Packed with vitamin A, vitamin K and calcium, which is important for bone health, carrots are a super veggie for your little ones to be munching on. But how should you prepare it for babies?
Carrots are fantastic for the weaning journey as they can be prepared in a variety of ways that help baby stay interested with a range of textures and flavours. The way you prepare carrots for your weaning baby should also be adapted as your baby progresses through the weaning journey, helping them to develop their motor and chewing skills.
Whether you want to follow traditional weaning or pursue a baby led weaning approach, carrot is perfect for a first food. We share a few ways to prepare carrots for weaning.
Carrots for Weaning
Carrots make a fantastic option for weaning babies due to the yummy flavour and versatility in preparation options. If you’re following a more traditional weaning journey, then boiled carrots can easily be mashed or pureed, making it a great option for spoon-fed babies.
For baby-led weaning or further down the weaning journey, sticks, chunks and shavings of carrot can also be enjoyed in different sizes that baby can grasp in their hand.
Carrots are an excellent veggie to introduce to your baby's diet during the weaning journey due to their nutritious benefits. Full of fibre, they help your baby to have normal bowel movements, preventing constipation. Rich in vitamin A, carrots are also beneficial for your baby’s eyes and can support the immune system.
Plus, the sweeter flavour of carrots will always go down a treat with little ones!
How to Prepare Carrot for Weaning
There are a number of different ways to prepare and serve carrots for your weaning baby.
How to Make Carrot Puree for Babies
Puree is a great first food that can be used for both traditional and baby-led weaning. It’s up to you if you spoon-feed the puree to your little one or let them work on their coordination skills with baby-led weaning by leaving them in control of the spoon - although this can get messy!
If the puree is completely smooth, it can be enjoyed from around 4-5 months old as a first taste food. From 6 months, the puree can be left a bit chunkier for baby-led weaning. For baby-led weaning, the carrot can be added to a slice of toast or flatbread for a self-feeding option.
- Peel your carrots and slice in half lengthways.
- Cut each half of the carrots into chunks about 0.5cm thick.
- Boil or steam the carrots in a saucepan for 10–12 minutes until completely soft.
- Add the carrots and 3 tablespoons of boiled water into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Alternatively, use a hand blender and blend until completely smooth.
To make the puree more exciting, and to introduce new flavours to your little one, try adding in some different seasonings. Try thyme, rosemary, cumin, black pepper or coriander powder with carrot.
Carrot Finger Food for Babies from Six Months
Finger foods are key to baby-led weaning, and carrot is one of the best options for this - carrot sticks are basically the quintessential finger food item!
In the earlier stages of weaning, your baby should be able to hold finger foods in their fist, so carrot sticks or batons are ideal for this.
From 6-14 months, the carrots should be soft enough for you to squidge with your fingers, but firm enough to hold its shape, so your baby can eat it without the need for teeth!
Steaming Carrot Sticks
While you can boil carrot sticks, steaming is a better method, as it helps to keep more of the antioxidants and vitamins in the carrot.
- Peel carrot and cut into batons.
- Add the carrot sticks to a steamer and steam for 5-10 minutes until soft and tender.
Roasting Carrot Sticks
Roasting carrots can offer some new and exciting flavours and textures. When carrots are roasted, the natural sugars inside are caramelised, adding extra tastes to your little one’s palate. And with a crisper exterior and softer interior, a roasted carrot also has some intriguing new textures for your baby to explore.
- Peel the carrots and cut into batons.
- Place the carrots onto a roasting tray in an even layer and drizzle with olive oil. Do not season with salt if baby is under 12 months old.
- Roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
Carrot Finger Food for 9 Months+
At 9 months, your little one is likely more confident and capable with actions like bringing food to their mouths, chewing and swallowing. At this time, the carrot can be cut into smaller chunks, allowing them to practice picking things up with a pincer grasp (thumb and finger).
The carrot should still be softened before serving at this point to avoid choking and making it easier to gum. Remember, carrots are quite crunchy, and your little one probably won’t have all their teeth yet!
Carrot peel or shreds can be offered raw at this time as the pieces are small enough to be enjoyed with less of a choking risk, although you should still keep a close eye on your little one when offering raw carrot.
Carrot Cubes for Babies
- Peel the carrots and cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Steam the carrot chunks for 5-10 minutes until softened.
Carrot Peel for Babies
- Wash the carrots and peel off the outer skin with a vegetable peeler.
- Use the vegetable peeler to peel off thin strips of carrot.
Grated Carrot Shreds for Babies
- Wash the carrots and peel off the outer skin.
- Use a grater to shred the carrot.
Carrot Finger Food for 14 Months+
When you offer your little one raw carrot whole will depend on the number of teeth they have and the chewing and biting skills they display.
If your baby has enough teeth and strong chewing skills, then whole bits of raw carrot can start being introduced around 14 months.
You can start with a whole peeled carrot and allow them to hold the veggie and gnaw on it! Just keep an eye to make sure chunks don’t splinter off and pose a choking hazard.
Here at Babease, we love carrots! If you would like an easier way of offering your little one the scrumptious tastes of carrots, you can shop our pouches which are packed with this flavourful ingredient.