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Carrots For Babies: Ways To Prepare & Serve By Age

Carrots for babies make the perfect first solid baby food beginning with 6 months of age, when they show signs of interest for complementary foods. Learn how to prepare baby’s first carrots whether they’re steamed, puréed, mashed, grated or roasted and serve according to baby’s age and needs.

With a little prep carrots also make a nutritious and convenient baby food option particularly when introducing carrots as baby led weaning food or finger food.

Carrots on a wood board.

Carrots For Babies

Just like sweet potato, carrots have a soft texture (when cooked) with a sweet mild flavor which is quickly accepted by babies. Carrots make a great first vegetable to be introduced to your baby whether you choose to make carrot puree, serve carrot sticks as finger food or when making stage 2 carrot baby food recipes.

Benefits of Eating Carrots For Babies

  • Carrots are a top source of beta-carotene (then transformed by the body into vitamin A) and also rich in many natural bioactive compounds responsible for the maintenance of the baby’s normal function of the immune system, skin, mucosal membranes, and normal vision.
  • Note: To help the body convert more beta carotene into vitamin A, the carrots should be eaten with a small amount of fat. A healthful source of fat you could use is avocado, nuts, seeds or cold pressed oils.
  • Carrots, being rich in fiber can help slow the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream and additionally prevent the baby from getting constipated. 
Baby carrots.

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How To Cook Carrots For Babies

Here are some suggestions on how to cook carrots for babies, while retaining their nutrients, taste and texture:

1. Steaming: How To Steam Carrots For Baby Food

  1. Peel the carrots. Slice into desired size pieces.
  2. Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket and cover with a lid.
  3. Steam on medium-low heat for approximately 12-15 minutes (it depends on the size) or until they are soft when pierced with a fork. Then you can cut into smaller pieces if you need to, according to your baby’s age.
Process shots: preparing carrots for steaming: how to peel, cut and steam for baby.
Carrot prep for steaming: peel, cut and steam.

Steaming is one of the best ways to prepare carrots for baby led weaning. This method of cooking preserves the most of it vitamins as there is less contact with water and has a short exposure to heat.

Steaming carrots for baby, checking the softness after steaming.
Steaming carrots for baby, checking the softness after steaming.

2. How To Bake/ Roast Carrots As Baby Finger Food

If you want to bake carrots for your baby, you have two options: cut then bake, or bake first and then once soft, cut into smaller pieces.

  1. Peel and chop the carrots into desired size.
  2. Drizzle with oil (healthier oil to use is olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil) and coat evenly. Season with a touch of pink Himalayan salt (for babies 9 months+), dried herbs like sage, oregano or coriander.
  3. Spread in one layer, on a parchment paper lined sheet pan (try not to use aluminum foil, when exposed to high heat, aluminum can leach into food).
  4. Roast the carrots at 400F until soft and tender, approximately 25-35 minutes. Usually whole thick carrots will need a little more time.
Process shots: How to roast carrot sticks for babies.
Preparing carrot sticks for roasting.

If you intend to serve with a spoon, mashed or make a carrot puree, then you can bake (or steam) carrots whole.

Roasted carrots for babies as finger food.
Roasted carrots for babies as finger food.

3. How To Boil Carrots For Baby Food

  • Bring a pot with water to a boil.
  • Add the chopped carrots (0.5-1 inch thick slices/ sticks) to boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain (timing depends on the thickness of the carrots). For whole carrots – about 10 minutes.
  • Season if necessary, then you can cut into desired shapes or mash in purees.
Boil carrots for baby.
Boiling carrots for babies.

Boiling carrots usually is the least preferred method if you need just plain soft carrots. The most nutrients will leach into the boiling water that you will likely discard.

This method is best when you make soups and purees as you would keep the water with all the leached nutrients.

Ways to prepare and cook carrots for baby: mashed carrots, thick carrot puree and thin smooth carrot puree for younger babies. Roasted carrot sticks as baby finger food.
Ways to prepare carrots for baby: 1) mashed carrots 2) thick carrot puree and 3) thin smooth carrot puree for younger babies. 4) Roasted carrot sticks as baby finger food.

Boiling carrots will also reduce the vitamin content. Raw or steamed carrots provide the most nutritional value.

How To Cut Carrots For Babies By Age

Keep in mind that all babies develop at their own pace, your baby’s oral-motor skills, chewing and swallowing skills may differ from what’s shown in the picture below, use your own common sense and logic to decide what your baby can handle.

The carrot serving suggestions below are for informational purposes only, not medical advice.

Carrots Baby Led Weaning: How to cut and serve carrots to babies by age. #babyledweaning #carrots
  • For 6-month-olds babies
    • Finger food (BLW): offer the carrots (steamed and soft) sliced into thick strips or sticks so your baby can hold them in the fist and chew.
    • Carrot puree: after steaming or roasting, mix with water or stock to form a smooth puree.
  • For a 9 month old baby – all of the above plus: 
    • Start cutting the carrots up into tiny bite-sized pieces (half-moon slices), grated or shreds (again: steamed and soft) that he/she can easily pick up. That’s usually when the child has developed her pincer grasp.
    • Mashed carrots (steamed or roasted) with a fork (minimum or no liquid added).
    • Stage 2 baby food: mashed carrots combined with one or two more types of foods.
    • Carrot soup with stock (blended to smooth consistency).
    • Carrot juice (cold pressed, freshly made) not store-bought bottled (they’re loaded with sugar and most nutrients are already lost due to processing).
    • Grated raw carrots – served into clumps.
  • At 12-18 months (all of the above plus):
    • Carrot cooked to a soft consistency served in thin slices, shreds, or diced into small pieces mixed with other foods. Encourage your baby to use utensils, like fork or spoon.
    • Raw carrots might be good at 14 months+ (some babies are not ready at this age though and might choke), it depends on the number of teeth and your child’s eating/chewing skills. If you observe that your child is quite skillful with chewing and biting, then there shouldn’t be a problem. Start serving a whole raw carrot then progress to smaller sticks.

