Crunchy, tasty, nutritious and versatile, carrots are extensively used in many sweet and savoury dishes in India. As a vegetable, carrot belongs to the root or tuber family. It is rich in beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. The beta-carotene in carrots gets converted into vitamin A, which is good for your child’s eyes. The water content in carrot ranges from 86-95% and the vegetable has approximately 10% carbohydrates. Fats and proteins are present in tiny amounts. Hence, carrot snacks for toddlers are healthy, filling and delicious.

Now, carrots can be consumed raw or cooked. But make sure that they are not overcooked, so as to retain the nutrients and flavours as much as possible.

Carrot kheer

Ingredients: Carrot, milk, sugar, blanched almonds, and cardamom powder.

Method of preparation

  • Peel and chop the carrots into small pieces. Then boil and blend them.
  • In a pan, simmer the milk till it decreases to 3/4th of the quantity.
  • To the decreased milk, add blended carrot, sugar, cardamom powder and blanched almonds. Stir till the sugar melts properly (it will take approximately 15-20 minutes).
  • Once the mixture thickens, serve the kheer hot or cold, as per your child’s preference.

Roasted baby carrot fries

This recipe is a side-dish that uses a perfect mix of fresh herbs and chopped garlic. Serve this dish either hot or cold. These carrot fries for toddlers are a great way to provide him with vitamin A and fibre.

Ingredients: Olive oil, lemon juice (freshly squeezed), fresh basil leaves (chopped), parsley leaves (chopped), garlic cloves, salt, black pepper powder, and baby carrots (remove the top part and clean thoroughly).

Method of preparation

  • Preheat the oven at 425 degrees Celsius.
  • Mix oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley and garlic, in a bowl, and add salt and pepper for taste.
  • On a baking sheet, arrange the carrots in a single layer. Add the leftover oil, salt and pepper, and mix it properly.
  • The carrots are to be roasted well, by turning them now and then, for the next 30-35 minutes. Continue till they become soft and lightly caramelized.
  • Mix the carrots and dressing thoroughly. Keep aside for 20 minutes and then serve.

Carrot dosa

Carrot dosa is a crepe or pancake-like dish, containing rice flour and grated carrots. It is a perfectly filling and healthy breakfast. The dosa is easy to prepare and you can also add grated coconut to boost the energy quotient of the meal.

Ingredients: Grated carrot, rice flour (chawal atta), grated coconut, sugar, finely chopped chillies, curd, salt, and oil.

Method of preparation

  • In a deep bowl, mix all the ingredients in water, and stir the contents properly to make a batter with a fluidic consistency.
  • Take a non-stick pan and apply oil evenly on it.
  • Pour a ladleful of batter on the tawa and spread it like a circle.
  • On a medium flame, cook the dosa till it turns golden brown on both the sides.
  • Serve it with green mint or coconut chutney.

Carrot ginger soup

This soup has a deliciously sweet taste, with ginger imparting a warm touch. It has a creamy texture and no thickening agent is required to make it.

This recipe is also an ideal carrot snack for toddlers, but to make the soup less spicy, you can avoid adding pepper and ginger.

Ingredients: Carrots, ginger, and salt.

Method of preparation

  • Rinse, peel and cut the carrot into small pieces. Also, chop the onions and ginger.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan, and sauté the chopped onions, till they become soft and transparent.
  • Add and sauté ginger (chopped) till the raw smell of ginger goes away. Add carrots to this mixture and sprinkle salt as per taste.
  • Sauté the carrots and stir thoroughly. Add 1 cup of water for simmering.
  • With the lid, cover the pan, and keep it on a low or medium flame, until the carrots get cooked, or become soft and tender. Once the carrots become soft, turn off the gas.
  • Once the mixture cools down, add everything to it and blend. To make a smooth puree, add 1/2 cup water.
  • Then, to a pan, add the pureed carrot mixture. Depending on the required consistency, add more water and mix properly. Allow it to cook for some time.
  • Lastly, sprinkle some black pepper powder for taste, if your child can tolerate spicy dishes.
  • Pour the soup in a bowl and garnish with herbs like parsley or coriander.

The carrot recipes mentioned above are easy to prepare and won’t take much time. You won’t need to use much oil or sugar, and hence, the nutritional value of these dishes will be high too.