How to Make Carrot Puree for Babies

Beta carotene-rich carrots are a nutritious addition to baby's diet. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to learn how to make carrot puree.

carrots on patterned background
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Getty Images (2)

Carrots are a very versatile veggie. Not only can you serve them alone, but after your baby has mastered single-vegetable purees, you can mix carrots with various fruits, other veggies, and even meats.

Many parents enjoy making their own baby food because it can be less expensive and offer more freedom than store-bought options. However, some risks come with homemade baby food—namely, nitrates (chemicals in fertilizers) and botulism (bacterial contamination). Baby food manufacturers carefully clean and test for these contaminants.

The good news is that the risk to your baby is low, especially if you wait until your baby is older to introduce higher-risk foods. Nationwide Children's Hospital recommends waiting to introduce homemade carrots, beets, squash, spinach, and green beans until your baby is older than 6 months. Discussing homemade baby food with a health care provider is also a good idea.

Read on for how to make carrot puree for babies.

Step 1: Select & Buy Carrots

Look for firm carrots with a smooth exterior and a rich orange color. One medium carrot yields about 3 ounces of puree. Better yet, plan to use the carrots you're preparing for the rest of the family for dinner, but eliminate extras like salt and sugar.

Step 2: Wash & Prep the Carrot

Rinse the carrot in cold water and peel with a veggie peeler. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says to take special care with vegetables grown close to the ground since they are more likely to contain bacterial spores that can cause food poisoning.

After washing, remove the greens and dice the carrots into small pieces.

Step 3: Cook the Carrot

Steaming is a great way to retain the vitamins in the carrot. To steam, place sliced carrots in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and cover with a lid. Check the tenderness after about five minutes, and continue cooking until they're soft enough to puree.

Alternatively, you can boil carrots. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat (until bubbles are soft) and cook the carrot slices until they are tender (again, check after about five minutes). Drain carrots and rinse with cold water for three minutes to stop the cooking process.

Step 4: Puree the Carrot

Puree cooked carrots in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add breast milk, formula, or water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Once your baby is ready for finger foods, you can serve them carrots that have been cooked and cut into small pieces. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says babies who can sit unassisted and bring their hands to their mouths are ready to try finger foods.

Step 5: Serve Carrot Puree

Check the temperature of the pureed carrots to ensure it's not too hot before serving. Carrot is delicious alone or mixed with other veggies, fruits, and meats. Try mixing carrot puree with:

  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Applesauce
  • Peaches
  • Butternut squash
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Russet potatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Beef
  • Chicken

Be sure to introduce mixed foods only once your baby has had each food alone. Then, once your baby has had carrots and has had no reaction to them, you can try mixing carrot puree with other foods your baby has had.

Step 6: Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Carrot Puree

Cool carrot puree and refrigerate or freeze leftovers in BPA-free containers. A convenient way to create small, baby-size portions is to freeze the puree in ice cube trays. That way, you can pop out a serving at a time and thaw it overnight in your refrigerator or in the microwave.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, leftover baby food stays good in the refrigerator for one to two days and one to two months in the freezer. Never save leftovers that were on your child's plate due to the risk of bacterial contamination.

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