The health benefits of carrots for babies include supply of essential vitamins and minerals, help in easy digestion, remedy for diarrhea, remedy against intestinal worms and acts like a natural laxative due to the presence of dietary fiber.
Carrot is undoubtedly the most popular vegetable around the world. Though it is not produced in all parts of the world, yet it is available very easily all over the world. There are many wild varieties of carrots which range in size and color. The size can vary from as small as 2 inches to 10 inches in length. The colors of wild varieties range from white, yellow, orange and maroon colors. It is believed that somehow, people liked the orange colour and cultivated it.
Carrots are believed to have originated in central Asia, particularly in Punjab and Kashmir in India. From here it spread to other parts of the world including the Middle East, Mediterranean, Europe, South East Asia and later the Americas.
The popularity of carrot can be traced perhaps to the discovery of high vitamin A content and soon after carrot earned the status of a celebrity among vegetables. Apart from being one of the best sources of vitamin A, carrot also provides numerous health benefits. Perhaps, carrots make Bugs Bunny the all time smartest and the wittiest character.
Nutritional value present in carrots
The National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference from the US Department of Agriculture lists the various nutrients found in carrots. These include
|Value per 100 g
|Value per 100 g
|Total Lipid (fat)
Is it safe to include carrot in a baby’s diet?
It is absolutely safe to introduce carrot into your baby’s diet. In fact, carrot is one of the first vegetables given to infants while beginning the diet of solid food. The nutrients found in carrots make it an ideal candidate for a baby’s first solid food.
Health benefits of carrot for babies
Great source of vitamins and minerals: The first and foremost benefit of carrot is the supply of vitamin A. Studies in the early 20th century showed that carrot is the best source of vitamin A. As we know, vitamin A is crucial for eyes and its deficiency results in night blindness. Apart from vitamin A, carrot is also a good source of calcium and magnesium which promote bone health. The iron content in carrot is good for blood and hemoglobin production. Vitamin C improves the immune system and helps in fighting infections.
Helps in digestion: Steamed and mashed carrot is not only easily digestible, but it promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes. Regularly feeding your child with carrots also prevents acidity, which is generally observed in infants. Carrot soup can be a good option during such times.
Natural laxative: There is a possibility of infants developing constipation. Almost all infants lay down and gravity working against them, it could be difficult for them to have a smooth bowel movement. The dietary fiber content in carrots can help prevent constipation. The fiber present in carrots absorbs water and makes the stool soft and easy to move through the bowel.
Remedy for diarrhea: Carrots are a good remedy for diarrhea. Try giving carrot soup to your baby a few times a day, when he or she is suffering from diarrhea. In this way, you can stop diarrhea as well as compensating for water loss that occurs during diarrhea. Make the soup as thin as possible, because the major concern is preventing your baby from dehydration. Remember to keep this as secondary remedy rather than primary remedy. Consult your pediatrician immediately and follow instructions.
Remedy for intestinal worms: There is a higher chance of your baby might contract intestinal worms. Generally, the eggs of these worms are scattered and they can easily make an entrance into a child’s intestines. Here they develop into fully developed worms and feed on the nutrients. Carrots can come in handy at times like this. Giving carrot soup or steamed and mashed up carrot can eliminate intestinal worms quickly.
Measures to be taken while giving carrots to your child
Here are few measures that can be taken while feeding carrots to your baby for the first time.
Allergic reactions caused by carrots: Carrot is one of the least allergic vegetables, even for babies. It is the best vegetable in terms of the vitamins and minerals that it possesses.
At what age can I start giving carrots to my baby: Try feeding carrot as and when your baby is solid-food ready that can be around 6-7 months of age. By this time, their energy needs increase and need solid foods to sustain their development.
What is the best way to give them: The usual and the safest way to make carrots ‘baby ready’ is by peeling, grating and steaming carrot. After the steaming process, you can easily mash carrot and feed it to your child. You can add a very little amount of salt to it. Do not add sugar as you end up giving a sweet tooth to your child.
How much of carrot can be given: Start feeding your baby with this mashed carrot as an evening snack while continuing with the regular food that has been prescribed. Start with small amounts like a teaspoon a day and slowly progress. Give some time for the baby to get used to the new food. As you progress, you can increase it to 2 teaspoons by the second week, 3 teaspoons in the third week and so on.