Root vegetables are typically plants we prepare and eat the root part of, rather than the leaves or flowers (although some root vegetable foliage can be eaten too) Let’s focus on the main root vegetable that work well for babies. Carrot, Suede & Sweet Potato
What’s in a Carrot, Swede and a Sweet Potato? Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, particularly in the form of beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange colour. The Swede’s most significant nutrient comes from vitamin C. One cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value, providing antioxidants and immune system-supporting functions that help protect the cells. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of fibre, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.
What do they do for my baby’s body? Carrots contain Beta-carotene converts into retinol, the most usable form of vitamin A. Retinol protects the membranes surrounding your eyes that absorb light. these delicious root vegetables are the source of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. Swedes provide only 5% of the iron needed for healthy blood on a daily basis, whilst vitamin C enhances its absorption, helping to form both collagen and the thyroid hormone thyroxine, which protect cells against damage, encourage wounds to heal, fight infections, and promote healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. Sweet Potatoes contain a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for promoting good health. Among these are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients.
Beta-carotene-rich root veggies like these three ‘super roots’ are an excellent source of potassium and manganese (for energy), and a good source of fibre, thiamin, vitamin B6 (helps support the nervous system), calcium (for strong bones), magnesium (helps absorb calcium and combat anxiety), and phosphorus (helps metabolise proteins and sugars).
Should I give them when my baby has infant reflux? Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some amazing health benefits. These three root vegetable are often used as ‘first tastes’ for a young baby about to begin weaning. They are fibrous, but gentle on the digestive system and when creamed with breastmilk or formula, they make a lovely sweet mash. They are often used individually, as early weaning thickeners for babies who are struggling to keep their milk feeds down.
Fun facts: China currently produces about one-third of all carrots bought and sold worldwide. Russia is the second largest carrot producer, with the U.S. following a close third. The Swede is a root vegetable that may have originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip!
If you have any baby root veggies recipes, send them in!