I have said it again and again on this site that an avocado is a great first baby food. Not only is it easy to prepare, you simply have to slice open a ripe one and wash or puree with a bit of breast milk or formula, it is also crazy nutritious. This original fun fruit, and yes, it is a fruit, is said to have all the nutrients one might need to survive. It is a pretty powerful food! Avocados are an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids and have a higher proportion of this “good” fat than any other fruit except for the olive. It is a great source of fiber, folate, and vitamin K and touted for it brain development qualities.
When selecting avocado look carefully for damage, which shows up as soft dark spots in the skin. When picked up, an avocado should feel heavy for its size. If you are not going to eat the avocado for a few days, select one that is firm but not rock hard and ripen it at home by setting it on your counter at room temperature for up to 6 days. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure and feel soft all over.
After ripened, store the avocado in the refrigerator in the vegetable crisper for up to two weeks. Store cut avocados by leaving the skins on and keeping the pit in the uneaten portion. You can brush the fruit with lemon juice (if your baby is old enough for citrus) to keep it from turning brown. You CAN freeze avocado but the texture, once thawed, will be mushy. If you are freezing mashed avocado (without any breast milk or formula added) your baby might not even notice the difference!
Avocado preparation ideas
Scoop the ripe flesh out of the skin of the avocado and fork mash. For a younger baby, you can puree it in blender or food processor, it won’t take long, and add a bit of formula or breast milk to thin to desired consistency and feed right away.
Try mashed avocado with banana, tofu, and cottage cheese to mix up the flavor and texture for your baby. Of course, mashed avocado is a great addition to super porridge as your baby gets older.
Mash and spread avocado as a “vegetable” spread. Use spread for the entire family as a mini dip for vegetables or as the secret ingredient of a fantastic sandwich.
Avocado is becoming a much loved ingredient for smoothies. It gives the drink a creamy texture much in the same way yogurt might and of course, the nutrients are hard to beat.
The nice folks at Babble.com share 10 smoothie recipes featuring avocado. Avocado can be mixed with fruits including: blueberries, peaches, raspberries, pineapple, and cucumber. Spinach makes an appearance in these smoothies as well as chocolate!
Grow your own avocado plant
You can not open an avocado without having to maneuver around that huge seed! Did you know that the seed WILL grow into an avocado plant? Chances of the plant bearing fruit is pretty uncertain and could take years, however the plant itself is quite nice looking. I have some detailed instructions in the latest version of Super Baby Food that tell how to grow an avocado plant. For a quick look at what a growing avocado plant might look like check out La Femme BEEBO blog that features a great picture of a growing avocado plant from the seed.
I would love to hear how YOU have added avocado to your baby’s diet. Share your ideas here.