Tag Archives: pumpkin

Baby Food – Pumpkin puree

The Fact: Believe it or not – Pumpkins are fruits! Pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, just like cucumbers, gherkins and melons.
Baby Age: You can feed your baby avocado mash as soon as you introduce your baby to solids or when your baby turns 6 months old.
Nutritional Value: Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene (that also breaks down into Vitamin A in the body). They are also good sources of potassium and magnesium, rich in protein and fiber. Pumpkins are good for the heart, they strengthen bones, aid in digestion and add a warm glow to the skin.
The Inspiration: I was busy nibbling at some coconut cake at the dining table when I noticed my beautiful baby girl, Hope, staring at me and my piece of cake. I couldn’t believe that my until-now-breastfed baby wanted cake! That’s when I knew that my food blog needed a new category—Baby Food!
As a working mom, I knew that I’d have to rely on the various ready-to-make cereals, but I definitely didn’t want to start my baby off with something I didn’t make from scratch, more for the nutritional value and absence of preservatives than for sentiment. And so I decided to make my own baby meals.

The Method

  1. Buying pumpkin

Buy one small pumpkin or one wedge from the local market, as per your requirement. Make sure that the pumpkin is just ripe—firm on the outside and gives a little when you press the flesh on the inside; it should definitely not be squishy. Another way to tell that your pumpkin is ripe is by looking at the colour—the deeper the colour, the riper the fruit.

Buying a pumpkin

  1. Cleaning and readying the pumpkin

Wash the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds from the inside. You can wash, dry and bake these seeds separately as a munchy for you; not for your baby. Separate the flesh of the pumpkin from the skin. While doing so, avoid the less ripe portion that’s closest to the skin. Next, cut up the cleaned out flesh into pieces or cubes.

Pumpkin cut pieces

  1. Cooking the pumpkin

You can either steam the pumpkin pieces (about 20 mins or until you can easily mash them with your finger), cook them in a cooker (for 1 whistle) or boil them in a few tablespoons of water (about 15 mins or until they’re soft to touch and you can easily mash them with your finger). Steaming preserves the most nutrients. However, boiling without discarding the water is also a good way to keep the nutrients in.

Boiled pumpkin pieces

Always run cold water over the pieces after cooking to prevent them from cooking further.

  1. Pureeing the pumpkin

Once cool, mash the pumpkin pieces with a masher or blend them in a blender for a smoother puree. The smooth puree is better for smaller babies, while babies who are 10 months old or older prefer a slightly chunkier mash.

Pumpkin puree or mash

  1. Eating pumpkin puree

Feed your baby the mash or the puree directly. You can also combine it with other vegetables, cereal or khichdi (for older babies).

6. Storing pumpkin puree

Store the remaining pumpkin puree in freeze trays or jars. Don’t forget to leave a little room at the top of the freeze jar since most foods will expand a little when frozen.

Pumpkin puree in freeze jars