Why Carrots are Great for Weaning
6 min read
Carrots are a hugely popular weaning food, and it’s easy to see why!
We take a look at some of the benefits of this sweet vegetable for your budding foodie.
During weaning, it’s important that your little one gets a varied and nutritious diet, whether through homemade weaning meals or baby food pouches.
Part of a balanced diet is making sure your baby gets to experience plenty of veggies! One of our favourites for the start of weaning is carrots, as they’re hugely versatile and packed with goodness.
The Benefits of Carrots for Babies
We are huge fans of starting weaning with veggies! Not only are there so many different tastes and textures to explore, but they’re also an incredible source of nutritious goodness.
Carrots are no different - take a look at just some of the benefits they bring for your little one:
Remember when your parents told you that carrots will help you see in the dark? While they might not be that powerful, it’s true that they help us improve our eyesight.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which also turns into vitamin A in the body. One of the key functions of vitamin A is helping us to see better in dim light.
They won’t quite help you see in the dark, but having regular amounts of vitamin A will certainly help your little one’s eyes grow big and strong!
Stronger Immune System
Carrots are also known for promoting our natural immune system, helping it to protect us from illnesses.
As with many veggies, carrots contain a range of nutritious goodies that help our bodies function. Lots of things go into making our immune systems nice and strong, including lymphocytes and blood platelets, which carrots can help us produce.
Carrots also help to strengthen the liver, while also supporting healthy hearts and kidneys - it’s a pocket rocket of veggie goodness!
Cells are our building blocks - every part of us is made of millions of these little things! As with many veggies, carrots contain nutrients that directly affect and support the body’s cells, which help support your little one’s growth while also promoting healthy skin.
How to Cook Carrots for Weaning
Carrots are hugely versatile and can be prepared and served in countless different ways for your little one!
If serving carrots on their own, the main thing to consider is texture. At the start of the weaning journey, you may want to give your baby soft food they can easily chew. As they grow and develop, you can introduce tougher textures for them to experience.
Here are some of the most popular ways to cook carrots for weaning:
- Steaming - Steaming is the quickest and most nutritious way to prepare carrots as it locks in all the goodness.
- Boiling - Boiling carrots is a great way to make them soft, while the water can also be used to make a puree.
- Roasting - Roasted carrots can either be soft or have an added crunch for your little one.
- Baking - Baking can be a quick and easy way to prepare sliced carrots.
Can Babies Eat Raw Carrot?
Washed raw carrots are perfectly healthy for your little one. However, they might struggle to eat them until they have teeth.
Raw carrots are not only tough, but they can also be a choking hazard when cut into thin strips. Therefore, it’s recommended to only give your little one raw carrot once they’re comfortable with chewing tough foods - this is usually around 12-14 months, but can be different for everyone.
Carrots for Baby-Led Weaning
Raw carrots might not be suitable at the start of weaning, but they still make great finger food for baby-led weaning when cooked to suit your baby's weaning stage!
When preparing carrots as finger food, getting the right size and texture is important. It needs to be small (around the size of your thumb) and firm enough for your baby to hold, but soft enough for them to chew.
As a guide, finger foods should be squishable between your fingers but not flop or fall apart in your hand. Beyond that, how you prepare them - whether it’s steamed flower shapes or roasted fingers - is up to you!
Our Favourite Carrot Weaning Recipes
Carrots make a fantastic weaning food on their own, as they can be prepared in many different ways. They can also be incorporated into other recipes to help your baby experience different tastes and textures while still getting all that nutritious goodness!
Check out some of our favourite carrot-based recipes below, and explore our weaning recipes section for even more ideas!
Wholemeal Apple and Carrot Waffles
Waffles are a fantastic recipe for your little one! This vegetarian-friendly recipe is packed with goodness and is an ideal finger food for early in the weaning journey.
Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins
Another fantastic baby-sized snack, these muffins offer a bit more texture for your little one to experience as they grow.
These savoury flapjacks are packed with veggies, making them the perfect little treat once your baby reaches around nine months old.
Carrots are a fantastic vegetable and should definitely be part of your weekly meal ideas! Remember to give your little one plenty of variety to make sure they get all the goodness they need, alongside a range of new foodie experiences!