Can I safely make carrots or other vegetables that have nitrates?
What does the AAP really say? The AAP recommmends NOT preparing these foods <carrots et al> for a baby who is younger than 3 (three) months old!*
For spinach, its nitrate levels may actually increase with improper storage, they recommend 8 months old!
"Because the intake of naturally occurring nitrates from foods such as green beans, carrots, squash, spinach, and beets can be as high as or higher than that from well water, these foods should be avoided before 3 months of age, although there is no nutritional indication to add complementary foods to the diet of the healthy term infant before 6 months of age"
and "Preventive strategy would be not to introduce home preparations of these vegetables to infants before 3 months of age, although there is no nutritional indication to add complementary foods to the diet of the healthy term infant before 4 to 6 months of age.23 Infants fed commercially prepared infant foods after 3 months of age generally are not at risk of nitrate poisoning, although the containers should be refrigerated after first use and discarded within 24 hours of opening. " American Academy of Pediatrics - Nitrate Statement
"Because vegetables, including green beans, carrots, squash, spinach and beets, can have nitrate levels as high or higher than that of well water, infants should not eat these foods until after age 3 months."
Second, and second-most - jarred commercial baby food carrots (and other jarred commercial baby food vegetables) have nitrates too! Nitrates are naturally occurring and thus cannot be removed! Even jarred organic carrot baby foods have nitrates.
Green and root vegetables contain the most nitrates; spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, celery, radish, and beetroot, carrots, cauliflower, French beans, parsnips, peas and potatoes.Still, we are at the most risk of nitrates through our drinking water supply.
Infants over the age of three months usually begin to have an increase in the amount of acids in their stomach. These acids kill most of the bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite. By the time a baby is six months old, the digestive system should be fully developed with none of the nitrate-converting bacteria remaining. When cooking vegetables that may contain nitrates, you might want to puree with water other than which the spinach/carrot/broccoli etc. was cooked in.