I am always looking for ways to prepare veggies for my kids and family. I have always loved zucchini and came up with this extremely simple way to prepare it so that I could introduce it into my toddler’s diet as she started eating solids.
Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
I buy organic zucchini, so I feel comfortable keeping the zucchini skins in this dish, which also means getting some of the best nutrients out of the zucchini. I start by slicing up zucchini, as well as yellow squash (summer squash). It helps to add variety and makes it a little bit more colorful and visually appealing. You can gauge how thick or thin you want the slices and pieces to be, depending on how old your kids are – for example, smaller pieces for toddlers and larger pieces for children.
Toss the zucchini in a small steamer. Add some spices just to season a little, such as an Italian blend. You can use whatever you think might taste good! Just be careful that the spices are fine enough so that they don’t pose a choking hazard for little ones who are just starting solids (something like pieces of rosemary might be too big). Also, if you use a seasoning blend, check the ingredients, as it may contain a lot of salt, and you may want to limit or avoid adding sodium. Another thing to keep an eye out for is if it has a lot of red or black pepper in it, since it could be too spicy for younger ages, and you probably want to keep it mild.
You can adjust how much you want to steam the zucchini and summer squash. When my toddler was just starting on solids, I more or less minced the zucchini and steamed it until it was almost soggy. Now that both my kids are older, I can make it firmer which also makes it easier to eat with a fork or pick up pieces with their fingers.
I have frozen steamed zucchini in portions, and it reheats fine. However, when reheated, it does tend to release some more liquid from the zucchini, but I just drain the extra liquid so it is not messy.
This is an easy vegetable dish the whole family can enjoy, and is in particular a good introduction to vegetables for babies beginning solids or toddlers. You can easily make a version of this for older kids and adults, either by steaming or tossing larger slices with some olive oil, and then seasoning. We even toss some coarsely chopped cooked onions in with our zucchini.