This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Pumpkin is an amazing first food for babies. Serve this nutritious food to your baby with ease and confidence by using these cooking and serving tips and recipes.

A visual showing how to serve pumpkin according to baby's age.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

When can babies eat pumpkin?

This nutritious vegetable can be offered to babies as soon as they’re ready to start solids, usually around 6 months. It’s important to remember that your baby is unique and that rather than going by the calendar, you need to make sure your baby is DEVELOPMENTALLY ready to start solids.

If you’re unsure, be sure to grab my FREE handout by clicking on the box below.

tired mom with baby food

Is your baby 6 months old and up?

Learn all the secrets to starting solids safely while optimizing nutrition!

Health Benefits

Interesting fact! Pumpkin is technically a fruit because it contains seeds, just like avocados, tomatoes, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.

It’s not only delicious and versatile, but it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They’re particularly high in:

  • Vitamin A – important for eye and bone health and immune function
  • Vitamin C – helps boost immunity and enhances iron absorption
  • Magnesium and potassium – aid in optimal bone health and hear thealth

As with sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash, its bright orange color is due to antioxidants called carotenoids, which get converted into vitamin A. Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds, so they are best absorbed with fat.

Last but not least, it’s also a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Are pumpkins safe for babies?

As long as they are offered in an appropriate size and texture, it is safe. Let me show you how! Pumpkin allergy is very rare as well.

Selecting the Best Pumpkin

Fresh

There are more than 100 types of pumpkin, and while they are all technically edible, the big carving pumpkins tend to be quite watery and stringy once cooked.

The ones you want to use for cooking are sugar pumpkins (also called pie or sweet pumpkins). These are small and round. I’ve found that ones that are between 2-5 pounds have the best flesh.

Other delicious ones to try are Japanese Kabocha or Red Kuri Pumpkin (what’s pictured here)! They are my absolute favorites.

To select the best pumpkin, first look at the stem. It should be dark green, dry, and firmly attached to the fruit. Do NOT pick the pumpkin up by its stem as you want it to remain intact!

Then thoroughly inspect the skin for any deep bruises or soft spots. It should be firm. Don’t forget to look at the bottom of the pumpkin.

As for the color, don’t chase after the brightest color. In fact, a more dull hue indicates that it’s aging and the flesh is getting sweeter and more delicious. Do make sure that the color is uniform without any bruises or blemishes.

Once you bring home the awesomest pumpkin, keep it in a cool, dry place.

Canned

You can also serve canned pumpkin to your baby! In fact, I highly encourage it as we need all the short cuts we can get, right?

Be sure that the can is BPA free.

Note: 1 1/2 pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree, which is about how much is in a 15-ounce can of pumpkin.

Healthy Recipes with Pumpkin Puree

How to Cut Pumpkin

A four image collage showing how to cut and cook pumpkin.

First, rinse the pumpkin under running water to remove any dirt.

Pro tip: microwave on high for 2-3 minutes to make it easier to cut.

  1. Very important- use a sharp knife!
  2. Slice the top, including the stem, off of the pumpkin. Then trim the bottom of the pumpkin so that it sits flat on your cutting board.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, rocking the knife back and forth so it doesn’t get stuck. Using a sharp spoon or an ice cream scoop, scrape out the seeds and stringy innards.
  4. If steaming, cut into large wedges or crescent moons then peel the skin. You can peel first, but I find it easier to do so after slicing.

Tightly wrap any leftover pumpkin, refrigerate, and use within 5 days.

Top Cooking Methods

Roasted

Halved and sliced roasted pumpkin on a baking sheet.

This is my favorite method of the ease of preparation and results in incredible flavor. Not to mention, cooking with oil will aid in the absorption of vitamin A, a fat-soluble nutrient.

  1. First half the pumpkin as instructed above. Rub the flesh and skin with oil and seasoning(s) of choice, such as cinnamon. Place cut side down on a lined baking sheet.
  2. Just like with Korean sweet potatoes, pierce the skin several times with a fork or knife.
  3. Roast at 400°F for 35-50 minutes until fork-tender. Cooking time will depend on the size of the pumpkin.
  4. Let cool before peeling the skin and cutting into wedges or using for purees.

Steamed

Big pumpkin wedges in steamer basket.
  1. Cut the pumpkin into big wedges (with 1/2 inch thickness). Once cooked, you can cut into smaller pieces depending on your baby’s age. This way you can serve both big and small pieces as I suggest below.
  2. Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add pumpkin, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10-15 minutes. It should be easily pierce-able with a fork.

Boiled

I don’t recommend it as most of the nutrients will leach into the water.

How to serve Pumpkin to Babies

6-9 months old

Mashed pumpkin in a white bowl with a fork.

