Thursday, 26 November 2009

Avocado for Your Baby - Age for Avocado Introduction to Baby:

The Goodness of Avocado:

Avocado makes a great first food for baby due to its texture and creaminess as well as its high nutrient content.

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.

Infants should NOT be on a "low fat" diet so 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.

Yes, Avocados are full of fat -

Avocados are high in fat and calories and we are often told to stay away from them due to this. 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 contain monounsaturated fats which are said to lower "bad" cholesterol and also aid in maintaining a healthy heart. Also high in fiber, avocados are great aids in reducing the risks of cancer and heart attack.

How to select the perfect Avocado for baby food ?

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

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.

Freezing Avocados:
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.

**But don't feed citrus or acidic fruits to a baby before 1 yr esp. 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.

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