Avocado for Baby
Avocados are often called one of nature’s perfect foods because they contain so many of the nutrients a person needs to survive and thrive. They are packed with all the B vitamins (minus B12), vitamin C, a wide array of minerals and lots of brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, 88% of an avocado is made up of healthy fat, helping us absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins, control blood sugar and support a healthy cardiovascular system. Avocados provide our bodies with a lot of nutrient support, but they are also the perfect first food for baby. Avocados are soft and don’t need to be cooked, they’re versatile and can be stirred or blended into just about any puree for some additional healthy fat content, and the taste is mild enough for even the pickiest of eaters!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Avocados
Vitamin C – this potent antioxidant is important for boosting the immune system, healing small cuts and fighting off germs that cause infection
Vitamin K – vital for the blood clotting process and helps build a healthy skeletal system
Pantothenic Acid – also known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is essential for the production of hormones and cholesterol and for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
Vitamin B6 – needed to metabolize protein, fat and carbohydrates and helps form a healthy brain
Folate – this B vitamin helps to build a healthy brain and support a healthy nervous system
Potassium – this electrolyte mineral works with sodium to help keep baby’s heart muscles working properly and efficiently
Copper – this trace mineral is essential for forming red blood cells and boosts the body’s ability to mend tissues
Magnesium – helps regulate energy production in the cell and is necessary for hormone production and healthy bones and teeth
Manganese – a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage
Phosphorus – this mineral is crucial for building healthy bones and teeth
How to Select and Store Avocados for Baby Food
According to the EWG, avocados are #1 on the Clean Fifteen list, meaning they are one of the foods least contaminated with pesticides. Purchasing organic is a personal choice.
A ripe avocado is slightly soft but shouldn’t have any sunken spots or cracks indicating that it’s overly ripe. If you don’t have access to soft, ripe avocados, purchase the hard unripened fruits and ripen at home either in a paper bag or on the counter.
To prepare the avocado, cut it in half lengthwise, then remove the pit by either spearing it with your knife or scooping it out with a spoon. Be careful, avocado-related injuries are common while trying to remove the pit! After the pit is removed, you can either spoon out the flesh, or peel the avocado. Peeling the avocado will ensure that the fruit contains most of that dark green outermost flesh that is richest in nutrients. If you don’t use the entire avocado at once, sprinkle the remaining portion with fresh lemon juice or vinegar to preserve the vibrant green color.
Avocados can be served many different ways, but they are perfect stirred into sweet or savory purees, cut into slices for a quick, healthy snack for baby or kiddo or even mashed into a zesty guacamole for older babies!
Recipes Using Avocados