How to Introduce Acorn Squash to Baby
Acorn Squash is a great first food for baby, but it requires a little prep work to make it delicious and safe. It’s also a great choice for both baby led weaning (BLW) and/or purees!
Baby Led Weaning: I have had a lot of success with introducing acorn squash to infants using the BLW method. I roast and cut the squash into spears to make this colorful food easy for baby to grab (this is great practice for hand-to-mouth coordination). Here is my recipe for acorn squash:
Ms. Dawn’s Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
-  Acorn squash
- Cinnamon (cinnamon is a wonderful spice to slowly introduce to baby)
- Salt (sprinkle sparingly as babies should not have too much sodium)
- Olive oil
- Preheat: preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Clean: Wash the squash thoroughly and scoop out all of the seeds and strings (as these are choking hazards)
- Cut: Slice the squash into two halves
- Oil: Place the squash in an oven safe dish and cover generously with olive oil
- Spices: Sprinkle pepper and/or cinnamon (or the spice of your choice) onto the squash. The oil will help keep the spices on the squash for roasting.
- Roast: Place squash in the oven for 40 minutes (or more depending on oven and elevation issues; we are located in Denver and this is a real thing!)
- Spears: You will know squash is ready when it softens and can be mashed with a fork. Cut squash into manageable spears and serve them to baby on a plate or bowl. Try the ezpz Tiny Bowl or Mini Mat, which can suction to baby’s highchair tray or the family’s dining table.
BLW Expert Tip: It’s important to offer baby spices (mixed in food) to help increase sensory awareness, expose new tastes and share cultural flavors.
Puree: You can cook the acorn squash with my recipe (above) and then blend it in a food processor or mash it with a fork for a yummy puree for baby! Here are a few other ideas for serving this delicious puree:
- Consistency: Puree the squash into the consistency your baby is safely swallowing right now, or challenge baby with a new puree texture. There are three textures I recommend to help assess baby’s swallow, which are thin, thick and lumpy purees. Give all of them a go!
- Formula: Mix the squash with breast milk or formula to help encourage baby to accept this new taste. This is a great tip if baby is having food refusal!
- Yogurt: After you have tried yogurt on its own (since cow's milk is an allergen), try including a few spoonfuls of acorn squash in the yogurt for a creamy texture and new colorful experience for baby.
- Sensory Play: Don’t throw away those leftovers! Use them for sensory food play! It’s important for baby to have opportunities to touch, taste and play with new foods, especially if we want to avoid picky eating battles in the future.
Puree Expert Tip: For self-feeding and spoon-feeding success, it’s critical that baby is offered a spoon starting at six months of age. The ezpz Tiny Spoon is the perfect size for baby’s tiny mouth (good for ages 6-15 months).
We hope these tips will help you and baby learn to enjoy acorn squash! How are you planning on serving this delicious food to your baby? What are some of your family’s favorite spices? Tag us in your pictures of your baby enjoying acorn squash by using our hashtags #ezpzfun #myezpzmat.
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.
You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!