One of the most common questions we get, often from parents, is whether or not it’s safe to eat squash skin. The short answer is yes, usually it is perfectly safe for your child to eat squash skin. In fact, eating squash skin is a great way to get an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.
Squash: Eat It Or Peel It?
Many squash varieties have thick skin that is generally not eaten. This doesn’t mean that it’s not safe to eat, it’s usually just not pleasant eat because it’s tough, waxy, and has little to no taste.
Also, the size of a typical squash means that the skin over burns when cooking the squash to a creamy perfection inside. And this works out great because the skin usually isn’t considered to be food.
In summer or soft squash, you can eat the skin (and most people do). These include:
- yellow (aka summer) squash
- sostata romanesco zucchini
This isn’t true of all summer squash though. You’d don’t eat the skin of a spaghetti squash. If you do eat a little you won’t immediately get skin or likely even have any ill effects, but it’s not recommended.
Some winter or hard squash have skin that people eat as it’s not that tough These include:
Other winter squash has tough skin that you won’t want to eat. These include:
Again, these skins aren’t unsafe, they just aren’t pleasant to eat and can squash stomach discomfort.
The Nutritional Value Of Squash Skin
Squash skin, like the skin of many vegetables, is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. Vitamins A and C are essential for maintaining healthy vision and immune function, while vitamin E helps to protect cells from damage. Potassium is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, while magnesium helps to keep bones strong.
In addition to being a good source of vitamins and minerals, squash skin also contains fiber. Fiber is important for keeping the digestive system healthy and can help to prevent constipation. Getting enough fiber is also important for maintaining a healthy weight.
Squash skin is also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage and can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer.
How To Prepare Squash Skin
If you’re worried about the texture of squash skin, there are a few ways that you can prepare it so that it’s more palatable. One option is to cook the squash in water until it’s soft, then puree the flesh and skin together until it’s smooth. You can also cook the squash in water until it’s soft, then use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the skin. Another option is to roast the squash whole with the skin on, then scrape out the flesh once it’s cooked. Roasting gives the flesh a lovely sweetness that you are sure to enjoy.
Is The Skin Safe?
So there you have it! There’s no need to worry about whether or not it’s safe for your child to eat squash skin. Squash skin is packed with nutrients that are essential for your child’s health, so go ahead and let them dig in!