Don't throw away the inside of your precious pumpkin!
It's Halloween time soon and at Babyblooms HQ we thought we would concentrate on the annual dilemma of what to do with all the pumpkin flesh we tend to throw away once we've carved out our scary faced pumpkins. The simplest and most beneficial seems to be to eat it so we have pulled together our top 5 Halloween pumpkin baby recipes we have loved making for our own little ones!
Can babies eat Pumpkins? Simply put, yes. Pumpkins can be fed to your child from 6 months of age and it's certainly a great idea to introduce pumpkin into your child's diet. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, the inside of a pumpkin can help build a stronger immune system and provide a good source of anti-oxidants. Pumpkin can be given to your baby when solid foods have been introduced, traditionally at around six months of age. You can feed your baby pumpkin in pureed form or mixed into homemade cereals, yogurts and even in meats such as chicken. You can also bake pumpkin and serve the baked pumpkin in small bite size pieces. Rub a little bit of butter and cinnamon on the inside of the pumpkin prior to baking for a tasty treat.
How to select the best pumpkin?The secret of selecting the best pumpkin lies in the colour, texture and overall appearance. Pumpkin must be firm to handle without any soft spots or cuts. It is better to take smaller pumpkins than larger pumpkins but any size will do.
How to cook pumpkin?After the pumpkin has been cleaned thoroughly on the outside, peel it and then begin cutting it. Remember to remove all the seeds from the flesh. These seeds are large enough to cause choking in infants. Once cut its best to cook the pumpkin as soon as possible. Cooking pumpkin is pretty much like cooking most other vegetables; either boil, bake or steam it. I opt for steaming rather than boiling because some of those nutrients can disappear during the boiling process. Saying that, baking is also a lovely option. Either serve in bite sized pieces or puree - whatever works for you!
Here are Babybloom's Top 5 favourite Halloween pumpkin baby recipes:
1. Apple Pumpkin Baby Puree (6-8 months)
-3 Apples, peeled & cored (use Macintosh, Gala, Braeburn or Granny Smith)
-cinnamon, nutmeg (optional - sprinkle into the cooking water or when you puree/mash)
- Halve the pumpkin, peel and de-seed it then cut into cubes
- Peel and slice the apples
- Bring water to a boil and then steam the pumpkins and apples gently until soft and cooked. Be sure to check on the water level!
- Let cool a bit then puree or mash as needed for your baby.
2. Apple, Pumpkin & Oatmeal Baby Breakfast (6-8 months)
- 170g apple puree
- 170g pumpkin puree
- 510g (cooked) oatmeal
- Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or ginger
- Mix spices, apple, pumpkin and oatmeal together
- Stir thoroughly or blend if needed
3. Bananas & Pumpkin Baby treat (6-8 months)
- 170 grams pumpkin puree
- 2 small bananas
- Mash 2 small bananas and add the pumpkin puree
- Mix thoroughly, blend if needed for your baby's texture preferences. Makes a yummy addition to baby's cereal or yogurt.
- You could also try replacing the bananas with pears or peaches!
4. Savoury Pumpkin Puree (8-10 months)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 25g diced onion
- 225 to 450g of pumpkin peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- dried rosemary and basil
- pinch of sugar if desired
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepot then add the onion and squash cubes. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent then add the vegetable stock.
-Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and simmer until the squash is tender enough to puree. Season to taste with rosemary and basil
- You may make this a sweet puree by using nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon as the spices instead of the savoury spices and herbs.
- Toss this mixture with cooked brown rice, couscous, lentils or even quinoa for a hearty meal.
5. Autumn Smoothie (8-10 months) (serves one grown up and baby)
170g plain, vanilla or banana yogurt
1/2 cup milk
60g pureed apple
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of ginger
- Combine everything in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
We hope you have fun this Halloween with your pumpkins and your precious little ones. Our team of mums here at Babyblooms will be experiencing Halloween in a variety of ways depending on the age of their children! I for one will be ferrying my teenage sons to parties playing taxi and my niece will be dressed up as a scary (?!) Elsa ready to trick or treat whilst our new mum in the office will be introducing her baby to Halloween through one of our delicious pumpkin recipes!
Whatever you happen to be doing this Halloween, it really is a special time of year to treasure with your family. Enjoy x