Skip to main content

How to puree pumpkin for baby in 3 easy steps

Even if you don’t regularly make your own homemade baby food, when it’s fall time and everyone’s enjoying pumpkin spiced-this and pumpkin spice-that, you may feel inspired to whip up something pumpkin for your baby, too. But if your baby’s too young for your favorite pumpkin bread recipe, you’re going to need to start with something a little more palatable, like pumpkin baby food. It sounds delicious but might create some apprehension over how to how to puree the pumpkin in the best possible ways for your baby.

Essentially pumpkin-based baby food, a pumpkin puree is easy to make and comes together in just three easy steps. We’re breaking them all down for you, so you can make your own as soon as today. 

baby eating pumpkin
Galina Zhigalova/Adobe Stock

Step 1: Make sure your baby is ready for pumpkin (and the pumpkin’s ready for your baby!)

The first step in making pumpkin baby food? Pairing up the right baby with the right pumpkin! You don’t want to go feeding just any grocery store gourd to your beloved baby.

Infants are usually ready for pumpkin at around 6 months of age, or whenever they start chowing down on other pureed and mostly solid foods on a regular basis. However, if you have any doubts about feeding your baby their first pumpkin dish, check in with your pediatrician.

Of course, you want to choose the best pumpkin for your baby’s consumption, too. Look for pumpkins in the grocery store that are grown and sold for eating — not carving. These pumpkins should have a sticker on them that says something along the lines of “pie pumpkin.” These are usually small and found around the produce area.

Step 2: Cook the pumpkin 

Before you can puree the pumpkin for your baby, you have to cook it. You can easily bake your baby’s pumpkin in the oven. 

Using a sturdy, large kitchen knife, cut off the pumpkin’s stem and slice the pumpkin body in half, like you would any squash you were planning to bake around the fall season, such as acorn squash or butternut squash (or even a spaghetti squash). Once halved, use a sturdy spoon (like an ice cream scoop) to scrape out all the pumpkin “goop,” like the strings and seeds. 

Once the pumpkin is clean, place the pumpkin halves face-down on a lined baking sheet and then bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 45 minutes. If you can take a fork and easily jab the pumpkin, with the fork tongs going through the pumpkin skin, you’re good. 

From there, allow the pumpkin to cool. If you don’t plan on pureeing it right away, you can always toss it in the fridge for a day or two.

Step 3: Make your puree

Once your cooked pumpkin is completely cool, it’s time to make your puree. 

Not sure how to puree pumpkin? Just scrape the cooked pumpkin out of the rind and toss it into your favorite food processor or blender. If you don’t have any equipment like this, you can always use a hand blender or mixer, or even a fork if you’re thorough. 

Once your puree is as soft as you want (a few lumps are no big deal, if your baby is accustomed to eating foods with a bit of lumpiness and they know how to gum them), you can feed some to your baby. You always want to introduce a new food into your baby’s diet gradually, so you can watch for any adverse reactions. If you’ve given them the plain pumpkin puree and it’s been a few days, and nothing bad has happened (eg: an allergic reaction), you can then flavor the puree to make it a bit more appealing and, honestly, fun.

Add some of the same spices you enjoy in your own pumpkin dishes, such as small amounts of cinnamon or nutmeg. You can also incorporate the pumpkin puree into your baby’s other foods, such as other vegetable or fruit purees, or meat-based purees. 

mom and baby in fall
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Add a little fall fun to your baby’s diet

However you serve your new pumpkin puree to your baby, they’ll benefit from pumpkin’s nutrients and health benefits, including fiber, potassium, and Vitamin A. One of the best parts? If you puree up some pumpkin for your baby, you’ll have it on hand for your own use, too, whether you need some for a baking project or just to eat plain (it’s pretty good with some yogurt in the morning).

Need more tips and tricks for making homemade baby food? Check out our article on five creative ways to make baby food at home.  

Editors' Recommendations

Holly Riddle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle journalist, who also dabbles in copywriting, ghostwriting and fiction…
When can babies eat spinach? Don’t feed it to them too early
What you need to know about giving babies spinach
A highchair set up with a baby toy, sippy cup, and green baby food.

We all want to see our kids eat more green food, starting with the transition to solid foods as an infant. If you’re hoping your baby will be “strong to the finish,” just like Popeye by eating spinach regularly, then you may wonder when a suitable time would be to introduce that iron-rich food to your little one. This little green leaf's ability to pack on the nutrients makes it such a great food for parents to feed their tots.

But when are babies able to eat spinach safely? More importantly, how can you make spinach baby food that your child will actually eat? Let's break down the when and how to get your nugget to enjoy this mineral-rich superfood.

Read more
Here’s our temperature guide for dressing babies in both warm and cold weather
How to dress your baby for any weather type
A parent dressing their baby

Even as adults, there are days when you struggle to know how to dress for the weather. You wear the sweater just in case and wind up sweating all day, or you skip the layers and are freezing by lunch. Knowing how to dress a baby when you're not sure if the weather will change is always a challenge, especially since they can't tell you if they are too hot or cold. Dressing your babe correctly for the weather is one time a parenting handbook would be helpful.

Many parents find themselves wondering just how many, or how few layers their child needs to wear during those first few months. If you wear a light jacket, will your baby do fine with the same? Will they need more layers in the fall and winter months to cover their delicate skin? How do you balance protecting your baby from the sun in the summer, while making sure they don't overheat? To help you pick the perfect outfit for your infant, here’s a temperature guide for dressing babies in both warm and cold weather. 

Read more
Kids clothes: This is how many outfits children really need
Don't buy your kids more clothing than they'll ever wear
A child in their closet full of clothing.

One thing that is harder to keep up with than your children's newest favorite character is keeping up with their wardrobe changes. With unpredictable but frequent baby accidents (hello, blowouts), newborns need the largest number of outfits. Toddlers need more variety than quantity in their wardrobe and school-age kids spend the most time outdoors and need all types of kids' clothes. Between them growing like weeds and your kiddo changing their style every season, your child’s clothing essentials are in a constant state of change.
With a growing child at home, the minimalist concept is not the best idea, especially if you’re a busy parent who doesn’t want to wash kids clothes every single day. To keep it easier on everyone, your child should have an average of nine sets of clothes for today’s modern lifestyle. Find out if that would be too little, too many, or just the right number of sets for your little human, and how to adjust their current wardrobe to match.

Too many clothing options is too time consuming
As great as it sounds, having too many clothes is as bad as having too little. Nobody wants to deal with a jumbo basket full of dirty clothes that smell like a CrossFit Box inside your apartment. And with today’s busy schedules, who wants to do laundry more than once a week? Maybe twice, if you have a baby at home.

Read more