Should I give my baby avocado as a first food?

Avocados are a nutritionally unique food with suitable consistency and texture to feature as a first food in a baby’s diet.

 Compared to traditional first foods, avocados are nutritionally unique, containing healthy monounsaturated fats and a blend of soluble and insoluble fibre.

Did you know that avocados are high in energy, high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, naturally free from cholesterol and sodium, and are a source of fibre – all key nutrient factors in a healthy and balanced diet for a baby?

Avocados are also high in vitamin K (necessary for healthy bones), copper (needed for immune function), and biotin (for skin and hair health), and contain amongst the highest levels of a group of antioxidants called carotenoids (namely lutein and zeaxanthin) of any fruit.

Adding avo into your baby’s diet

It is good practice from early on to offer your baby a variety of flavours and textures. Now while it is important to start with pureed options as your baby first experiences the change in texture from liquid milk, it is easy to get stuck on pureed butternut and mashed banana.

The ability to handle lumpier foods is important long term for your baby’s oral development for speech. Avocados offer a variety of texture options from super smooth to slightly lumpy and this can be easily altered depending on how much you mash the fruit.

Baby’s love playing with avo

A baby’s eating experience is about more than just taste: other senses like sight, feeling, and smell are equally important. Allowing babies to play with food is key for motor development.

Experiment by adding some avocado slices to the tray of the feeding chair or scooping pureed avo into your little one’s hands. This will encourage your baby to start moving the hand to the mouth to learn the important skill of self-feeding, and in a safe and secure manner. As your baby gets older and masters the pincer grasp, small avocado cubes are a great way to practise this newfound skill.

A word on avo allergies

Many caregivers make the mistake of not offering babies potentially allergenic foods. In fact, introducing potential allergen foods from 6 months may even reduce the risk of allergies, according to research. Introduce potential allergens, like wheat, eggs, and nuts, one at a time, monitoring for two to three days for signs of a reaction. The great news is that avocado is not a high-risk food when it comes to allergies and can be safely and quickly introduced into your baby’s diet.

Top tip: Remember, it’s important to always offer your baby age-appropriate purees and soft foods, which will differ from young babies just starting out with solids to older babies with more practice in their newfound eating skills.

Easy avo recipe 

Avo & Pumpkin Puree

Butternut or sweet potato can be substituted for the pumpkin. Avocado makes a healthy first food, packed with monounsaturated fats and essential nutrients.

  • Number of servings: 4
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ¼ small wedge pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
  • ¼ ripe, fresh avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon apple puree, homemade or readymade (optional)

Method:

  1. Cook pumpkin in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes until very tender.
  2. Drain and cool completely.
  3. Mash the pumpkin and avocado in a bowl until smooth.
  4. Add apple sauce to taste.
  5. Serve baby 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture.

Top tip: Extra puree can be stored covered in the fridge, serve at room temperature. Do not heat in the microwave as the avocado will turn bitter.