I’ve partnered with the Hass Avocado Board to bring you today’s post. As always, thank you so much for your support!
We’re a huge fan of smoothies in our house and drink them all the time. Qman, in particular, loves a good smoothie, and I love that I’m able to blend in so many nutrients that he might not consume otherwise. When it comes to food, he’s quite the picky eater.
But, Quinn wasn’t always a picky eater. In fact, he ate everything as a baby. Broccoli? Loved it. Hummus? Couldn’t get enough. More peas? Yes, please! Basically, if we put it in front of him, he would eat it, which is why we often reached for avocado.
Avocados are a unique, nutrient-dense, plant-based food that contain many of the critical nutrients for infant health and development. In one serving, avocados contain 6 grams of unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal development of the central nervous system, and structural and functional brain development in the first year of life. Avocados are also an optimal first food for babies since they fit right into the three characteristics to look for when choosing one:
- Nutrient Density: Babies need to eat moderately energy-dense foods that are low in sugar and rich in multiple nutrients that are key for infant health and development
- Texture/Consistency: A variety of soft and smooth textures are best, such as creamy, lumpy, pureed or mashed. The variety will help develop the ability to chew and swallow
- Neutral Flavor Profile: Ideal first foods should have a low to moderate sweet and salty flavor profile to avoid early preferences for sweet foods
Additionally, being soft, neutrally-flavored and nutrient-rich, avocados are a wonderful transitional food since they can serve as a gateway food to more nutritious eating patterns later in life. They contain less than 1 gram of sugar per serving (the least amount of any fresh fruit) and when they are introduced in the early feeding stages as a low-sugar fruit option, they can help prevent an early preference for sweet foods, which may influence eating behavior over time.
With so many health benefits of avocados for little ones, it’s a perfect food to incorporate as a base for homemade baby food. Plus, avocado-based baby food can grow with your child and turn into all sorts of avocado smoothies. We especially love smoothies made with avocado in our house, so I have an incredible recipe to share with you. It’s actually an avocado smoothie “base” recipe, which means you can easily customize it to your liking. It only requires 3 ingredients (avocado, banana, milk), but the addition options are endless!
Avocado Base Smoothie
- 1/2 ripe Hass avocado
- 1/2 small ripe banana
- 1/2 cup milk
- additional ingredients (optional – suggestions below)
Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Some additions that we like in our smoothies – just blend right into your avocado smoothie base:
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries or raspberries
- 2-3 whole strawberries
- 1/2 small peach
- small handful of fresh baby spinach or kale (frozen works too)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 tsp agave or honey
Questions of the Day
Parents: Did you/do you feed your little ones avocado on the regular?
What’s your favorite smoothie base recipe?