Theo loves all of the sweeter orange vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potato and carrots; he could eat them all day. (I think he has a sweet tooth like his daddy!)
While I could absolutely buy a whole butternut squash and cut it up, I always prefer to buy it pre-cut. It saves so much time and is infinitely easier. Luckily, Trader Joe’s sells a few types of cut-up butternut squash that are super easy to prepare. One of Theo’s favorites is their Butternut Squash Zig-Zags, which are adorable and perfect for babies. They are like crinkle-cut fries made of squash! I cook the Zig-Zags a few different ways, but I love roasting because it's pretty hands-off, which allows me to have my hands free for Theo. This particular preparation is very easy, simple and delicious.
For babies 6+ months and kids (and adults) of all ages!
Makes 12 oz. of roasted squash, if using the Trader Joe’s Zig-Zags
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 10-20 minutes (depends on your oven)
- 1 package of Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Zig-Zags (12 oz.) (or 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges/sticks)
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (more or less based on your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet.
- Put the butternut squash in a large bowl.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. (You can use less or more to taste.)
- Toss the squash with the oil and cinnamon using a big spoon. It should be well coated.
- Dump the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the oven and let the squash roast.
- Remove when it's tender enough and enjoy.
I recommend checking the squash after 10 minutes or so to see how tender it is. It should be soft enough that your baby can gum or bite it, but not so soft that it gets smushed and falls apart in his little fist. In my oven, 10-15 minutes is usually the right amount of time.
If you do not live near a Trader Joe's, don't despair! You can look for a similar product at a store near you, use cut butternut squash (cubed), or cut a whole butternut squash yourself into wedges.
This may seem obvious, but some people (like my husband before he met me) are not aware that liquid and solid measuring cups are not the same. For solid foods, you should use a standard measuring cup set or spoons, while for liquids, you should use a liquid measuring cup. For smaller liquid measurements like teaspoons and tablespoons, I recently got this cute set. I love it and Theo loves playing with it too! This single liquid measuring cup is another good option.
Why use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat? First, it protects your baking sheets. I used to throw everything right onto my baking sheets without any protective layer. Over time (and rather quickly), my baking sheets were destroyed! I have bought so many and it just seems like a waste. Second, it makes for much easier cleanup! Who doesn’t like that? You can throw away the parchment paper after using it or you can wash the baking mat with soap and water. The baking sheet will usually need little to no washing; I often just give it a quick once-over with a soapy sponge. Major time-saver!