Week 9: Tofu and Summer Squash or Zucchini


Tofu For Your Baby

Tofu or bean curd is one of those "new age", California, "granola eater" type foods. It is a great source of protein that is low in calories and contains beneficial amounts of iron. The production of tofu from soy milk is similar to the production of cheese from milk. We like to think of it as "bean cheese". It has little flavor so adults will need to season it to make it palatable. For baby tofu is a great first finger food because it is soft enough to mush with little or no teeth but substantial enough to pick up with little fingers.

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When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Tofu most commonly is sold in vacuum packs and is usually found in the produce section of the grocery store. It is impossible to buy a "baby" sized serving, so once you buy a block of it you are stuck. If you don't intend to eat it, the best way to deal with the extra is to freeze it. You will see three varieties of tofu at the grocery store:

  1. Firm tofu is dense and solid and is higher in protein, fat and calcium than other forms of tofu.
  2. Soft tofu is a good first choice for baby because it has shape but is soft enough to mush it baby's mouth.
  3. Silken tofu is made by a slightly different process that results in a creamy, custard-like product. This is the softest and can be mixed with other fruits and vegetables.

For our purposes, we suggest buying soft tofu and then moving up to firm as baby can grasp his/her own food.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

Cut off little chunks and feed to baby.

How to store

Once the tofu package is open, leftover tofu should be rinsed and covered with fresh water for storage. Change the water daily to keep it fresh, and use the tofu within a week. You can also freeze tofu (wrap in plastic wrap or put in a ziploc) for baby size servings.

Are there baby food jars?


Should I buy organic?

Soy beans are a heavily sprayed legume. Their shells should protect them from pesticide contamination, but the USDA has not made a recommendation here.

Adult Recipe

We are going to give two recipes - one sweet and one savory.

Tofu Smoothie

1/2 package soft tofu
1 medium banana
1 cups unsweetened juice
1 cup frozen berries
Add to blender, blend, and drink!

Tofu Salad

1/2 package soft tofu
2 scallions
soy sauce to taste
Chop tofu and scallions and add soy sauce. Serve with rice.

Summer Squash or Zucchini

Summer Squash or Zucchini For Your Baby

There are 2 easily available forms of summer squash - yellow summer squash and zucchini. Zucchini is the green one that has the same oblong shape as a cucumber. Both of these vegetables will work for our purposes, and they are interchangeable in recipes. They are varieties of the same species so if you introduce one of the two then you don't have to worry about food allergies to the second. These are best eaten in the summer when they are the freshest and sweetest. Summer squash is very versatile. You can eat it raw or cooked, steamed, fried, grilled, and roasted.

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When is baby ready?

6 months old

How to buy

Look for firm squash that has glossy skin.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

For baby, it is probably still too hard in its raw state to serve, so you can steam it a little to soften. Chop into bite size baby pieces and place in microwave with a few tablespoons of water for 3 minutes. Alternatively, put in saucepan with enough water to cover bottom of pan and bring to a boil. They should be soft very quickly. Finally, you can roast some squash for yourself - see adult recipe below - and just leave the salt and pepper off for some baby slices.

How to store

Stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, they should keep for a week.

Are there baby food jars?

Yes, but usually mixed with something else.

Should I buy organic?

No. The level of pesticide residue found by the USDA was very low.

Adult Recipe

Roasting brings out the flavor of the squash and gives it some texture. We find steamed squash too mushy for the adult palate.

Roasted Summer Squash

1 pound zucchini or yellow squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice squash in half lengthwise and then cut again so you have 4 long pieces and cut across so you have 8 pieces. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Put squash on baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. salt and pepper. Cook until soft - about 15 minutes.

Eating tip of the week

Don't worry about your baby having "square meals" - allow your baby to eat what he/she feels like eating. Look at your baby's eating from an entire week's perspective instead of one day. For example - "All my baby wants to eat is bananas!!" - well that might be true for a few days but then they will eat something else (we promise).

Week #9 Shopping List

Baby Food

Adult Food

For tofu smoothie

For tofu salad

For roasted summer squash


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