Picky eaters come in a range of ages. Weaning an infant off of breastmilk can be an unwelcome struggle, and ensuring nutritious greens are worked into a fickle toddler’s diet can be an exhausting endeavor.
Thankfully there is a solution to these dietary dilemmas, and it comes in the shape of a round, delicious, nutritious superfood. Avocados have a uniquely smooth and creamy taste, making them an agreeable food for many babies and toddlers.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of avocados that infants, toddlers, and parents alike can enjoy, along with some methods for incorporating this delicious fruit into your family’s diet.
For the first six months of their life, an infant won’t need to consume anything but breastmilk. But when it comes time to wean your baby off from breastmilk or formula, avocado is a terrific transitionary food because of its soft texture and creamy, neutral flavor. Not only that, but avocados are a nutrient-dense and sugar-free fruit, making small portions an easy, healthy meal.
The simplest way to incorporate avocado to a baby’s diet is with an avocado purée. Make sure you use a fully ripened avocado (here’s how to tell) and wash it thoroughly. Slice it and remove the pit, then pulverize the avocado in a blender or food processor, adding water until the texture is velvety and smooth. Adding breastmilk or formula will give the purée an extra creamy consistency. One medium avocado mixed with formula, breastmilk, or water produces approximately 6-8 ounces.*
Toddlers who are up and on-the-go need energy and nutrients just like the rest of us, but it can be tough keeping their diet consistent. The recommended avocado serving for children ages 1-3 (25 grams) supplies nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, to a toddler’s diet, and the 2g of dietary fiber help keep tiny tummies fuller for longer.
Serving avocado in the form of these guac tots is a great way for little hands to develop motor skills to access it. If you’re concerned about the heat level, leave out the jalapeño pepper and go easy on the hot sauce. Alternatively, a halved and pitted avocado seasoned with salt and pepper is a smooth and simple snack for your toddler to enjoy on their own, and an opportunity for practicing independent utensil use. *
For new moms or those considering starting a family, good nutrition is vital for you as well as your child. Pregnant mothers will be happy to learn that avocados are a good source of folate, a nutrient that is fundamental for pregnant women. The recommended intake of folate is 400mcg every day during their first trimester. Consuming adequate intakes of folate and folic acid may reduce the risk of premature births and birth defects.
An efficient method for mothers to start incorporating avocados into their daily meal routine is by mixing up this dairy-free berry avocado smoothie. Comprised of three kitchen staples (avocados, berries, and cranberry juice), this smoothie is a fast fix for breakfast on your way out the door. Avocado offers a smooth texture, while the berries and cranberry juice enhance the flavor.
*Before starting or introducing new foods, parents and caregivers should consult a physician or health care provider.
For more green-inspired goods with the nutritional benefits of avocado, browse our recipe page.