- Family and Parenting
Avocado For Babies!
Avocado: Baby's First Food
We've all heard about how nutritious avocado is, but did you know doctors now recommend avocado as a first food for babies? Cultivated in tropical climates, this fruit is a wonderful source of beneficial monounsaturated fat that is perfect for baby's development. Avocados are also rich in potassium, vitamins E, B, and K, fiber, protein, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also extremely easy to prepare and for baby to digest.
This lens will talk all about the health benefits of avocados and how they are a perfect first food for babies. We'll also talk about various baby food recipes containing avocado and other related topics. Remember that you should only start feeding your baby when your pediatrician recommends, usually between four and six months.
Dive in, and enjoy the wonderful world of avocados!
Photo Credit: @muffet (flickr)
Avocado Fats Are Good Stuff
There is, or has been in the past, a myth going around saying not to give babies avocados because they are so high in fat. Actually, avocados ARE high in fat, the GOOD kind. Monounsaturated fats are excellent for babies and adults alike since they are known to lower "bad" cholesterol and maintain the health of the heart. Not to mention, they are helpful in your baby's brain development as well. Babies need fat! That is why there is so much of it in mother's milk and in formula. A medium size avocado contains about 322 calories and up to 30 grams of fat.
Nutritious and Fresh Recipes for Baby
What Was Your Baby's First Solid Food?
Avocado Baby Food Recipe #1
Avocado and Pear Puree
1 pear, peeled, cored
1/2 avocado, peeled
-Steam the pear until it is nice and tender
-Cut up the avocado, no need to cook it
-Puree the avocado and pear together, along with enough water for desired consistency, in your baby food maker or blender
-Feed immediately or refrigerate for three days or stick in the freezer for up to 30 days.
**For babies four months and up**
**You can substitute an apple for the pear**
A Couple Random Notes
**Avocados naturally brown when exposed to air. They contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. When this enzyme is exposed to oxygen, the chemical structure of the avocado flesh changes a bit, increasing the presence of melanins, which are the pigments that provide color in human skin. The browning is perfectly natural and does not mean the avocado is rotten, so don't worry if you notice this browning when making your baby's food. If it bothers you, you can put a couple drops of lemon juice in the puree, but citrus is not recommended for babies under one year. A couple drops probably won't matter a bit, but I would ask your doctor first before you try this.
**In everything I've read, baby food is fine in the fridge for three days and in the freezer for up to 30 days. However, never save food that your baby has already eaten from. You'll have to throw that away since it is already contaminated and you don't want your baby's food to become a science project.
Do you make your own baby food, and why or why not?
Got Bigger Kids? - Grow an Avocado Tree With the Pit!
Growing an avocado tree from the pit of an avocado requires a tad of patience (all of us with kids have that, right?), but is a super-fun project. Kids absolutely love growing things, and using a big, huge pit to do that...what could be better?
First, simply remove the pit from an avocado. Be sure to make something yummy with the meat of the avocado, such as some delicious food for baby or a big people recipe, like some fresh guacamole. Then, remove all the meat that tends to stick to the pit. Firmly stick four toothpicks into the pit and place over a small bowl of water. Be sure to place the pointy side of the pit facing up because the roots will grow from the bottom. The pit should be about halfway submerged in the water, and make sure the water is nice and clean, so refresh it every other day or so. It should take a few weeks for the roots to begin growing and for shoots to start up, but sometimes this process can take up to six weeks. For more detailed instructions, pictures, and to learn when and how to plant the tree, check out The Hungry Mouse, an awesome cooking blog.
UPDATE 8/20/13: I would love to tell you that I have since created a nice, big avocado tree but, sadly, this is not the case. We did everything we were supposed to and finally got to plant the rooted pit in a pot with soil, but it didn't make it. I think it grew for about a year before it kicked the bucket. It was a sad, sad day.
Items to Help You Make Your Own Baby Food
Avocado Baby Food Recipe #2
Sweet Potato and Avocado Puree
1 sweet potato
- peel the sweet potato and cut it into a few big pieces
- steam the sweet potato until all the pieces are very tender
- cut the avocado meat into some big chunks
- add the sweet potato and avocado into your baby food processor or blender, along with some water to desired consistency, and puree
- feed some promptly and refrigerate or freeze the remainder
Avocado Baby Food Recipe #3 - Avocado and Banana Baby Food
Avocado Baby Food Recipe #4
Mango and Avocado Puree
1 ripe mango
1 ripe avocado
1 Tbl pineapple juice
- Cut chunks of the mango and the avocado
- Add both to blender or baby food processor
- Add the pineapple juice* and enough water for desired consistency
- Blend to a puree, or, for an older baby, leave it a bit chunky
**Pineapple is not a first food and should be given to babies 9 months and up.