Avocado is one of those superfoods, super-fruits (yep, that’s right!), kids should eat—and eat more of. Like other types of brightly colored, good-for-you fruits (think: raspberries, blueberries and blackberries), avocado is one of the healthiest to add to your kid’s diet.
When it comes to avocado, you probably think guacamole. And although that’s certainly one way to get your kids to eat it, avocado is trendy right now—popping up in smoothie recipes, on toast or as a healthy swap in sandwiches.
Although the green color alone can be enough for you kid to snub it, like kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts, stick with it and continue to offer it regularly. Here are 6 reasons why avocado is healthy for kids and how to get it in their diets.
1. They Pack a Nutritional Punch
When it comes to getting nutritional bang for your buck, avocados are a great choice. With 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamins B5, B6, C, E, K, folate and potassium, your kids will get a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories.
2. They’re Heart-Healthy
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, healthy fats that can help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease later on in life.
3. They Can Boost Brain and Eye Health
Polyunsaturated fats like those found in avocado are vital for brain growth and development during pregnancy, for babies and children.
Avocados also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids or plant pigments, found in the eyes that can improve memory and processes speed, one study found.
4. They’re Naturally Nutritious
Avocados are naturally sodium, sugar and cholesterol-free.
5. They Give Vegetables a Boost
Eating avocado along with nutrient-dense vegetables helps kids to better absorb the fat-soluble nutrients from them like vitamins A, D, K and E.
6. They’ll Satisfy Your Kid’s Hunger
Studies show kids don’t eat enough fiber, especially because they’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The amount of fiber kids need vary by age, so be sure to check out the chart with recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
Avocado is a great source of fiber: one ounce has nearly 2 grams. Since fiber is digested slowly, it helps kids feel fuller longer. Studies show fiber may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity. Getting enough fiber every day also keeps your kid’s GI system moving and working properly which prevents constipation.
How To Get Avocado In Your Kid’s Diet
Mash or Dice
Avocado’s smooth texture and mild taste make it a great first food for babies. Mash it up or cut into cubes and let baby feed himself.
Instead of mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup on a sandwich, add a slice of avocado.
Add mashed avocado to your favorite toast, top with vegetables and breakfast is served.
Add some avocado to a breakfast smoothie to help your kids feel satiated until lunch.
Avocado can be easily incorporated into salads and soups, added to eggs, vegetable, rice, or bean dishes.
Avocado makes a sweet chocolate pudding. Try this recipe.