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Avocado Recipes for Baby Led Weaning and How to Start

Avocado for baby led weaning is a common first food to introduce. See why it’s recommended and creative ways to introduce it with these tasty avocado recipes for baby led weaning.

avocado slices on wooden cutting board

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Disclaimer – This post is for informational purposes only and is not for diagnosing or treatment. See your medical provider or Registered Dietitian for individual recommendations. 

Avocado has certainly had a boom in popularity in recent years. And for good reason.

Avocado is delicious on toast, in guacamole, and makes the creamiest yogurt smoothies.

Best of all, it can be a finger food with a soft texture which makes baby led weaning avocado a popular choice.

Not to mention that it is a powerhouse food that is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants—beneficial for disease prevention and heart health.

Avocado is a neutral-tasting food with a mild flavor that your baby will likely love, too, which is why it’s common to include this green fruit in baby led weaning dinner ideas.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other baby led weaning food guides!

It’s an exciting new stage when you introduce solid foods. Each food you introduce gives your baby a chance to explore and reap the nutritional benefits.

So, let’s discuss avocado for baby led weaning and why and how you should include it as one of baby’s first foods.

Nutrition Benefits of Avocado for Baby Led Weaning

Like parsnips or carrots for baby led weaning, avocado is a great first food that can add both texture and nourishment to your baby’s diet.

  • Phytochemicals and antioxidants – The sheer amount of nutrition benefits coming from avocado can’t be denied. It’s a plant food, so it has phytochemicals that can play a role in cancer prevention and longevity.
  • Diversify gut bacteria – The plant compounds in avocado can also improve gut bacteria—essential for proper digestion, immunity, and overall wellness. Gut bacteria in babies is always something to think about, as it is involved in babies’ overall health.
  • Good source of fiber – Avocado is also a good source of insoluble and soluble fiber. Diets higher in fiber have been repeatedly proven to have multiple benefits, including improved heart health for children.
  • Other health benefits – The fiber isn’t the only thing promoting heart health. Avocados are rich in folic acid and carotenoids, which reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and improve blood flow. Furthermore, avocado contains more potassium than a banana. That means avocados can help regulate blood pressure and fluid balance.
  • Healthy fats– If that wasn’t enough, avocado is also loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids. The primary makeup of avocado is fat, which is incredibly important for babies’ growing brains. Monounsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol and improve other cardiovascular and metabolic factors.
5 avacados with one cut

Why is Fat Good for Babies?

Fat is a nutrient that should be embraced, rather than feared – especially for babies!

Babies grow like crazy. There’s no other time in life when you grow as rapidly as a baby does.

But, it’s not just their bodies that are growing.

Your baby’s brain is also making new connections daily. Dietary fat is critical for physical growth AND brain support.

sketch of baby brain

Plus, fat helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are important for immune function, vision, calcium absorption, bone development, and blood clotting.

Of course, breastmilk and formula provide diverse and complex fatty acids that your baby needs.

But, baby led weaning avocado recipes can help supplement the dietary fat requirements for your baby and are good for the whole family, too.

How to Give Avocado to Baby

When your baby is ready for solids, avocado is a great place to start. It has a soft and creamy texture and mild taste that will likely be well-received.

However, when introducing solids with baby led weaning, you first need to assess the signs of readiness in your child.

While most babies are ready between 4-6 months of age, it’s always best to check with your pediatrician.

baby led weaning and introducing solids

The typical signs of readiness for introducing solids to babies are:

  • Babies can sit up on their own
  • Holds head up unsupported
  • The tongue thrust reflex is gone (before then, the tongue will just push everything out of the mouth)
  • Is ~6 months old (Until then, the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding or formula feeding. Complementary foods are then introduced in addition to breastmilk/formula).
  • Reaches out and has an interest in your food
  • Have a pincer grasp, meaning they can grasp objects and bring them to their mouth

While baby led weaning encourages babies to feed themselves, you are always within arm’s reach to respond to any choking.

There are infant CPR classes you can take so you can feel at ease. This is exactly what we did before Camryn was born, and I was able to approach baby led weaning with more confidence. ANd it’s SO WORTH it to have this life-saving skill.

It may be intimidating to give your baby control over the food intake, but they are built to handle it! Gagging is a completely normal reflex and a part of learning to eat.

Things to Keep in Mind for Baby Led Weaning Avocado

  1. Choose a ripe avocado with consistent, dark skin (no visible spots or bruising). You can find the perfect avocado by squeezing it. The avocado should give slightly, indicating it’s ripe.
  2. When offering a new food, like avocado, first make sure to serve it alone or with other foods baby has had before. While some allergic reactions and avocado hyperallergies have been reported with avocado, it is rare. If you serve it in a combined food, it will be difficult to tell which food caused a reaction.

