Pumpkin is near the top of our list for first baby foods!
Primary source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in the diet (gives it the orange colour!)
Converted to Vitamin A in the body. Zeaxanthin is a natural antioxidant which can filter UV rays from damaging the retina in the eyes.
Assists in regulating blood sugar, insulin, and slows digestion. Also antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
High in B vitamins which support blood sugar regulation too.
Vitamin C, A and E
Antioxidants. Help keep all your cells clean and strong. Provide energy for the body. Support liver detoxification. Vitamin C aids iron absorption.
Necessary for brain and nerve function.
Also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
Helps absorb calcium!
Enjoying your pumpkin
Pumpkin is nice and sweet so your baby will typically love it. It is so simple to steam or boil. You can start by pureeing it or giving it in hand-size chunks for them to feed themselves. Even pumpkin soup is an easy option. It is nice and soft when cooked which makes it a safe choice for your baby to learn about food textures.
Have it on its own, or combine it with other vegetables, or even apple for a sweet dessert.
When your baby is a bit older, my favourite ways to serve pumpkin are:
Chop up your pumpkin into bite-size pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Sprinkle the pumpkin with paprika, sea salt, and olive oil
Place in oven until slightly browned or the pumpkin is soft
Yummy with meat and veg, and easy for baby to feed themselves!
Now I must admit, my pumpkin soup is very simple to make. I’m all about simplicity in the kitchen.
1 pumpkin, peeled, chopped and steamed
1 portion of bone broth (we keep some frozen ready to go for soups)
1 sweet potato, peeled, chopped and steamed
Warm up broth in a large pot or use the thermomix (sp 4 100deg 4min)
Place the steamed pumpkin and sweet potato into the pot or thermomix
Depending on the amount of fluid, you may need to add some extra water at this stage. Start small, with about 200mL. (It depends how watery your stock is already, and remember the vegetables blend into a soft watery soup too).
Add 1 tbsp of tahini, and 1 tsp sea salt
Bring to the boil and drop down to let simmer for 10min – or if using the thermomix, cook on speed 3 100deg 6min
Either blend by hand, or use a blender or the thermomix to get desired consistency. If too thick, add a bit more water and blend some more. If too thin, you can try thicken with quinoa or potato flour.
Additional notes on pumpkin:
Pumpkin is good at cleaning soil, by taking up the chemicals found in the soil while it is growing. Therefore it is smart to buy organic when you can.
Pumpkin is also a high-GI vegetable so should be used as a sometimes vegetable, not a daily vegetable.