A is for……Avocado!!

My enthusiasm for introducing my son to a variety of foods has to be kept in check by his willingness to eat and try foods. For every step forward, we seem to take three back. But so it goes. I am doing my best to follow his lead when it comes to eating food. I do not want to force him to eat, nor do I want to enter into any power struggles. I am very conscious of the fact (and maybe too much so) that these early experiences can translate into eating behaviors down the road, both good and bad.

While carrots and sweet potatoes have been staples, my son’s favorite food so far is avocado. He loves avocado! And it is such an easy food to serve – just cut in half, scoop out the creamy, green flesh, mash with a fork and in it goes. Avocado is a great early food for babies as it is packed with almost 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (most notably lutein, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate and iron). Not to mention it is a good source for healthy unsaturated fats. Healthy fats are an essential part of everyone’s diet, and babies are no exception. The fat in the avocado helps the absorption of other fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, D or K. A fun and informative website for avocados is www.avocado.org, sponsored by California Growers.

I have always enjoyed avocados sliced on salads and sandwiches or mashed into homemade guacamole. One of my favorites is alternating sliced grapefruit with avocado slices over a bed of Bibb lettuce. Delicious! What are some of your favorite ways to eat avocado?