Have you ever wondered if avocados are safe for the newest member of the family? Curious about the benefits of an adulthood filled with avo goodness? If so, we’re here to answer some of your questions. Remember: Consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Avocados can be a great addition to what is known as the complementary feeding period, the time between ages six months and two years when children are typically weaned and transitioned to solid foods. The healthy avocado – soft, neutrally flavored and nutrient-rich – appears to be one of the most ideal complementary and transitional foods available. And because it has no sugars, avocados can be introduced as a sugar-free fruit that might help your child avoid developing an early preference for sweet foods with added sugars.
Nutrient density is essential because infants eat only a tiny amount of solid foods. Avocados are also a source of some micronutrients. With 10% of the adult recommended daily allowance (RDA) of folate, healthy avocados provide a good source of folate per 50 g serving (one-third of a medium avocado). Folate is important for proper brain function. And avocados are good for pregnant women, too: Consuming adequate intakes of folate/folic acid may reduce the risk for premature births and birth defects.
Purée is the best form for serving ripe, soft avo to baby. To choose a perfectly ripe avocado, simply hold it in the palm of your hand and give it a gentle squeeze. If it gives a little, you’ve chosen a winner. You can avoid chunks by slicing and dicing it as thinly as possible before blending or smashing. Not sure how? It’s simple: Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, and then cut length-wise to slice or into little squares to dice. You can see exactly how these techniques work in this short video. Infants between six and 10 months should be served a very smooth purée. Before starting or making changes to your little one’s diet, be sure to speak with their pediatrician.
Avocado’s nutrient density continues to benefit the body even after it’s grown out of diapers. Growing kids and teens need abundant nutrients, yes, but so do health-minded adults. Diets rich in healthy foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Healthy avocados are a good source of fiber (3 g per 50 g serving) and are a great fresh fruit option to help boost fiber intake.
Prepared avocado can turn brown quickly. Keep your avocado nice and green by rubbing the cut half with a lemon, covering it with plastic wrap, and storing it in the fridge until you’re ready to use the rest of it. See this and other tips explained in our helpful assortment of avocado how-to videos.
Nutrient density takes on new significance for older adults. Preventing or treating cardiovascular disease continues to be a priority, and controlling blood pressure and blood sugar remains very important. Avocados can be part of a healthy diet because more than 75% of the fat in healthy avocados is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat. Also, avocados are sodium and salt-free.
If you were lucky enough to enjoy delicious Avocados From Mexico as a child, you have a chance to pass on this healthy preference on to the next generation. Keep the tradition, and your own health goals, alive and well.