Having a healthy relationship with food is an important thing for us as mums to teach our kids, and incorporating a range of fruits and vegetables is a vital part of this process.
It is important to know when this lovely fruit is ripe, so that you can get as much benefit and taste from it as possible. Gently squeeze it, if the avocado softens from firm and gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready to eat. If the avocado feels firm and doesn’t soften when squeezing, place it into a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana and it will be ripe in a couple of days.
From a nutritionists perspective the trusty old avocado is a handful of goodness just ready to be eaten and enjoyed by mum and bubs. Here are six reasons why eating avocado’s are good for you and your babes.
1. High in monounsaturated fats, which are important for our brain, heart, and eye health. Babies need fats in their diets (when they start eating solids) because of their developing immune system.
2. Low in sugar. Fruits like melons, grapes, and dried fruits are concentrated in fructose (up to 53%), where as avocados have less than 1% sugar.
3. They are satiating, which means they fill us up and allow our body to release a hormone called leptin which sends a message to our brain to tell us we feel full or satisfied. This is good for helping with weight control for mums.
4. Vitamin E rich. This vitamin is essential for the immune development of your baby. So if they are picking up bugs from daycare frequently, start getting them to eat ¼ avocado daily (from 9-10 months old) and they will be getting half of the RDI of vitamin E (2mg).
5. High in folate. Now this vitamin is not just for pregnancy. During breastfeeding we still need high levels of folate to help with brain function. Avoid the ‘tired mum syndrome’ and eat some avocado to improve your concentration.
6. High in fibre to help you and your bubba with digestion. If your baby is suffering from constipation and has been checked by the doctor with no obvious medical conditions, try giving them some avocado to help increase their dietary fibre (for babies over 6 months old).
Now you know some of the nutritional facts about avocados, do you feel confident to pop one in the nappy bag with a spoon and a bib to give your little one a healthy snack? Start them with 1-2 teaspoons, and once they develop a taste for it they will happily eat a few pieces alongside their breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Pro’s : It doesn’t stain their clothes, you don’t need to prepare it or cook it, and what ever is left over from them, you can spread it on some toast to enjoy yourself so you are getting all of those health benefits too!
Baby friendly guacamole (6 months and above)
1 whole ripe avocado smashed with a fork
½ lemon juiced
¼ cup finely chopped coriander
1 small roma tomato chopped finely
Combine all ingredients and spoon feed as your baby as is, no need for the corn chips (save them for your afternoon tea).
Now that bub is sorted, why not add a few ideas to your own snack repertoire that are healthy and nutritious, and easy to prepare.
5 Avocado Snack Ideas For Mum:
Salty Crunchy Avo Cup
What you need:
Half an avocado and some salted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Fill the centre of the avocado with the seeds and sit down with a spoon and enjoy the salty, creamy, crunchy goodness.
What you need:
One whole avocado, ½ banana, 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract, 1 cup of water
Blend ingredients together and enjoy a deliciously creamy (and dairy free) smoothie.
Take away summer avocado salad in a mason jar
What you need:
1 avocado, 1 tomato, 1 small cucumber, all diced, 1 small can of 4 bean mix, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
Combine all ingredients into a mason jar- stack a couple in the fridge and when you are on the go, grab one with a fork and off you go for a healthy vegetarian
Smashed avocado and egg
What you need:
½ avocado, 1 boiled egg, ½ lemon juiced, handful coriander
This one you can prepare in advance too. Have an egg pre boiled in the fridge, peel it and dice it, dice your avocado, squeeze on the lemon, and add an
extra flavor profile with coriander. This snack is high in protein and fat, low in carbohydrate, will keep you full, and provide you with an abundance
of vitamins and minerals.
This one you can probably buy from your local sushi joint. The nori seaweed wrap is a great source of iodine, the rice will provide some carbohydrate,
and the avocado is nourishing and fatty in all the right ways.
Av an Avo!