Sharing Your Avocados with Your Baby
Do you love avocados? One of the many pleasures of being a new parent is sharing the things you enjoy with your child. Your infant is going to love avocados too, and you can start incorporating them into your baby’s diet as soon as your baby is ready to start eating solid foods.
Avocados are tasty and packed with nutrients that developing bodies and minds need. They are also easy to eat and digest. Starting your baby off with avocados is a smart nutritional choice, and simple recipes can help you. Here is what you need to know:
What Is an Avocado?
Avocados are a fruit. Many confuse them for vegetables, but they are technically classified as a berry. They have tough green outer skin, a soft pulpy middle, and a large seed in the center. Avocados do not need to be cooked. They are served fresh after the skin and pit are removed.
Cut the avocado in half with a knife. To remove the pit, twist the halves. They should separate easily to reveal an interior that is soft to the touch with a texture like a banana. The edges near the skin will be a darker green but the shade softens and becomes yellow near the pit. Scoop the pulp out using a blunt knife or a spoon. A few brown spots around the edges are okay, but avocados that have turned gray should not be eaten.
Avocado Nutritional Information
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods to feed to your infant. They are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. They are also one of the few fruits to provide vegetable protein. A standard serving of avocado contains five grams of monounsaturated fat, 3 grams of fiber, and a gram of protein. They are also a better source of potassium than bananas with each serving containing 250 milligrams.
Your baby needs healthy fats for proper brain and body development. The fibers contribute to good heart health and digestion. The proteins are essential for growing strong muscles, and the vitamins and potassium stabilize metabolic processes.
Avocados are usually free from contaminants. Organic avocados are available, but these fruits do not typically absorb as many of the chemicals that are used in large scale farming. Samples tested indicate that avocados are one of the least polluted foods in the supermarket.
Avocado Selection and Storage
When shopping, choose avocados with dark green skin. The shade of an avocado’s rind becomes steadily darker as it ages. Some stores place light green avocados out for sale knowing that they will continue to ripen on the shelf. They are not ready to take home yet.
Test the avocado by gently squeezing it. The fruit should be firm but give just a little at your fingertips. You can also press on the stem. If it sinks slightly, then the fruit inside is soft and ripe. An overly ripe avocado will feel too squishy. Avoid damaging fruit at the grocery store that you do not intend to buy.
At home, keep your avocados in a bowl or a brown paper bag on the counter. Leaving them out at room temperature encourages them to ripen the rest of the way. If you are worried that your avocados are getting too ripe, store them in the refrigerator instead.
The First Taste of Avocado
The ripe fruit is soft enough for your baby to eat without chewing. If your infant is between four to six months old, the simplest recipe is to serve is plain mashed up avocado. Just scoop some of the fruit into a bowl and scramble it with a fork until there are no longer any larger chunks. Spoon it to your infant in small doses. You can also mix in some apple sauce to change the flavors. To get variety in the diet, there are several blending recipes that you can also try.
Avocado and Bananas
- Use some fully ripened avocado pulp
- Peel and mash a banana
- Mix the two together in a blender or food processor
- Serve with a spoon
Avocado Fruit Mix
- Use a ripe avocado that mashes easily
- Peel a fully ripened banana
- Add steamed pears that are softened to the same consistency
- Blend the fruits together in a food processor
Adding Dairy or Acidic Fruits
As your baby grows, you can introduce more complex foods. Citrus is acidic, and it is often too much for your infant at first. Some also experience problems with digesting dairy. These ingredients should be introduced at about eight to ten months at the earliest.
Avocados and Mangos
- Use a ripe avocado
- Chop mango or cut the fruit into small cubes
- Add a little plain yogurt, apple juice, or water
- Use a whisk to mix ingredients together until it is creamy
Avocado and Cream Cheese
- Scoop out some avocado into a bowl
- Add small amounts of cream cheese and mix together
- Keep adding cream cheese and blend until smooth
- Spread this over toast or crackers
Avocado Finger Foods
If your infant is ready, avocado is a messy and fun finger food. These simple recipes are good for babies that are at least eight months old.
Avocado Slices and Cubes
- Selected an avocado that is ripe but still firm
- Cut the avocado in half
- Using a knife, slice wedges in flesh of the fruit
- Scoop these wedges out and serve with other fruit slices.
Avocado on Toast
- Create an avocado mash using a fully ripe avocado
- Spread the avocado over toast
- Cut the toast into small pieces and serve
Guacamole for Babies
- Mash up ripe avocado in a bowl
- Mix in a little wheat germ or ground up cheerios
- Add a touch of garlic, pepper, or basil for flavoring
- Serve with cookies, toast, or vegetables for dipping
These are just some basic ideas to get you started. There are many other creative ways to serve avocado to an infant, and it is fun to experiment with new combinations. If you are worried about allergies, consult with your pediatrician to develop a diet plan that includes avocados for your baby. KAMO is another great resource for more parenting tips and baby diet ideas. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.