blender if you’d like. I used a Magic Bullet if I just needed to make a single meal from a small fruit or vegetable.
Once you get it all evenly blended, either spoon into ice cube trays or pour into Ziplock bags, cut off a corner and fill in ice cube trays like you would use a piping bag to decorate a cake.
Freeze and pop cubes out into a labeled freezer-safe Ziplock bag and use over the next 3 months.
When it’s time to eat, pop out a few cubes, put them in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 20-30 seconds, stir, 20-30 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds at a time until it reaches a desired heat. You want to stop and stir so it cooks evenly. You can test it on the inside of your wrist if you’re unsure of how hot it is.
Stage 1: Add breast milk, formula, or water to thin the squash until it is runny.
Stage 2: Add some rice cereal or oatmeal cereal to thicken the squash so it has some texture.
How to make Stage 3
Grab a Butternut Squash at the store or Farmers Market for around $2.
Slice in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds.
Here’s where we begin to differ from Stage 1 &2. I like to peel the skin off at this stage. This way, you don’t have to scoop it out once it’s cooked and can just slice it into baby-sized finger food.
Fill a 9×13 with half an inch of water. Place your squash cut-side down in the water.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.
Pull it out of the oven and let it cool.
Slice away to your heart’s content to make baby bites. Serve once it reaches room temperature or place in tupperware in the fridge and use within 3 days. You can also throw some on a baking sheet and freeze them then toss into a labeled, freezer-safe Ziplock bag and put in the freezer (use within 3 months).
I spent $2 on this one Butternut squash to make stage 3 baby food. This Gerber stage 3 food is about $1.20 for 2 servings and only has a few small chunks in there. My baby prefers to feed herself and these chunks are much less of a mess than the watery puree and chunks that she can fling all over.
I was able to make 10 meals for $2! It would have cost me $12 if I would have bought it at the store! THIS ADDS UP!
I know what is in my baby’s food…pure vegetable and I know it’s fresh. It takes about a minute to heat up and my baby loves it!
This whole process can be done in an hour or two on the weekend and you have meals for your baby all week ready at a moment’s notice!
I will not diss store-bought baby food! It is convenient!
I always have some in the pantry so if we find out we’re going to a restaurant for dinner or we’ll be out for the day, I don’t have to worry about keeping her food cool or warm, it can just be tossed in my diaper bag and can get thrown away at the end.
I like to save money and I like making my baby happy and healthy. Give it a try and see what your baby thinks!