These avocado baby food recipes add an array of nutrients to your baby’s diet. Learn how to prepare nature’s ready-made baby food for your little one!
Please note: When you introduce any new foods to your baby, it is important to follow the four day rule, to help you spot potential food allergies and digestive problems. Please remember to consult your doctor before including new foods in your baby’s diet.
With its smooth and creamy consistency and delicate, nutty flavour, the avocado should be given the title of ‘Nature’s Baby Food’.
Not only is the taste and texture ideal for a baby food beginner, the avocado is an unrivalled, all-around, complete food for infants – with an impressive list of health-giving properties.
The avocado – also known as avocado pear, alligator pear (thanks to the appearance of the skin of some varieties) or butter pear – is, indeed, a fruit. In fact, according to Wikipedia, its botanical classification is a berry!
Although it is treated as a vegetable by many people, it is eaten with milk and sugar in some cultures and is considered a ‘sweet’ item.
Clearly, the avocado is an extremely versatile food.
The avocado is native to tropical and subtropical parts of south and central America, but it’s also grown in warmer regions of America, including Hawaii, Florida and California. The type of avocado most commonly found in your local store – the rich and creamy Hass – is mainly grown in Mexico.
Dieters often shy away from avocados. They have a reputation as being ‘full of fat’ and – therefore – bad for you!
Although avocados have a higher fat content than most other fruits (around 20 times the amount, on average), they actually contain health-promoting monounsaturated fats.
These fats are needed by your baby’s body for the healthy development of his brain and central nervous system.
One of these fats, oleic acid, is believed to help lower cholesterol (source: The Avocado and Human Nutrition).
Avocado is an excellent source of potassium, containing around 60% more of this valuable mineral than bananas!
Potassium plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure and, in later life, can help prevent heart disease, strokes and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Lutein is a carotenoid (a nutrient in the pigment that gives certain fruits and vegetables their colour). A natural anti-oxidant, lutein is responsible for promoting healthy skin and eyes.
You may have seen the SlimCado in the produce aisle at your local store, which is marketed as a ‘lite’ avocado, with less fat. To discover why the SlimCado is lower in fat than other avocados, visit this post on our blog.
Not only is avocado baby food highly nutritious in its own right, avocado actually helps your baby’s body more efficiently absorb the nutrients from OTHER fruits and veggies he eats them with!
Back in 2005, an interesting article about avocado was published in the Journal of Nutrition. It revealed that tests had shown how adding avocado to salad and salsa
“…significantly enhances carotenoid absorption“
“…adding avocado fruit to carotenoid-containing meals as a lipid* source can facilitate carotenoid absorption while offering additional nutritional benefits“
*Lipids – organic compounds that are necessary for healthy cell growth.
Carotenoids are soluble in fat. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, so it is believed that eating carotenoid-rich foods along with them makes the carotenoids more ‘bioavailable’ (which means that the body is able to absorb them more easily).
Many parents prefer to buy the Hass variety when preparing avocado baby food, because it is so rich and creamy. The Florida (Fuerte) variety is larger, with a smooth, dark green skin. It is sometimes called the ‘dieter’s avocado’ because it is lower in fat and calories than other varieties – subsequently, it is also less rich in taste!
Avocados mature ON the tree, but ripen OFF the tree – you can test for ripeness by gently pressing the skin with your finger. If it leaves a little ‘dent’, then the fruit is ripe.
Unless you are going to be preparing the avocado for your baby very soon after purchasing it, you might prefer to buy a slightly unripe fruit and allow it to ripen at home.
Avocados move from ripe to overripe very quickly.
On the other hand, you may have bought an unripe avocado, but then be in a hurry to have it ripen!
Well, you can certainly speed up the process by storing it in a paper bag.
This is because fresh produce releases a gas called ‘ethylene’ into the atmosphere.
If you place an avocado into a bag, it re-absorbs the ethylene it has produced… and this acts as a stimulant to produce even MORE ethylene. This then hastens the ripening process – and you can speed things up further still by placing ANOTHER ethylene-producing item (like a banana) in the bag, too!
You can store a ripe, uncut avocado in your refrigerator for up to a week – but don’t put it in the refrigerator BEFORE it’s ripe, or it will fail to ripen properly. Once cut, it will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.
To cut an avocado, slice it in half lengthwise and twist the two halves apart. A sharp tap with a heavy knife should help loosen the pit, making it easy to remove.
Cut avocado oxidizes and turns brown very quickly. If you have some of the fruit left over after preparing your avocado baby food recipe, then you have a few options!
Although the discolouration of an avocado is visually unappealing, it’s not harmful to eat. If oxidization DOES occur, you can just scrape off the brown part with a knife.
For many years, infant rice cereal has been the main ‘first food’ recommended for babies.
But recommendations are beginning to change.
Many parents and some pediatricians question the nutritional value of infant rice cereal – and parents often find that it leads to constipation in their babies. It is now being recognized that there are other nutritious foods that may be better suited to the role of ‘baby’s first food’.
Without a doubt, the avocado fits that role perfectly – and can be introduced to your baby from 6 months of age (or from 4 months if recommended by your pediatrician).
In addition to the wide range of nutritive benefits we mentioned earlier, avocados are highly digestible, are not considered to be common allergens and do not appear to cause constipation.
Due to their high calorie content, avocados are an excellent food for babies with feeding difficulties (infant reflux, for example). Babies such as these will benefit from a generous amount of calories in a small quantity of food.
The pit and skin of an avocado can be toxic to pets – so please make sure you dispose of them safely.
Although allergy to avocado is rare, your baby is at an increased risk of experiencing an allergic reaction to avocado if he has a latex allergy.
It seems a strange connection – but avocados contain substances called chitinases.
These substances are associated with with the latex/fruit allergy syndrome and they increase in avocados that have been treated with ethylene gas to encourage them to ripen more quickly.
Organic avocados that have NOT been treated have a reduced allergenic potential.
If your baby has a latex allergy, you should probably avoid avocado during your baby’s first year and discuss the introduction of avocado with your child’s doctor.
For a nutritionally complete and tasty meal for your baby food beginner – with an ideal consistency, too – you need do no more than slice open an avocado and spoon its creamy flesh straight into your baby’s mouth!
Yes, it’s as easy as that… you do not need to cook the fruit or add anything to it!
To make it more manageable for baby’s very first meal, spoon it into a bowl and mash it with a fork. For a smoother texture still, you can puree it in a food processor.
If you are introducing avocado to your baby after the recommended age of 6 months, you shouldn’t really need to add anything to thin the consistency. But if you DO feel the need to make it a bit more ‘soupy’, just add a little breast milk or formula as you mash or puree the fruit.
NOTE: We highly recommend avocado as an ideal food to take when you’re travelling with your baby. An unpeeled avocado doesn’t need to be kept cool and you can just slice it and serve it to your baby when you’re out and about. You don’t even need a bowl!
Here are some more ways in which you can prepare avocado for baby – please note that the tannin in avocado can cause it to become a little bitter when cooked. If you wish to include avocado in a cooked dish, add it right before serving.
Avocado makes a wonderful finger food for baby. It’s soft enough to be easily gummed by a toothless infant and needs very little preparation – just cut it into manageable slices.
The only problem with avocado as a finger food is that it can be VERY slippery – almost like soap!
Try coating pieces of avocado with crushed cereal (like Cheerios) or wheat germ (which will add extra nutrients). Both will help your baby get a better grip!