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Finger Food Mania: Avocado

by Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Avocados are the most practical “go anywhere, eat anywhere” food. They do not need to be cooked, require no refrigeration, they come with their own carrying case and even have a built-in serving bowl! So next time you and your baby are on the go, drop an avocado and a spoon in your diaper bag and you are all set!

avocado-mania.jpgThe handiest method for preparing an avocado is to cut the pear-shaped fruit in half length-wise with a sharp knife so that you cut in to and all around the pit; then rotate and pull the two halves apart. Remove the pit. With the knife, gently make a cross-hatch pattern throughout the halved fruit while the skin is attached, then use a spoon to separate the flesh from the shell by scooping the soft, ripe fruit gently. The skin becomes the serving bowl.

Yummy, quick, sweet treat
Spread some avocado right on a graham cracker. For an older toddler, add a few raisins and make “Ants on the grass!”

Age to introduce: About 9 months

About the avocado
The avocado is a fruit that tastes more like a vegetable with a smooth consistency and a rich, nutty flavor. It is one of the world’s few fruits that contain fat. Fortunately, most of the great tasting fat is the good monounsaturated variety. Along with a healthy dose of fat, the avocado is densely packed with plenty of nutrients.

The avocado is proudly recognized as having the highest fiber content of any fruit, it contains 60 percent more potassium than a banana, and it is the highest fruit source of vitamin E — and that is just the beginning!

Studies have shown that nutrients in avocados can help slow the aging process, lower cholesterol levels, fight heart disease and fight eye diseases; such as cataracts and macular degeneration. They can help protect against birth defects during pregnancy. They also contain cancer-protecting nutrients, especially for prostate cancer.

Avocados ripen off the tree, which is why they can arrive at your market somewhat hard. There are many different varieties of avocados with different shades of green skin and smooth to bumpy skin texture. All varieties of avocados taste great! No matter the variety, ripe avocados should yield to gentle pressure.

About the Authors
Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are the mothers of five children and founders of
Fresh Baby. The Fresh Baby concept is simple — When you make it yourself, you know it’s better. Along with developing products for parents to get actively involved in making healthy food choices for their children from the first bite of food; they also publish Fresh Ideas, a free, monthly newsletter that provides healthy eating ideas for the whole family.

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