Monday, 22 July 2013

Avocado for Your Baby....

Age for Introducing Avocado to Baby:  (4)6-8 Months Old
Avocado for Your Baby - Introducing Avocado Baby Food Recipes

Avocado makes a great first food for baby due to its texture and creaminess; an extra bonus is that avocado is full or "good" fats and has a high nutrient content!
The Goodness of Avocado for your baby:
Avocados are often called one of nature's perfect foods because they are said to contain everything a person needs to survive. A wonderful "good fat" food for baby's brain and physical development, try an avocado as baby's first food instead of refined cereals.
"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."
Nutrients in Avocados 
VITAMINS: (one cup pureed) Vitamin A - 338 IU
Vitamin C - 20.2 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - .2 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - .3 mg
Niacin - 3.9 mg
Folate - 205 mg
Pantothenic Acid - 3.3 mg
Vitamin B6 - .6 mg

Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
MINERALS: (one medium)
Potassium - 1166 mg
Phosphorus - 124 mg
Magnesium - 67 mg
Calcium - 30 mg
Sodium - 18 mg
Iron - 1.4 mg
Also contains small amounts of selenium, manganese, copper and zinc. 

When can I introduce Avocado to my baby?
Avocado is a wonderful first food for baby. An avocado is smooth and creamy when mashed - a perfect food that will be more readily accepted as baby begins solids. Avocado may be offered as early as 4 - 6 months old. Babies need carbohydrates, and fats as well as proteins for their growth during the crucial first year and even into the second year.
As you begin to introduce a wide variety of foods, you will find that mashing an avocado and mixing with applesauce, peaches or pears, bananas and even yogurt make a wonderful meal or snack.

Yes, Avocados are full of fat! Don't worry about the fat content of an avocado, babies should NOT be on a "low fat" diet. Babies need fat in their diets for proper growht and brain development/ Please disregard any advice to not feed avocados because they are high in fats. If you have any doubts, as always we recommend you consult your pediatrician.

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, that's the good kind of fat! A medium size avocado contains approximately 322 calories and up to 30 grams of fat - WOW. 1 cup of avocado puree contains almost 700 calories as it would take approximately 2 avocados to make a cup. The benefits of avocados far outweigh the "risks".

Avocados have been associated with Latex allergies and sensitivities so ask your pediatrician about introducing bananas to your baby if there is a history of Latex issues.
How to select the perfect Avocado for baby food
According to the EWG, avocados are one of the 15 foods least contaminated with pesticides so purchasing organic is your choice.

When selecting an Avocado, you want a dark green color with bumpy texture. The fruit should be firm yet yielding when gently pushed.

When an avocado is sliced in half, the flesh color should be a green that gently transforms into a buttery yellow around the pit.
The best way to cook Avocados for Baby Food

Avocado is one of the easiest foods to prepare for homemade baby food because you don't have to cook it! Avocados are served fresh from their peels. There is no need to cook avocados for baby or adult. Give an avocado a gentle roll around your counter to help separate the meat from the shell before you slice.

How to Freeze Avocados for Baby Food:
I freeze in avocado in slices. For the babies, I take out a slice, mash it up and then serve. The browning of the avocado seemed to be less than when I mashed/pureed it and then froze it.

You can also create a bath of:
* 1/2 cup water and
* 2 squeezes-drips of lemon juice
Bathing the slices in mixture will help to retard browning.
Dip the slices in the bath mix then set on a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper. Transfer the sheet to the freezer and allow to freeze. Once frozen, transfer the avocado slices to freezer bags.
**But you may not want to feed citrus or acidic fruits to a baby before 1 yr particularly if your baby gets rashy from other foods. Using a drip or 2 of lemon juice in a puree or to bathe several avocado slices is not the same as pureeing up a few orange slices and serving them.
A Few Basic Avocado Baby Food Recipes:
Baby's Mashed Avocado
Peel and de-pit a ripe avocado
Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork
There should be no need to use a machine as just like bananas, avocados have a very soft consistency and texture. Avocados do not need to be cooked.

Creamy Banana-Cado Baby Food
Peel and de-pit a ripe avocado
Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork
Peel and mash 1 banana
Place in a blender or food processor and puree until desired texture is achieved. Avocados and Bananas do not need to be cooked.

Guacamole for Baby
1 ripe avocado
wheat germ or crushed cheerios (optional)
pinch of garlic powder, pepper & basil
Peel and pit a ripe avocado
Cut “meat” out and mash with a forkMix avocado, wheat germ/cheerios and spice then blend. Fold in plain whole milk yogurt until a texture good for your baby is achieved.
Allow baby to dip toast, soft cooked veggies or even her own fingers in the guac. for a yummy meal accompaniment.

Avocado & Cream Cheese Dippers' Delight
Prepare avocado as shown above.
Blend with Cream Cheese until a semi-smooth mixture is formed
Add wheat germ or crushed cheerios and shape into little balls or spread on toast or crackers or blend with cereals.

Baby's Yummy Avocado Fruit Salad
3 or 4 ripe avocados
3 or 4 ripe bananas
3 or 4 Pears (steamed)
A couple of dollops Yogurt (for 8 months +)
Peel, de seed and slice fruits as needed
Place in a blender or food processor and puree until desired texture is achieved
Add a couple of dollops of yogurt if desired
*Use diced fruits as a Baby Finger Food snack for older infants and toddlers - drizzle the Plain Yogurt over the fruits

Creamy Avocado Mango Mousse
If your infant is currently not eating yogurt and/or you do not wish to use any juice, simply peel, de-seed and mash the mango with some water until the proper consistency for Your Infant is achieved.
1 cup peeled and cubed mango
1 ripe avocado - peeled, seeded and cubed
Plain or Vanilla Yogurt or Water, Apple or Pear Juice
Mash the mango with the avocado until smooth -
Add Yogurt or Water or Juice and whip with a whisk until a creamy mousse like consistency is created.

This will make a great spread or dip for baby's favorite finger foods. You may also use this as a great Baby Finger Food. Simply cut the mango and avocado into dices or chunks that are manageable for your baby. Mix the fruits together (yogurt optional) and serve. You may wish to coat the fruit bits with "cheerio dust", wheat germ or another cereal "dust" to help baby easily pick up the bits.

Peachy Avocados
3 peaches
1 avocado
1. Peel, pit and cut peaches into chunks
2. Peel, de-seed and cut avocado into chunks
3. Steam peaches gently until tender if needed
4. Place fruits in a blender/food processor and puree until smooth or mash with a fork and let baby try to use a spoon or her fingers.

Pumpkin, Banana 'Cado
½ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 avocado, peeled seeded & diced
1 ripe peach – peeled, pitted & diced
Combine all foods (steam peach together if need be) and mash or puree if needed.

You may also buy a can of pumpkin from your local grocers. Make sure you buy Pumpkin and NOT Pumpkin Pie mix however. Learn more about Cooking with Pumpkin

Peary Tasty Avocados
2 ripe pears, peeled & cored & diced
ripe avocado
Mash the pear and then mix in the avocado – puree if needed.

A Few Foods Good to Mix With Avocado to Make Tasty Baby Food:

Summer Squash - Zucchini, Yellow (Crooked Neck)

Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.