How to make carrot baby food by cooking and blending carrots into a smooth and creamy puree. Carrot puree make a great stage 1 starter food for babies.
A couple weeks ago I shared all about introducing solids to baby, my approach with Olivia and what foods we’d tried so far. Honestly, I had no intentions of sharing baby food recipes, but I’ve been having so much fun making it for Liv and everyone has seemed really interested so here we are.
For this first post, I thought I would share a simple recipe for an easy stage 1 food for babies 4 month and up, homemade carrot puree.
Like sweet potato and winter squash, carrot puree makes a great stage 1 food for babies because it can easily be pureed until thin. Carrots are also low on the allergy scale and easily digested by a tiny tummy.
Olivia’s first food was sweet potato puree and then avocado, but carrots came quickly after these two foods.
Let me start by saying that I know homemade baby food isn’t always an option and that’s okay. When we were on vacation I bought a couple baby food pouches for Olivia. She gobbled them up. That said, the majority of her food is homemade because I really enjoy cooking and making food for Liv has been really fun for me. I also like knowing that she’s eating fresh, nutrient-rich food that’s been made with love. That might sound corny, but it’s true.
When researching how to make homemade baby food I also researched how shelf-stable baby food is made. The shelf-life of jarred store-bought baby food is 2 years, which means you could be feeding your baby shelf-stable food that’s older than they are! Isn’t that wild to think about?!
And while I haven’t tasted store-bought carrot baby food, I imagine that this homemade carrot puree tastes way better!
Carrots are a such a nutritious first food! They are high in beta-carotene, a red-orange antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is known to boost eye health and support the immune system. Carrots also contain vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber, which can be helpful for normal bowel movements in babies.
I like to use fresh, organic whole carrots. Just wash the carrots well and peel them before chopping and cooking. I know it’s an extra step, but I do recommend peeling them to remove any dirt particles and/or pesticide residue. I also think removing the peel of the carrots makes them taste better. They taste super earthy to me when the peel is on. You can also use baby carrots, which makes the chopping process faster because they’ve already been peeled.
I personally like to buy organic foods for making homemade baby food, but also realize this isn’t an option for everyone so buy what you can afford.
In the recipe below I provide instructions for steaming the carrots because that’s how I make my carrot puree, but there are a few different cooking methods you can use:
Once you have the carrot puree blended to the consistency you want, let the mixture cool and then transfer into BPA-free storage containers or into an ice cube tray. I’ve been using silicone ice cube trays and these 4 oz glass storage containers. The ice cube trays are great for younger babies who aren’t eating as much volume because you can defrost one cube at a time. While the 4 oz jars are great for older babies who are eating more than 1 oz at a time.
We had the ice cube trays on hand and I just recently bought the WeeSprout glass storage containers that are specifically for baby food. I like that they have measurements on the side of the jars and that they’re glass instead of plastic (no worry about BPA). They are also freezer, dish-washer and microwave-safe. Plus they come with colorful lids that you can write on with a dry eraser marker to note the item and date.
The fresh carrot puree will keep in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I highly recommend labeling any baby food you make before storing! It’s amazing how quickly you forget what day you prepped the food once it goes into the fridge or freezer. #mombrain
To thaw frozen pureed carrots, I recommend taking the jar out of the freezer the night before you want to use it so it can defrost in the fridge overnight. If you need to use it right away, you can thaw it using a water bath. Some people will recommend microwaving the frozen puree using the defrost seating but I prefer these two methods:
Be sure to use any of the defrosted food within 48 hours of being defrosted and do not re-freeze.
Once your baby is ready for stage 2 foods that are combinations, you can blend different fruits and veggies into the carrot puree. Here are some ideas of foods and spices that pair well with carrots.