Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How To: Make and Freeze Homemade Baby Food {Butternut Squash Purée}

Because of its naturally mild yet subtly sweet flavor, butternut squash is a great choice when it comes time to introduce vegetables into your baby's diet.

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I can hardly believe it, but Caroline has been eating solid foods for six months now. When she fought us on eating cereal, part of me worried that she was showing early signs that she'd be a picky eater. Looking back on her introduction to solids, though, all I can do is laugh.

The kid is a vacuum. She will eat anything we offer to her (praise!) and will open her mouth like a little birdie if she sees either one of us eating something that she doesn't have in front of her. Now that she's more comfortable with feeding herself, mealtime is much more interesting.

Especially for Monty.

Despite her voracious appetite, though, she's still a little peanut, and we've been working with her pediatrician to try and figure out why she's having trouble gaining weight.

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While he isn't worried, he has been ordering test after test for her to see if he can shed any light on the issue. Caroline and I have been regular visitors at the local hospital laboratory, and we're on a first-name basis with most of the staff members there.


I keep hoping that each visit to the lab is our last visit to the lab and that the test results will finally reveal what the problem is. From a medical standpoint, I'm sure the results are pointing the pediatrician in the direction of a diagnosis, but from where we're standing as parents, it doesn't feel as if we're getting any closer to understanding what's wrong.

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Honestly, I hate thinking that there's anything wrong... Because this may just be her normal. She may not be be tipping the scales at a weight that's typical for a baby her age, but I'm not exactly surprised. Stephen and I have always been on the lean side, so it's possible that Caroline is just taking after her parents in that regard.


Or maybe she'll surprise us at her next doctor's appointment by showing us all that she's gained enough weight for us to stop spending so much time thinking about her weight.

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For now, though, I guess we'll just have to keep making somewhat regular appearances at the hospital lab. I'll have to keep making homemade baby food to keep up with Caroline's appetite!

She loves eating vegetables that have been roasted and diced, but I still feed her puréed fruits and vegetables so she still has a mixture of textures at each meal. And it when it comes to vegetables, Caroline is a huge fan of butternut squash. We never have a problem convincing her to eat all of her squash, but in case your baby is a little more reluctant to eat it than she is...


How To: Use Butternut Squash Purée


What if you make and/or freeze a batch of butternut squash purée and your baby decides he/she doesn't like it anymore? If you're left with a whole lot of butternut squash purée in your freezer, here are some ways to use it up:



Butternut Squash Purée

This recipe gives the measurements I use when making purée to freeze. Adjust the amounts accordingly based on your needs.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 large (about 8 pounds) butternut squash, washed and scrubbed clean of any dirt

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Halve each butternut squash lengthwise, separating the neck and the body if necessary. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides with a spoon.
  3. Place the butternut squash cut-side down into a baking dish and fill the dish with about 2 cups of filtered water.
  4. Bake the squash for 30 minutes. Check to see whether the squash is fork-tender. If not tender, then continue baking, checking every 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and cool until the squash are cool enough to handle.
  6. Scoop the flesh into a large bowl or into the bowl of your food processor.
  7. Purée the squash until it's smooth, adding filtered water if necessary.

To freeze:

Allow the purée to cool to room temperature and spoon into clean ice cube trays. Wrap the trays in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set overnight. Pop the cubes out of the trays and transfer them to freezer bags labeled with the date and the contents. You can keep the butternut squash purée in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go

Need more homemade baby food recipes? Try these:


Taste As You Go Disclosure: This post contains affiliate product links. Clicking on the links may result in my being paid a commission based on product sales. Regardless of commission, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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