Sunday, March 2, 2008

Avocados & Babies

In surfing other people's blogs, I came across a mother who starts her children on avocados when they start eating solids. I became curious and have looked up reasons why it would be beneficial:

Home-made Baby Food Recipes :

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-round, complete food for infants - with an impressive list of health-giving properties...

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...

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"

and that

"...adding avocado fruit to carotenoid-containing meals as a lipid* source can facilitate carotenoid absorption while offering additional nutritional benefits"

...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. (no bias, I'm sure!)
The avocado's smooth, creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh fruits a baby can enjoy. Sodium- and cholesterol- free, avocados contain valuable nutrients including 8% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for folate; 4% DV for fiber and potassium, 4% DV for vitamin E; and 2% DV for iron. A serving of avocado also contains 81 micrograms of the carotenoid lutein and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene. Per serving, avocados have 3.5 grams of unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.

...For variety, avocados can be mixed with apple or pear sauce, cooked squash or sweet potatoes.

A blog mentioned this site which explains more benefits.

There's even a book called Avocado Baby:

The Hargraves want their new baby to grow up big and strong, but the puny mite will hardly eat a thing. One day Mrs Hargraves finds an avocado in the fruit bowl and the baby gobbles it up. Soon, the strangest things start to happen.

As I love avocados I find this a great excuse to buy them!


Gombojav Tribe said...

I give avocados to Belgee almost everyday. Caesar ate them a fair bit, too.

The other three were in Mongolia as no avocados. And they still don't like them.

Flo Oakes said...

Avocado and Banana were Amelie's first foods. We skipped rice cereal altogether.
They were also among Sera's firsts, and they were both huge favorites of the girls!

We eat avocado on a daily basis. It has soooo much heart healthy fat.
It's the best.