How soft should carrots be for baby?

The carrots should be soft enough for you to smash with your fingers, but still able to hold it’s shape. So that your baby could easily be able to gum or chew it even without teeth.

Baby eating cooked carrot sticks.

FAQ: Babies & Carrots

Are carrots hard to digest for babies?

In puree form, generally no. If carrots are served as finger food, they might pass through undigested because they don’t have teeth, enough enzymes and lack of an established gut flora. This is normal, as babies (under 12 months) don’t chew their food well and tend to process food quickly through the digestive tract. As your baby grows this will resolve itself.

Do carrots cause constipation in babies?

Usually carrots don’t cause constipation as they contain a good amount of fiber which increases the weight and size of the stool and it becomes easier to pass. If constipation occurs on a regular basis after eating carrots, it might indicate another problem: a digestive disfunction or an allergy.

Can babies choke on carrot?

Raw carrots, especially raw baby carrots are a chocking hazard for infants. They are hard to chew and can they can bite a piece off and chock (especially when they have a few teeth). If you really want to offer finger foods and do baby led weaning, make sure you offer a larger thicker piece and soft, so the baby could suck on it.

Can babies eat pureed raw carrots?

As long as you make it smooth there shouldn’t be a chocking problem. Raw carrots are actually more nutritious than those exposed to heat.

Can I give my baby a carrot for teething?

You can give a frozen cooked carrot. The carrot will defrost as baby chews. Some parents choose to give a whole raw carrot for teething babies (without teeth), but if you’re not comfortable with this, then don’t. Another option is to use a baby feeder with cooked carrots inside.

When can toddlers eat raw baby carrots?

If your baby has a lot of experience with the baby led weaning method and finger foods, then he/she might be ready for raw carrots at around 14 months. That’s when babies have ability to chew correctly and know how to spit out. Always watch carefully.

Carrots for babies make the perfect first solid baby food beginning with 6 months of age. Learn how to prepare baby's first carrots whether they’re steamed, puréed, mashed, grated or roasted and serve according to baby's age and needs. Plus the best way to cook carrots for babies to retaining their nutrients, taste and texture. #carrotsforbabies #carrotsforbaby #carrotbabyfood #carrotbabyrecipes #carrotbabyfood #carrotblw #blw

Carrot Recipes For Babies

Serve More Vegetables To Your Baby

how to prepare carrots for babies

Carrots For Babies: Ways To Prepare / Serve

ThrivingNest
Carrots for babies make the perfect first solid baby food beginning with 6 months of age, when they show signs of interest for complementary foods. Learn how to prepare baby's first carrots whether it's steamed, puréed, mashed, grated or roasted and serve according to baby's age and needs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Baby Food
Calories 50 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Steaming / Boiling Carrots

  • 2 medium carrots (peeled)
  • 2-3 cups water

For Baking/Roasting Carrots

  • 2 medium carrots (peeled)
  • 1 tsp oil or melted butter ((olive, grape seed or avocado oil are all great))
  • pinch Himalayan pink salt (optional (for older babies))
  • pinch dried herbs (- optional) sage, oregano, basil etc.)

For Carrot Puree

  • 2 medium carrots

Choose one of the options for blending the puree

  • 1/2 cup liquid (water, breast milk, or homemade stock) (for a pourable puree (6 month old babies))
  • 1/4 cup liquid (water, breast milk, or homemade stock) (for a thicker puree (7 months+))
  • 2-3 tbsp liquid (for mashed carrots)

Instructions
 

How To Steam Carrots

  • Peel the carrots. Slice into desired size pieces.
  • Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket and cover with a lid.
  • Steam on medium-low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes (it depends on the size) or until they are soft when pierced with a fork. Then you can cut into smaller pieces specific for your baby’s age and serve.

How To Bake/ Roast Carrots

  • You have two options: cut then bake, or bake first and then once soft, cut into smaller pieces.
  • Peel and chop the carrots into desired size.
  • Drizzle with oil (healthier oil to use is olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil) and coat evenly. Season with a touch of pink Himalayan salt (for babies 9 months+), dried herbs like sage, oregano or coriander, optional.
  • Spread in one layer, on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
  • Roast the carrots at 400F until soft and tender, approximately 25-35 minutes. Usually whole thick carrots will need a little more time.

How To Boil Carrots

  • Bring a pot with water to a boil.
  • Add the chopped carrots (0.5-1 inch thick slices) to boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain (timing depends on the thickness of the carrots).
  • For whole carrots – you need to boil for about 10 minutes. Season if necessary, then you can cut into desired shapes or mash in purees.

Notes

2 carrots will yield approximately 1 cup of mashed carrot, or about 1.3 cup carrot puree if you mix with liquid. 
When cooked, how soft should carrots be for baby? The carrots should be soft enough for you to smash with your fingers, but still able to hold it’s shape. So that your baby could easiy be able to gum or chew it even without teeth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 50kcal
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