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May 24, 2013 • Posted by Vivian Manning-Schaffel
It often isn't thought of, but avocado makes for a great first food. Native to Central America, avocados have a smooth and creamy texture when mashed, so it's an easy food for babies to gum and swallow. And it's got a great combo of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein to nourish a baby's growing mind and body.
The mighty avocado can pack between 300-700 calories and up to 30 grams of fat. But it's the good fat - poly and monounsaturated fat - which is said by health experts to lower cholesterol and support baby's mental and neurological development.
Avocados are also high in fiber, which keeps things moving in baby's digestive system. It also has a good amount of nutrients such as folate, vitamins C and E, and potassium and beneficial phytochemicals such as gluthathione, beta-sitosterol, and lutein.
Avocados sold in the supermarket or fruit stand tend to vary in ripeness. To see if an avocado is ripe, simply pick it up and squeeze. If you are looking to serve them right away, buy your avocados on the squishy side. If you want to save them for a few days, buy them hard and let them ripen in a brown paper bag.
So now that we know avocados are a perfectly nutritional first food, here's how to serve it up baby style!
Stage One (6 months)
· Peel a ripe avocado and take out the pit
· Scoop out edible portion and mash with a fork
· No cooking or heating necessary!
Stage Two (8-12 months)
For variety, try blending these pureed foods with mashed avocado:
· Cooked squash
· Sweet potatoes