Home Cooked Toddler Food: Parmesan Zucchini

Toddlers are notoriously fickle eaters, but this dish is one that is consistently accepted in our house, and it is quite simple. That’s a major win for anyone trying to get dinner on the table. In addition to that, it’s also healthy and delicious. Between my son and I, we can eat anywhere from one to two zucchinis with no problem — it’s so good! 

Oh, how I love Parmesan. I didn’t like it much when I was young, but I love it now. To me, it just adds the extra little kick of flavor that many foods need. My son, however, does not share my current opinion. While I make this for him all the time, I usually withhold the Parmesan from his portion. I see it as his loss.

I started making this simple dish when the baby was towards the end of getting comfortable with solid foods. Zucchini cooks down to a soft and juicy texture, which was perfect for where he was at. I would even peel off the skin around the edges in the beginning, but that quickly became unnecessary as he progressed in his chewing and swallowing abilities. It’s a good option for a finger food too. Those little hands and mouth need all the practice they can get with feeding, chewing, and swallowing! A year or so later, we both still really like it, so it stays in the rotation.

Zucchini is also a cheaper vegetable, which is a benefit. Eating healthy does not need to break the bank. Apparently, this is also an easy vegetable to grow. I hope to be successful with that this summer! I frequently pair this with a yellow squash, which is also cheap, tasty, and visually appealing. There are many ways to put your own spin on this simple little concoction, so have at it.

Here is what you will need for the basic recipe: one or two zucchinis, a cooking oil (I prefer avocado oil for this), sea salt, and Parmesan. That’s it. 

A note on the cooking oils — I prefer avocado oil for this dish because I find that olive oil can detract from the flavor of the vegetables. Coconut oil tends to be too sweet, but avocado oil gives just a hint of sweetness to the dish, which does not overpower the zucchini. 

Here is my how-to on this tasty dish:

  • Cut the zucchini into about ½ inch sections, and cut those into fourths
  • Put them into a small skillet, and add a liberal amount of avocado oil
  • Turn the temperature to medium/high
  • Add sea salt to taste (I like to be liberal — it brings out the flavor)
  • Cook until zucchini becomes soft and juicy (about 5-10’, depending on the stovetop)
  • Remove from heat, and scoop into a serving bowl
  • Add parmesan to taste, if desired

This will be juicy, so drain the extra liquid if so desired. Personally, I like it to be a little on the juicy side. My toddler seems to as well. The husband is not a big squash or zucchini guy, so it’s prepared how me and the baby like it (ha)!

The cooked down zucchini is great for a snack or a side dish at dinner time. It keeps and reheats well, so there really is no reason not to make it! It’s healthy, cheap, yummy, and easy. What more could you ask for 😉

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