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Butternut squash is rich in vitamins A and C and, due to its natural sweetness, it is often a favorite vegetable for young babies. A common butternut squash baby food is a simple puree of only squash, which is typically ideal for children between six and eight months old. One of the most popular variations of this is a blend of the squash and other fruits, vegetables, or even infant cereal. Outside of purees, cooked chunks and puffs flavored with butternut squash are also popular, and both can make for a healthy first finger food.
On its own, this fruit is often cooked and then mashed or pureed until smooth. For young children just learning to eat solids, the consistency of this type of butternut squash baby food is typically perfect. Although water is not generally needed to thin the puree, many commercial preparations contain water, while homemade versions may include formula, breast milk, or water. This is usually done to make the food easier for young infants to maneuver in their mouths. Dry spices are also a common addition in both homemade and commercial varieties, with cinnamon being one of the most popular.
Pureed butternut squash baby food can be mixed with other fruits or vegetables as well as infant cereal to introduce new flavors and consistencies. Fruits such as pears, apples, and bananas are all popular combinations, as are other squashes, sweet potatoes, and mildly-flavored vegetables. The addition of rice cereal is generally reserved for children more adept at eating solids, as it can make the butternut squash baby food too thick for younger infants. These mixes are generally only served once the child has eaten all of the ingredients separately for a certain amount of time, as this helps to rule out any food allergies quickly.
Diced winter squash that is either boiled or roasted is a popular homemade finger food, as are store-bought puffs containing butternut squash. When it comes to the homemade variety, the squash is typically still firm enough to pick up, yet is easily mashed up by a young baby’s gums. This makes it an excellent and relatively safe food once a child is ready to move past purees.
Although this is typically not sold in stores as a prepackaged butternut squash baby food, small puffs flavored with squash are a popular type of commercial baby snack. This also acts as an excellent first finger food, with the pieces typically being large enough for a child to grasp while still allowing him or her to practice his or her dexterity. In addition to this, the texture of the puffs can help a child become used to eating non-pureed foods while still preventing choking, as the puffs dissolve quickly when they come in contact with saliva.
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