The striker will miss Wolves' visit to Old Trafford on Monday because of a back injury suffered before his move from Atalanta. United haven't revealed a date for Højlund's debut and Ten Hag said the 20-year-old won't play before he is ready.
"We are not in a rush," Ten Hag said. "We know without him we have also a strong team and the position is covered so we don't rush in this. It is about that he is in the right level, the first fitness level and then we have to integrate him, training and bring him in for the games so we take our time.
"It is not about winning in this moment, it is about winning in the long term."
Until Højlund is ready, Marcus Rashford is expected to play as the central striker in Ten Hag's system. Jadon Sancho featured as the No.9 during preseason and Anthony Martial is fit again after recovering from a hamstring injury, which ruled him out of all the summer fixtures.
"I am quite calm and composed in this situation because Rashy is very good as a striker, we have seen him as a striker," Ten Hag said. "Anthony Martial is available as well and then we have Jadon Sancho, who did very well in preseason so we constructed a squad and can deal with this.
"That is the way, we do not do things overnight. There is a strategy behind it."