Monday, January 24, 2011

Holy Guacamole!: Avocado Baby Foods *stage 1&2*

Gerber sure never made this when we were kids!  Wait, they still don’t make it!  Why?  Because the avocado isn’t shelf-stable without non-baby-safe additives (like citrus or vinegar*) so unless it’s eaten promptly, it will oxidize to a brown, gooey mess, which actually looks like what we find in diapers.  No good!  So it’s essential that you feed your baby this food as soon as possible.  You can make either a stage 1 or stage 2 food out of avocado by either pureeing it on its own or by mixing it with another fruit.  Avocado is super-rich in those “good fats” we hear so much about these days.  Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, chock-full of omega-3’s, DHA, & vitamin E!  Not many fruits are as oily & fatty as avocado so you don’t get much of these oil-soluble nutrients like you would with avocado.  Yes, avocado is botanically a fruit, but it is still safe for children as young as 4 months old*.  They also produce a wonderful paste when ripe, as any guacamole fan will tell you.  So here is a recipe which can be tweaked & tasted to your liking.  I guarantee your little peanut will LOVE the smooth, almost pudding-like texture you'll get.  Elias can't get enough!

ADDITIONAL PROPS: Avocados are a great way to introduce a high-calorie food into your baby's diet that is actually healthy.  A medium avocado can boast almost 600 calories, but they're mostly from the healthy fats in the fruit. As with any food, moderation is always key.  You don't want to bore your baby with the same thing over and over again anyway!

Stage 1 recipe:
½ ripe avocado meat
Warm water

To safely remove avocado “meat," cut the fruit in half by running your knife lengthwise around the fruit, then pull it apart to expose one side with the pit, & the other without the pit.  As a tip, use the half without the pit & if you’re going to store the other half for later, keep the pit inside.  Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into your food processor & pulse a few times.  Add water & process to your desired consistency.

Stage 2 recipe:
½ ripe avocado meat
½ ripe banana

Removing meat safely with aforementioned method, place both ingredients in a food processor & blend until a smooth paste is formed.  If still too thick, add warm water a tablespoon at a time & process to your desired consistency.

If storing a ripe, unused portion of avocado, place in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator & use within a day.  Remove pit by placing a towel or oven mitt over your hand, hold the avocado in that hand, & strike the pit with a large knife.  Once the knife is in the pit, twist to remove the pit & discard.  Remove brown area with the knife.  Use as desired.

*Citrus fruits & other acidic foods are not recommended until after the child has reached 1 year of age.

Love at first bite!  Avocado mixed with a little prune puree --recipe coming soon!

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