Avocados provide important nutrients and make an excellent first food when your baby is about 6 months old. They mash to a creamy-smooth texture to serve alone or mixed with other foods.
Avocados are good for baby (and you):
Avocados provide carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins – they are said to contain all the nutrients that are necessary for healthy human growth and development.
vocados are free from sodium (salt) and cholesterol – the ‘good’ unsaturated fats they contain are important for the growth and development of the central nervous system and brain, as well as for physical development. They are also rich in folate, fibre, potassium, vitamin E, lutein, beta-carotene (vitamin A), and iron. They have been linked with latex allergy, so if there is a family history of latex sensitivity, discuss this with your baby’s doctor or paediatrician.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Buying organic is a personal choice, as avocados are less likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
- Look for a dark green skin that has a bumpy texture; the fruit should be firm but ‘give’ a little when pressed gently.
- A firmer avocado should ripen if placed in a paper bag in a cool dark place for one or two days.
- When cut, the flesh should be pale green, becoming more yellow around the stone (pit).
- Use when fully ripe, or freeze slices on flat trays then store in a labelled freezer bag. Defrost and mash slices as needed.
- Avoid the browning caused by oxidisation by dipping slices in a cup of water that has 4 drops of fresh lemon juice added.
Tips on cooking:
- Avocados do not need to be cooked – simply cut in half, de-stone, peel with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, and mash well (see above to avoid discolouration.)
- To make the stone easier to remove, first gently roll the avocado around on a work surface.
Ideas for ways of including avocado in your baby’s meals:
- Offer mashed avocado instead of refined cereals.
- Add to cooked and pureed summer squash or zucchini (courgette).
- Add to pureed cooked chicken.
- Mix with other fruit purees – banana, pear, or apples are ideal.
- Mash and stir into plain yogurt.
Remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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