Pureed – Add cooked pumpkin into a blender and blend until smooth. Add breastmilk/formula, water, or even broth to thin out to desired consistency. It shouldn’t need it though. You can also just mash with a potato masher or a fork, which is what I do most of the time.

Here are some easy and versatile ways to serve pumpkin puree to your baby. Simply stir into:

9+ MONTHS OLD

A visual showing how to serve pumpkin according to baby's age.

In addition to the suggestions above, as your baby develops their pincer grasp and is able to pick up small pieces of food using their thumb and forefinger, you can cut into small, bite-sized pieces. I still suggest continuing to offer larger pieces so they can practice taking bites.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to introduce utensils. Your baby will most likely just play around or toss it. But it’s still great for exposure!

Try forking a piece of squash and plate on their plate. Be sure to continue modeling. They are like sponges and learn by watching you!

I also encourage you to offer mixed foods often before your baby becomes more selective. If they’ve never had foods touching and mixed together, it will be much harder to get them to eat these later on. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pumpkin seeds good for babies?

Yes! They are an excellent source of iron!
First roast them – First rinse and dry thoroughly. Toss with some oil and seasoning, spread into a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast at 350°F for 15-20 minutes (stir halfway through).

Then you can add to a food processor or blender and finely
grind or blend until it turns into butter!

Be sure to read this guide to nuts and seeds for babies.

Is the pumpkin skin edible?

It is edible and a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, it really depends on the age of the pumpkin. With some, the skin gets tender once roasted, but some have a thicker, unpleasant texture. I advise peeling for your baby, and for older children and adults, you can decide.

Is pumpkin good for baby constipation?

Both fresh and canned pumpkin are high in fiber as well as magnesium, which both help relieve constipation. However, do introduce fiber-rich foods slowly as too much at once can actually contribute to constipation.

Pumpkin Recipes for Babies

A close up shot of cooked pumpkin oatmeal with milk and pecans.
5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Oatmeal

This cozy fall breakfast pumpkin oatmeal is a breeze to whip up and makes for a seriously delicious and hearty way to kickstart your day.
View Recipe
A close up shot of sliced bread.
4.98 from 40 votes

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread

Made with healthy ingredients, this moist pumpkin banana bread has all the warm pumpkin flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.
View Recipe
Stacked pancakes with yogurt and pecans.
4.94 from 15 votes

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Light and fluffy, these pumpkin oatmeal pancakes are made with just a handful of nutritious ingredients. Simply toss everything in the blender and enjoy this cozy breakfast in no time!
View Recipe
A close up shot of sliced bread.
4.98 from 40 votes

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread

Made with healthy ingredients, this moist pumpkin banana bread has all the warm pumpkin flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.
View Recipe
A large plate with cooked waffles, toppings, and little hands grabbing them.
5 from 23 votes

Healthy Pumpkin Waffles Recipe

These light and fluffy pumpkin waffles are easy to make with simple ingredients. Enjoy them as a warm and cozy fall breakfast treat (or any time of the year).
View Recipe
An overhead shot of plated pumpkin pasta with parmesan and parsley.
5 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Get a taste of fall comfort with this pumpkin pasta sauce that you can get on the table in under 30 minutes. It is super easy to make with canned pumpkin and bursting with cozy, warm flavors.
View Recipe

If you want to learn how to prepare other specific food(s), check out my How To Series!

5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Puree for Babies

Pumpkin is an amazing first food for babies. Serve this nutritious food to your baby with ease and confidence by using these cooking and serving tips and recipes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 17
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Ingredients 

  • 4 pounds pumpkin, sliced in half lenghthwise and de-seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil (if roasting)
  • (optional) seasoning(s) of choice

Instructions 

Roasted

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • Half the pumpkin. Rub the flesh and skin with oil and seasoning(s) of choice, such as cinnamon. Place cut side down on a lined baking sheet.
  • pierce the skin several times with a fork or knife.Roast at 400°F for 35-50 minutes until fork-tender. Cooking time will depend on the size of the pumpkin.
  • Let cool before peeling the skin and cutting into wedges or bite-sized pieces.

Steamed

  • Cut the pumpkin into big wedges (with 1/2 inch thickness). Once cooked, you can cut into smaller pieces depending on your baby's age
  • Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil.
  • Add pumpkin, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10-15 minutes. It should be easily pierce-able with a fork.

Pumpkin Puree

  • Add roasted or steamed pumpkin into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add breastmilk/formula, water, or even broth to thin out to desired consistency. It shouldn't need it though. You can also just mash with a potato masher or a fork

Notes

  • Transfer leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.  To freeze, you can either flash freeze or puree and freeze in a freezer tray for up to 3 months. Once frozen solid, pop them out and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.

Nutrition

Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Vitamin A: 9086IU | Calcium: 22mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating