Avocado Nutrition and Baby Development

A Perfect First Food for Babies

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You might be surprised to know that though not a selection in jarred baby food, avocado is an excellent first food for your baby. In fact, pediatrician Dr. William Sears ranks it #1 on his top ten list of fruits for babies because avocado nutrition is well-suited for a baby's growing development. Because of its soft-yet-sliceable texture, avocado is a great food for mashing (if you're starting with purees) or holding (if you're using the baby-led weaning method).

Avocado Nutrition Information

Avocados contain an assortment of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, E, and K; B vitamins; magnesium; zinc; and manganese. They're also a potent source of fiber (one avocado contains 9 grams of fiber!). Contrary to what you might hear, they do not contain much protein, however they are a rich source of poly and mono-unsaturated fats.

Fat Content and Avocados

The fats found in avocado are primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These fats are not associated with an increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Avocados contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) as well as antioxidants. They naturally do not contain any sodium or cholesterol. In addition to their soft texture being great for babies just starting to explore solid foods, the higher fat content of avocados also makes them a fantastic option for baby to eat, since babies have increased fat needs.

Differences Between Types of Avocados

You may have seen two types of avocados in the store: One slightly smaller with bumpy black skin and another larger one with smooth bright green skin. The bright green are Florida avocados and they have a more watery, firm texture with less fat. The dark skinned, smaller avocados are Hass avocados (typically from California or Mexico) and they have a richer, buttery texture. The Hass avocados are the ones that guacamole is made from.

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Here's the breakdown of nutrition facts for one California avocado (136g).

  • Calories: 218
  • Total fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 13.3 g
  • Potassium: 660mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 11.6g
  • Dietary fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 2.7g
  • Vitamin E: 2.82mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.18mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.35mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 2.1mg
  • Magnesium: 39.4mg
  • Copper: 0.26mg
  • Vitamin C: 13.6mg
  • Iron: 0.75mg
  • Thiamin: 0.1mg
  • Niacin: 2.36mg
  • Folate: 110mcg
  • Phosphorus: 70.7mg
  • Zinc: 0.9mg
  • Manganese: 0.3mg

Avocado Baby Food

Avocado is perhaps one of the simplest purées to prepare for your baby. All you need is a ripe avocado and a fork to mash it with. Alternatively, for babies doing baby-led weaning or those who previously had purées but are ready for finger foods, there are many ways for them to enjoy. You can use a crinkle cutter to cut slices baby can hold. You can also dust the outside of the avocado with finely ground breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, crushed Os cereal, or similar foods to make it easier to hold. Mashed avocado can also be mixed with cooked quinoa or canned salmon (without bones), for example.

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Article Sources
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