Here are some ways you can serve avocado to your baby:

  • Strips: You can cut your avocado lengthwise into thicker strips of avocado slices (1/8th of the avocado) for easy grasping and gumming if you’re just starting solids. I also like to add flax seeds or hemp seeds for more nutrition and it does make it easier to grasp.
  • Mashed: A great way to serve babies of all ages, mashed avocado is incredibly versatile. You can adjust the texture with breastmilk or formula. Feel free to change up the flavor by adding spices. Then allow your baby to go at it with a spoon or serve on a preloaded spoon. As babies age, you can serve a chunkier puree with other foods, like diced peppers, sweetpotatoes, squash, zucchini and more.
  • Cubed or cut up into bite-sized pieces: As your baby gets older (~9 months) they can practice their pincer grasp and fine motor control when they pick up little bits of avocado and bring it to their mouths.
  • Avocado oilYou can also cook baby vegetables in avocado oil to add some healthy fats, but you won’t get all the nutrition that is in the whole avocado.
wooden cutting board with different ways to serve avocado to baby

How Should You Store Avocados?

How you store avocados may make them for appetizing for you and for babies.

Once you cut avocados, you can store in the refrigerator, but it’s recommended not to store in the fridge before cutting.

Cut avocados can ripen and take on brown spots quickly, so here are some tips to slow that process.

  • add lemon juice, lime juice or any acid
  • store the avocado in an avocado keeper or food hugger, in plastic wrap or an airtight container
  • You can also freeze avocados. You can cut them into cubes and freeze in an ice cube tray to defrost later, or you can freeze the avocado puree.

Easy Avocado Recipes for Baby Led Weaning

Remember that store-bought baby food is typically quite low in fat.

Instead, you can combine avocado with any baby food puree like peas, bananas, pears, sweetpotatoes, squash, and more to give the food a nutrition boost.

I like adding it to this sweetpotato spinach baby food, too!

mini jars with sweet potato baby food combinations

If you’re looking for easy ways to incorporate avocado into your baby’s diet, here are some delicious ways to add this nutritious food.

  • Easy Avocado Baby Food Recipe – Combined the avocado puree with breastmilk or formula, butternut squash or sweetpotatoes and flax seeds in a homemade puree.
  • As a dip: Mix drained black beans, diced tomatoes, spices, and mashed avocado to the consistency of your liking for an easy bean tip. There are so many baby-friendly bean recipes for toddlers, too!
  • Toast topper: Use avocado mash as a creamy base for your toast. For baby, you can top toast with avocado and cut it into bite-sized pieces for a fiber-rich snack or meal.
  • Mixed with eggs: Eggs are great for baby and can be scrambled with diced avocado for a protein and fat-packed meal sure to satisfy.
  • Smoothies: Blend avocado with your favorite smoothie ingredients to make a creamy, delicious option for baby.

Avocado Recipes for Baby Led Weaning

Looking for baby led weaning avocado recipes? Here are several family-friendly, nourishing ways to introduce avocado to your baby.

In short, avocados are a terrific way for babies to get the fats and nutrients they need for brain development, healthy digestion, rapid growth, and immune support.

FAQ

Can babies be allergic to avocado?

Yes, allergies to avocado can happen, though they are rare and not a common allergen. The prevalence of avocado allergies is unknown. Allergic reactions to avocado are often mild in nature, and may present with itchy lips, mouth, and throat. However, severe anaphylactic reactions can occur in some people.

How to store avocados to reduce browning

Store cut avocados in the fridge in plastic wrap, an airtight container or food hugger. It is also recommended to store with the pit in to reduce browning.

You may enjoy some of these other BABY LED WEANING recipes!

References:

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  • Shen J, Shan J, Zhong L, et al. Dietary Phytochemicals that Can Extend Longevity by Regulation of Metabolism. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2022;77(1):12-19. doi:10.1007/s11130-021-00946-z
  • Kwon C, Ediriweera MK, Kim Cho S. Interplay between Phytochemicals and the Colonic Microbiota. Nutrients. 2023;15(8):1989. Published 2023 Apr 20. doi:10.3390/nu15081989
  • Wall R, Ross RP, Ryan CA, Hussey S, Murphy B, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Role of gut microbiota in early infant development. Clin Med Pediatr. 2009 Mar 4;3:45-54. doi: 10.4137/cmped.s2008. PMID: 23818794; PMCID: PMC3676293.
  • Larrosa S, Luque V, Grote V, et al. Fibre Intake Is Associated with Cardiovascular Health in European Children. Nutrients. 2020;13(1):12. Published 2020 Dec 23. doi:10.3390/nu13010012
  • Bhuyan DJ, Alsherbiny MA, Perera S, et al. The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea americana) and Their Health Benefits. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(10):426. Published 2019 Sep 24.
  • Pérez-Jiménez F, López-Miranda J, Mata P. Protective effect of dietary monounsaturated fat on arteriosclerosis: beyond cholesterol. Atherosclerosis. 2002;163(2):385-398. doi:10.1016/s0021-9150(02)00033-3
  • DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH. Monounsaturated Fat vs Saturated Fat: Effects on Cardio-Metabolic Health and Obesity. Mo Med. 2022;119(1):69-73.
  • Youness RA, Dawoud A, ElTahtawy O, Farag MA. Fat-soluble vitamins: updated review of their role and orchestration in human nutrition throughout life cycle with sex differences. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2022;19(1):60. Published 2022 Sep 5. doi:10.1186/s12986-022-00696-ydoi:10.3390/antiox8100426
  • Muth, N. D., Tanaka, M., (Eds.). (2023). The Clinician’s Guide to Pediatric Nutrition. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1542/9781610026628
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