Carrots are a staple when starting solids - easy to cook and prepare. They are a generally well loved food by babies and a cheap ingredient to add into meals. Carrots are a great food to introduce when starting solids, but their naturally woody texture means they need to be prepared in a way that makes them safe for little gums.
Carrots are packed with fibre, B vitamins and carotenoids. However, like many veggies they lack protein, fat and much energy. So, while they offer some great vitamins and minerals, they are best paired with other foods to make a complete meal. Adding some yogurt or lentils to your puree boosts the protein, then add a drizzle of olive oil or avocado for some beautiful fats.
Is it an allergen?
No, carrots are not a top nine allergen and allergic reactions are uncommon!
How to serve it
As we mentioned before, carrots have a naturally hard texture that requires some good chewing before swallowing. This can make them unsuitable for babies unless the texture is modified. As always, be guided by where your bub is at when it comes to eating to decide what texture is safest.
- Puree or fork mashed
- Long quarters or halves of a carrot cooked (steamed or boiled) and very soft. Use the “squish test” to ensure the carrot isn’t still hard by squishing it between your index finger and thumb.
- If roasting the carrot, you can cover with a lid or foil to keep the moisture in. Sometimes, roasting can dry the outside of the carrot out and make it tough.
- Can start to offer grated carrot
- Can offer smaller chunks that are cooked and very soft
- Thin slices of raw carrot are easy to chew and often suitable around 18 months.
Thoughts on raw carrot? Tricky because it is so developmental
- Closer to 2 years (or when your little one is ready for it) you can start to offer bigger pieces of raw carrot. You might offer raw carrot sticks cut thinly to start.
- Larger pieces of quartered raw carrot are usually more suited for 2+ years when they have most of their teeth and are well practiced at chewing.
- Whole raw carrots are a choking risk because of their shape and size. When your child will be ready for a whole carrot will be very individual but likely after 2 years of age.