You know that fall is approaching and the holiday season is right around the corner when you start seeing pumpkins in the grocery stores, craft stores, and gardening supply stores. Pumpkins are used in a variety of ways, but did you know you can feed your baby pumpkin? This is just one of the beautiful benefits of making homemade baby food. There are a lot more fruits and vegetables available to give to your baby than what the traditional commercial jars of baby food can offer.
What is Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is considered to be a fruit and is part of the gourd family which includes cucumbers, melons, and squash. Anything that has seeds is considered a fruit. Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamin A and beta carotene and are potassium rich. They are also low in fat and calories, and high in fiber. So pumpkins are an excellent choice to give your baby!
By all means, go to town and find a pumpkin to puree for your baby. Pick a small cooking pumpkin (also known as sugar pumpkins). Smaller pumpkins, about 4-8 pounds, are more tender and have less fibrous strings.
This is the fun part. You can go semi-homemade (canned pumpkin) or you can buy a whole pumpkin to make purees and other pumpkin recipes. If you are going the semi-homemade route, which is what I like to do, be sure to by 100% canned pure pumpkin ant not pumpkin pie mix. If you are buying a whole pumpkin, cut it open and remove all the seeds the strings, cut it into pieces and bake (baking is most desirable), steam, poach, or boil it. As with any other fruit, the longer you cook pumpkin the more it loses nutrients. You must cook the pumpkin immediately after opening it to prevent mold. Chill the pumpkin immediately after cooking and fr/eeze it.
You can give your baby pumpkin anytime after 7 months old. Feel free to puree it, add cinnamon and butter to it, or mix it with other foods such as yogurt and cereals. You can also add it with meats.