Are you looking for a tasty and nutritious snack for your baby or toddler? If so, you may want to consider making zucchini slices! Zucchini slices contain a variety of nutrients including protein and healthy fats. The combination of the sweet zucchini and savoury cheese is a flavourful option to introduce to fussy eaters as well! Plus, they’re easy to prepare and can be enjoyed by both babies and toddlers. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of zucchini slices for babies and toddlers, as well as a simple recipe. Check it out below!
What is a Zucchini Slice?
A zucchini slice is an easy and nutritious meal for babies and toddlers. It combines all the goodness of veggies, protein and healthy fats in one dish that can be served as part of a balanced diet. Zucchini slices for toddlers are also great finger food for little ones who are learning to feed themselves.
Zucchini slices are made with grated zucchini, eggs, cheese and other ingredients such as bacon, onion, herbs and cheese. This dish is a great way to get vegetables into your child’s diet in a fun and tasty way.
Nutritional Benefits of Zucchini Slices for Babies & Toddlers
With a base of zucchini, eggs and cheese, you can imagine the nutritional benefits that come with a yummy zucchini slice.
Baby-friendly zucchini slices are a good source of protein as eggs and cheese are two of the star ingredients. Our zucchini slice recipe contains 10g of protein per serving. It is suggested that babies aged 7-12 months and toddlers aged 1-3 years should get 14g protein per day. You can see how zucchini slices for babies and toddlers pack a punch in terms of protein!
Protein is an essential macronutrient for your growing child. Cells in the body require protein for growth and development and help the tissues and organs to function properly. During times of growth, such as childhood, it’s particularly important to get sufficient protein.
Zucchini is a good source of Vitamin C, with 12.9 mg per 100 g of cooked zucchini. Vitamin C plays a vital role in many functions in the body, such as helping to protect cells from oxidative stress, supporting a healthy immune system, aiding in wound healing and collagen production, and improving iron absorption.
Beta-Carotene, Zeaxanthin and Lutein
Zucchini is also a good source of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein, which act as powerful antioxidants. These carotenoids may help to protect against vision loss, promote eye health and have even been associated with lower cancer risk.
100g of zucchini contains 670 mcg of beta-carotene, which is an important nutrient for our health. 100g of zucchini also contains 1150 mcg of zeaxanthin and lutein!
Zucchini also serves as a source of dietary fibre (1g), potassium (264mg), magnesium (19mg) and folate (28 mcg).*
- Dietary fibre is important for toddlers as it helps to keep their digestive system healthy and functioning properly. It helps prevent constipation and may keep them feeling fuller for longer.
- Potassium helps regulate fluid balance in the body, supports nerve and muscle function and helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Magnesium can help in the growth and strengthening of bones, muscles and teeth.
- Folate is important for the growth and development of a toddler’s body. It plays a role in the formation of new cells, DNA, RNA and tissue.
*Based on 100g serving of zucchini
When Can Babies Eat Zucchini and Baby-Friendly Zucchini Slices?
It is generally recommended that babies can start eating zucchini puree when they are 6 months of age.
Once your baby reaches 8-9 months (or with the approval of your paediatrician), you can cook zucchini until it is soft, or you can steam it.
As zucchini slices are considered a finger food, it is recommended to wait until they are 8-9 months of age to introduce this yummy snack! If you are unsure, consult with your paediatrician.
Is Zucchini a Common Allergen? What About Zucchini Slices?
No, zucchini is not a common allergen. In general, zucchini is considered to be a safe food choice for those with food allergies, though it is always best to talk to a doctor if you have concerns.
Zucchini slices also contain eggs. If you have not yet introduced your child to eggs, be sure to do so without other added ingredients, as eggs may present an allergic reaction in your child.
If your child is lactose intolerant, you can alter this recipe by omitting the cheese.
Making Zucchini Slices for Toddlers & Babies
Basic Egg and Zucchini Slice Recipe
You Will Need:
- 500g zucchini
- 6 large eggs
- 1c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g onion
- 1c grated cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add flour and baking powder and continue to whisk until mostly smooth (some lumps will dissipate when baking). Dice the onion and add to the egg mixture. Use a cheese grater to grate zucchini; add zucchini and grated cheese to the bowl.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Pour mixture into tin and allow to settle. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown.
Zucchini Slice Variations
The possibilities are endless. This is a very forgiving recipe, so feel free to play around and see what your little one likes best. Add in your child’s favourite base ingredients as a fun way to get them to try new foods!
- Less Sodium: For an even healthier version, cut down on sodium by using less grated cheese than this recipe calls for.
- Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh tarragon, parsley, cilantro or other herbs can boost the flavour profile of this dish in seconds!
- Gluten Free: Gluten-free flour can easily be substituted (or any other type of flour, for that matter). You can make a no-flour zucchini slice, but the texture may not be ideal for finger foods for babies and toddlers (it will likely fall apart).
- Vegetarian Zucchini Slice: This recipe is vegetarian-friendly! Load up on even more colourful veggies to change the flavour or add your little one’s favourite ingredients.
- Zucchini Bacon Slice: Once your baby is one year old, consider adding thin-sliced strips of bacon or other meats such as ham, chicken or turkey to add protein and flavour.
Benefits of Giving Zucchini Slices to Your Little One
Aside from the nutritional value discussed above, the best part about making zucchini slices for toddlers and babies is that they can be customised to suit different tastes and preferences. You can add herbs, extra veggies, different meats, or varied types of grated cheese to make it more flavorful.
These baby-friendly zucchini slices are also great for freezing, so you can make them ahead of time and store them for later. This makes a great healthy meal that is quick and easy to prepare when needed.
For more yummy and nutrient-packed meals and snacks for your little one, check out our recipe collection.