Avocado is a fruit that has recently risen to popularity in India, thanks to the advent of health magazines and international cuisine. As you may have guessed, avocado isn’t exactly native to India, it’s origin is believed to be from Central America, although it’s widely available in many parts of the world today. In most Indian homes, avocados are used in milkshakes or salads, and many families include this fruit thanks to its various health benefits. It’s probably due to this that Moms often wonder if they can extend the same benefits to their babies, and we get the all-imporant question – Can I give my baby avocado?
Can I give my Baby Avocado?
Avocados can be introduced to babies above 6 months of age. The flesh of the ripe fruit has a creamy, buttery texture which makes it perfect for babies starting solids. It also has a rather neutral taste, which makes it palatable to most children. While avocados are unlikely to cause allergies, it’s always best to follow the 3 day rule when introducing a new food to your baby. Families with a history of tree pollen allergy or latex allergy are advised to consult a doctor before introducing avocado.
Nutritional benefits of Avocado
- Full of healthy fats that are necessary for proper brain development
- Avocados are rich in Vitamins B, C, E and K
- Contains good amounts of essential minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc and iron
- Avocados are also packed with antioxidants and carotenoids
- Has anti inflammatory properties, keeps allergies at bay
How to buy Avocados?
Avocado is also referred to as butter fruit or Makhan Phal in some parts of India. They’re usually found in major supermarkets or gourmet food stores. They generally have a spherical or pear shape and change color from green to brown as they ripen. A perfectly ripe avocado will have a very light green flesh that’s almost yellow close to the pit.
When buying avocados, go for ones that are dark green – the brown ones are too ripe. When you press the fruit lightly, you can feel that it is firm but not hard; it should give just a little.
To prepare the avocado for your baby, roll it gently around your kitchen table – this will help the flesh separate from the skin. Or you could just cut the avocado into half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The best part about avocados is that you don’t need to cook them before feeding your baby. Like bananas, avocados can be fed directly or pureed. The neutral flavor makes it perfect to combine with other foods. Here are some more ways to give babies avocado.
1. Avocado Puree – You can puree the flesh of the avocado by itself or in combination with a variety of other foods. Ingredients that go well with avocado are banana, mango, peach, apple and chicken.
2. Avocado Smoothie – Blend homemade yogurt with an avocado for a baby friendly smoothie. You can also make it with breast milk.
3. Avocado Pasta/Rice – Cook pasta or rice without salt till soft and mix with a mashed avocado – perfect for babies who are learning to eat on their own.
4. Avocado Fruit Salad – Chop the flesh of a ripe avocado and mix with assorted chopped fruit like banana, papaya, kiwi and mango for a fruit salad that older babies can try to eat themselves.
5. Avocado Soup – Heat some homemade vegetable stock and stir in some mashed avocado till well mixed. Adjust the consistency with water or breast milk.
So the next time you spot some ripe avocados at your neighborhood supermarket, you needn’t wonder, “Can I give my baby avocado?” After reading this, you know you can! And with so many ideas, it’ll soon be your baby’s favorite fruit!