Health Benefits of Avocado “Butter Fruit”
Posted on: August 2, 2019.

Avocado, also known as alligator pear—for its pear-shaped appearance and rough green skin—is known in many parts of India, popularly, as “Butter Fruit”. Resilience to pesticides and chemicals used during crop cultivation is an advantage unique to the butter fruit. Thus, even if avocados aren’t organically cultivated, they are still considered safe for consumption by toddlers and young children.

An avocado, characteristically, is a kind of berry, and normally ripens after plucking. On the inside, avocados have a pulpy mass whose texture is creamy, and taste is rich, adapting to various flavours, thanks to its versatility. Ripe avocados can be mashed easily into a pulp, being supple and soft, and readily consumable by toddlers—even before their teeth have grown.

There’s also another reason why the avocado is tasty, beyond its creamy texture, and rich taste—its dense nutrients. Mono-unsaturated fat, vitamins like B, K, C, E and micronutrients like potassium, phosphorus and selenium. And that’s not all! Oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid and saturated fat are all included in its fat content, yet avocado is a no-cholesterol food item, and contains sodium only in low quantities.

From the standpoint of paediatric nutrition, parents of young and growing children are strongly suggested to include avocados—a very healthy fatty food—in their toddlers’ daily diet! Growing kids need healthy fats in their diet, essentially, and though safety of avocados for very young children is a subject of confusion among parents, toddlers—as young as 4-6 months—need fat content in their diets, and avocados, helpfully indeed a good and healthy fruit to feed a young baby, are laden with healthy fats!

…and their taste and texture are simply loved by children.

Babies, in the first year of their life, undergo a lot of physical and neurological growth. Avocado—one of nature’s perfect foods—provides all nutritional values, especially the fats essential to babies’ brain growth, for which it is introduced as one of the first baby foods.

Heath Benefits:

1. Minerals:

  • In high amounts: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and iron
  • In small amounts: selenium, manganese, copper and zinc

2. Vitamins:

  • Available in abundance: B1, B2, Niacin, Folate, B6 and Pantothenic Acid. Facilitate proactive development of the baby.
  • Also has: Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Boost immunity and improve skin conditions.

3. No traces of sodium and cholesterol. Has all the necessary components that aid growth and development of the central nervous system and for normal growth.

4. Anti-inflammatory properties: Controls inflammation caused by pathogen entry. Protects against irritating environmental factors.

5. Plenty of anti-oxidants: Control the production of free radicals in the body. Neutralizes toxins that make their way into the baby’s body.

6. Anti-microbial ingredients: Boosts the overall immunity of the baby’s system. Promotes restoration of the body to health, through correction of skin rashes, cuts and wounds.

7. Good for the overall health of the liver: Aids with digestion. Recommended in children who are recovering from diseases like jaundice and hepatitis.

How to prepare avocados for children of various ages:

    ✔ Identify the right ripe fruit.

    ✔ Best when the colour is dark green and has a bumpy texture.

    ✔ Properly ripened avocados are green, with a yellow colour around the pit.

    ✔ Cut the avocado, remove the flesh, separate the pulp, mash it up and then serve it directly to children.

    ✔  If your child is less than a year old and is sensitive to citrus fruits, abstain from following this method. If the avocado has to be stored for a long time, refrain from using a citrus base to store the avocados.

    ✔  Avocados generally do not present choking hazards, but it is important to puree the avocados before serving it to toddlers. It’s good to serve avocados in the form of a soft mash to toddlers with no teeth.

    ✔ Once toddlers have become older children, you can slowly give them avocados in more textured pieces

    ✔ Introduce it as small cubes that a child can easily swallow, after he/she begins to sit alone and chew food.

    ✔ For children who are old enough to easily eat and digest, diced avocado is a great, easy finger food that is not messy.

How to store avocados:

    ✔  Avocados are best stored for a long time in the form of slices that are frozen at the right temperature. Wait for frozen avocados to thaw, before mashing it up and serving it to children.

    ✔  If you plan to store it for a while, it is best to treat it to a lemon bath before storage. For this, simply add a few drops of lemon juice to water, prepare a solution, and dip the slices of avocado in this bath. Then set it aside on a sheet of parchment. Freeze these slices in ZIPLOC bags and retrieve them as and when required.

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