If you’re looking to get more superfoods in your kid’s diet, avocado should definitely be on your grocery list. It’s often categorized as “healthy fats,” and although that’s what it’s certainly known for, avocado is actually a fruit. Yet it’s no ordinary fruit. It’s one that’s high in fiber and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you don’t know how to prepare avocado however, it will probably never make it onto your kid’s plate.
As it turns out, it pretty easy to cut, slice and peel an avocado, and there are so many ways to incorporate it into your family’s meals and snacks. Read on to learn how to prepare avocado, what to make with avocado and more.
HOW TO PREPARE AVOCADO
Before you serve an avocado, you need to know how to clean, cut, peel and pit it. Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to prepare avocado.
What you’ll need:
- A sturdy cutting board (solid wood is ideal)
- A chef’s knife
- A pairing knife
- A cloth dish towel
- Paper towels
- Soap and running water
Step #1. Wash your hands
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends washing your hands before handling any type of fresh produce. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food.
Step #2. Rinse avocado under cold, running water
Avocado (and any type of fruit), should be rinsed under cold, running water to prevent germs from contaminating the flesh.
You can take it one step further and use a produce brush and/or a produce wash to remove dirt, debris, and chemicals.
Be sure to dry avocado with a clean cloth or paper towel as an extra way to reduce bacteria.
Also, prepare avocado on a clean cutting board and keep it separate from other foods especially raw meat, poultry, and fish.
Step #3. Cut avocado in half
Full disclosure—I don’t cut avocados in half the right away, much to the chagrin of my husband who works in the food/hospitality industry.
Yet when you’re working with an avocado, the large pit makes it tricky to cut and the knife could slip so I recommend you do cut it the right way.
Avoid holding the avocado on an angle or vertically, and instead, place it flat or lengthwise on your cutting board. As you hold the avocado with one hand, use the other hand to slice the avocado lengthwise.
When you hit the pit, rotate the avocado and slice around it, starting from the narrow end. Then twist the two halves apart.
Step #4. Remove the pit or scoop out the flesh
Now, you can remove the pit two ways: separate it from the flesh with a spoon or hold the avocado in a cloth towel to keep it steady, whack the knife into the seed (be careful!), twist it and pull it out.
Use your cutting board to release the pit and throw it out.
Step #5. Peel avocado
If you are going to use the entire avocado and you want those perfect wedges you see in photos of taco bowls, then you’ll need to peel the avocado, which is easy—pull the skin apart with your fingers.
If you’re dicing the avocado, you can score the flesh and then scoop it out with a spoon.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO PREPARE AVOCADO, LEARN WHAT TO MAKE WITH AVOCADO
I always have avocados on hand in my house. Not only are they healthy and delicious, but there are so many ways to use them in meals, snacks, and desserts that your kids will love.
Using avocado to make guacamole is a no-brainer and one of the most delicious ways to enjoy it.
Tortilla chips are the perfect match, but read labels and compare brands for fiber and sodium content.
Or forget the chips altogether and dip baby carrots, cucumber, celery or jicama instead.
If you’ve got picky eaters on your hands, finding ways to make vegetables healthy and delicious is key.
Like butter, avocado can make vegetables tasty and it helps to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K.
In fact, an August 2014 study in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming a whole fresh avocado with either an orange-colored tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced the absorption of provitamin A carotenoid (alpha- and beta-carotene, which are antioxidants) and conversion of the carotenoid to an active form of vitamin A.
Serving up smoothies for your kids is a great way to pack in several fruits and vegetables—and plenty of nutrition—in one serving.
Adding avocado also adds fiber and healthy fats and makes it creamy like a milkshake.
If you’re looking to serve a healthy breakfast that’s filled with protein, fiber and healthy fats, try avocado toast.
Experiment with different types of fruits, vegetables and seasonings or add an egg.
Puree avocado in your Vitamix and make a chilled avocado soup or cream of avocado soup.
Baked goods and desserts
Avocado is a great 1:1 substitute for butter when you’re baking.
I’ve made cookies with it and although it does give them a greenish hue, they’re just as—if not more—moist and delicious.
You can use avocado to make muffins, breads, waffles, pancakes, scones, brownies, cakes and ice cream.
Chocolate avocado pudding
There are different variations of chocolate avocado pudding: some call for cocoa powder while others call for chocolate chips, for example.
Either way, chocolate avocado pudding is a rich and delicious treat your kids will love for an after-school treat or school birthday party.
Related: 7 Healthy Kids’ Birthday Treats That Aren’t Cupcakes.
Avocado salad dressing and dips
Salad dressings can be a sneaky source of added sugars in your kid’s diet so if you’re looking for something that’s creamy, delicious and low in sugar, use avocado instead.
You can also make a creamy avocado dip, and pair it your kid’s favorite vegetables for a healthy snack.
Sandwiches and burgers
Avocado is a healthy alternative to mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and other spreads.
The next time you serve up a sandwich, burger, or wrap, add a slice of avocado instead.
Homemade baby food
Avocado is one of the best first foods for baby thanks to its smooth texture and mild taste.
For younger infants, you can blend avocado with other fruits and vegetables, while older infants can handle mashed avocado or small cubes of avocado.
Avocado fries can be a healthy and delicious alternative to French fries or as a healthy appetizer for your kids while you’re cooking dinner.
Dip avocado slices into egg, coat with your favorite breadcrumbs, and pop them in the oven or air fryer—yum!
HOW TO EAT AVOCADO WITH EGGS
Packed with protein, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and a good source of choline, eggs are one of the best foods you can feed your kids. Pair them with avocado and you’ve got even more nutrition and tons of flavor. Here, learn how to eat avocado with eggs.
Avocado egg salad
Instead of mayonnaise, swap in avocado the next time you make egg salad which is a healthy and delicious substitute.
Scrambled eggs with avocado
Adding chunks of avocado to scrambled eggs definitely seems strange but the combination of the two is creamy and delicious and has tons of nutrition and healthy fats.
Serve it alone, with toast on the side, or in a whole wheat tortilla wrap and you’ve got a quick and easy breakfast.
Baked avocado eggs
If your kids like egg muffins, try baked avocado eggs.
Slice the avocados in half, remove the pit and crack an egg into each half.
Add your favorite toppings (cheese, tomatoes, etc.) bake for 15 minutes and you have a healthy and delicious meal for breakfast or dinner.