Avocados are one of my absolutely favorite foods. Yes, I love that it is filled with healthy fats, fiber, critical B vitamins (folate and B6), Vitamin E and zinc. But more than that, I love that it is so versatile. I can add it to toast, eggs, tacos, sandwiches, salads, dips, and ... yes ... even desserts! It can be spiced up with flavor, or hide in the background and let other flavors take front stage.
Avocados are safe to introduce to babies as soon as they are ready to start eating solid foods, and can be prepared in multiple ways according to your child's age, skill development, and personal preference. Here are 4 ways you can prepare and introduce avocados to your baby.
For the youngest eaters (6+ months), mashing avocados (hello guacamole 🥑!) is a great way to share this delicious food. For kids who are most comfortable with smooth purees, you can mix with breastmilk, banana, or applesauce in a blender until smooth. For kids who are able to handle some more texture, simply roughly mash avocado with the back of your fork and leave some lumps. Mashed or pureed avocado can be served alone or spread on strips of bread or toast, or mixed in with oatmeal or eggs.
For kids who have not yet fully developed their pincher grip and still prefer to hold food with their whole fist, cutting avocados into large spears is a great strategy for letting them feed avocado to themselves. This can be slippery - meaning messy! - so try rolling your spears in shredded coconut, nutritional yeast, ground nuts (if you've already introduced them), or hemp or chia seeds. Alternatively, you can leave a small bit of peel on one small part of the spear to make it easier to hold on to.
Once baby is practiced picking food pieces up with their thumb and forefinger (9+ months) you can start dicing spears into smaller pieces (which will give them even more practice with that pincher grip). You can continue tossing these dices in coconut, hemp, chia, even crushed cheerios in order to make them a little less slippery.
diced (left) vs. mashed avocado: two ways to serve avocado to your babe!
Once baby has some practice with utensils (12 to 24 months) you can start simply halving an avocado and letting your child practice digging in with a spoon or fork. You might flavor the avocado with (low salt) seasoning or those same hemp or chia seeds or ground nuts that you've been using all along. Looking for an alternative way to use avocados? Try these Blueberry + Avocado Muffins!