Pediatricians continue to acknowledge that babies do not always need to start solid foods with bland and pasty infant cereals. Many suggest the goodness of avocado as a first food for baby. It is said that an avocado is so packed with nutrients that it is the only single food that a human could survive on if lost in the jungle.
Babies need carbohydrates and fats, as well as proteins for their growth during the crucial first year, and avocados deliver these essential nutrients and much more. An avocado is smooth and creamy when mashed - a perfect food that will be more readily accepted as baby begins solids. As a wonderful “good fat” food for baby’s brain and physical development, try an avocado as baby’s first food instead of refined cereals! Avocado may be offered as early as four to six months old. As you begin to introduce a wide variety of foods, you will find that mashing an avocado and mixing with applesauce, peaches or pears, bananas and even yogurt make a wonderful meal or snack.
Do you doubt the goodness of avocado? Have a look at the nutrients in one medium avocado:
Vitamins in one medium avocado:
Vitamin A - 1230 IU
Vitamin C - 15.9 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - .2 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - .25 mg
Niacin - 3.9 mg
Folate - 124.6 mg
Pantothenic Acid - 1.95 mg
Vitamin B6 - .56 mg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts
Minerals in one medium avocado:
Potassium - 1204 mg
Phosphorus - 82.4 mg
Magnesium - 78.4 mg
Calcium - 22 mg
Sodium - 20 mg
Iron - 2 mg
Avocados also contain small amounts of selenium, manganese, copper and zinc. Avacados are sodium and cholesterol-free, and contain valuable nutrients including eight percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for folate; four percent DV for fiber and potassium, four percent DV for vitamin E; and two percent DV for iron. A serving of avocado also contains 81 micrograms of the carotenoid lutein and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene. Per serving, avocados have 3.5 grams of unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.
Avocados are high in fat and calories and we are often told to stay away from them due to this. While avocados are indeed full of fat, infants should not be on a “low fat” diet, so disregard any advice to not feed avocados because they are high in fats. If you have any doubts, as always we recommend you consult your pediatrician. The benefits of avocados far outweigh the “risks.” Avocados contain monounsaturated fats which are said to lower “bad” cholesterol and also aid in maintaining a healthy heart. Also high in fiber, avocados are great aids in reducing the risks of cancer and heart attack.
Just how does one select the perfect avocado for baby’s first solid food? When selecting an Avocado, you want a dark green color with bumpy texture. The fruit should be firm yet yielding when gently pushed. When an avocado is sliced in half, the flesh color should be a green that gently transforms into a buttery yellow around the pit. Avocados are served fresh from their peels. There is no need to cook avocados for baby or adult.
Here’s a recipe for little ones:
Avocado Fruit Salad (for six to eight-month-olds)
3 or 4 ripe avocados
3 or 4 ripe bananas
3 or 4 Pears (steamed)
A couple of dollops yogurt (for 8 months +)
Peel, deseed and slice fruits as needed. Place in a blender or food processor and puree until desired texture is achieved. Add a couple of dollops of yogurt if desired. Use diced fruits as a baby finger food snack for older infants and toddlers and drizzle the plain yogurt over the fruits.
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