Pumpkin is a nutritious food to add to your baby’s weaning meal from 6 months up. It supplies essential vitamins and minerals for good baby development, some of which are vitamins A,C,E & K, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. These vitamins all play a role in building a strong body system, good eyesight, good blood and cell formation for baby.
Pumpkin is a local Nigerian food and there are two types: (a) the oblong shaped one from which the seeds of the ugu leaves are gotten known as fluted pumpkin and (b) the round shaped and fleshy one are known as ‘anyu‘ in Igbo, ‘kabaiwa‘ in Hausa and ‘elegede‘ in Yoruba. The latter is the pumpkin that you can eat, as well a make for babies and toddlers. See the pictures below.
How to make simple pumpkin puree for baby
- Pumpkin (about ¼ or less)
- Water for cooking
- Palm oil (optional)
- Wash pumpkin well and if the seeds are not already removed, then cut it out.
- Cut the pumpkin into sizeable chunks with the back on and cook in a little water till soft. I prefer cooking with the back to retain more nutrients. Otherwise, you can cut out the back, then cut into small cubes and steam.
- Peel of the back, put in a blender and puree to a smooth consistency. Mix in the palm oil if desired before serving.
*Pumpkin can serve as a finger food for toddlers too. simply cook and cut into small cubes for them to enjoy.