Learn why I absolutely love avocados for babies as a registered dietitian and how to serve them if you're using a baby led weaning approach to starting solids.
Avocado was one of the very first solid foods that I offered to both of my babies. I recommend avocado as a first food for anyone starting solids with their little one, because it's such a great food for babies! Here's everything you need to know about avocados and baby led weaning.
Why Avocado Is A Great First Food For Babies
Avocados are perfect for babies from a nutrition standpoint, because they are very calorie and nutrient dense. Babies have high need for both calories and nutrients, with most of the calories coming from healthy fat, which is great! Every bite counts for them, especially when they're first starting solids around 6 months old.
Avocados also have a naturally soft texture and mild flavor that’s perfect for babies, and they're so versatile, making them easy to include on babies' plates.
Essential Nutrients in Avocado
Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. A few important ones for babies that stand out are:
- Monounsaturated fats - Unsaturated fats are the healthy kind. Babies need fat for brain development, and including fat at meals can aid in absorption of fat soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and E. Don't be hesitant when including fat in babies' diets, especially healthy fats!
- Folate - Folate is also important for brain development.
- Fiber - Fiber helps keep things moving in the digestive system.
- Carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein - These antioxidants are good for eyes.
How To Serve Avocados To Babies
Because avocados are naturally soft and require no cooking, they're so simple to serve, which makes your life easier! Some ideas for serving avocado with baby led weaning:
- Sliced into wedges (if baby has trouble gripping, you can serve avocado with the skin on all or half of the wedge, or roll it in hemp, chia or flaxseeds, crushed cheerios, coconut flakes, or another food to add some texture)
- Mashed by itself - Load it onto a spoon, or just let baby pick it up with his hands!
- Spread on top of toast fingers
- Add pureed avocado to baked goods in place of some or all of the fat
- Add to smoothies
Baby Led Weaning Friendly Recipes With Avocados
- Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Avocado Hummus
- Grapefruit Avocado Salad with Fennel and Mint (leave the fennel and mint off of baby's plate)
- Shrimp, Orange and Avocado Quinoa Salad
- Carne Asada with Avocado Chimichurri
- Sweet Potato Wedges with Avocado Crema
- Mango, Avocado and Roasted Chicken Salad (leave the lettuce off of baby's plate)