Every once in a while when I get a craving for guacamole and chips, I’ll pull out my mortar and pestle set and whip it up for my family. It’s usually a weekend treat so, within less than a half an hour, they’ve plowed through it. While it’s hard not to overeat it, the goods news is that there are a ton of health benefits of avocado for kids.
If your kids are picky eaters and averse to anything green however, you can reassure them because avocado isn’t a vegetable. It’s actually a fruit—and more specifically a single-seeded berry that’s smooth, creamy, delicious.
Avocado is also so versatile you can add it to just about any type of meal, snack, and dessert.
Although guacamole and avocado toast usually comes to mind when you think of avocado, there are so many different ways to get this superfood in your kid’s diet.
In this blog post, I’ll cover:
- Avocado benefits
- How to get avocado in your kid’s diet
- Avocado recipes for kids
Avocado is one of the most nutritious foods for your kids—here’s why.
1. Avocado is nutrient-dense
With 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving (1/3 of a medium avocado) including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, your kids will get a ton of nutrition without a lot of calories.
Avocados are also naturally sodium-, cholesterol- and sugar-free.
Related: What Are Added Sugars
2. Avocado makes a great first food for babies
In fact, according to a May 2016 study in the journal Nutrients, avocado is a great food to offer babies and toddlers because it’s so nutritious, a great source of energy, and has a neutral flavor and smooth consistency that’s ideal for babies.
3. They can boost your kid’s brain and eye health
Polyunsaturated fats like those found in avocado are vital for brain growth and development during pregnancy and throughout childhood.
Avocados also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids, or plant pigments, found in the eyes that can improve memory and processing speed, one study found.
4. They help kids better absorb vitamins
Eating avocado along with nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and other foods helps kids better absorb the fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K, and E they contain.
For example, serving avocado in a salad with carrots and tomatoes or adding avocado to a green smoothie can give your kids a nutritional boost.
5. Avocado helps to satisfy your kid’s hunger
The amount of fiber your kids need depends on their age and gender.
You can find how much fiber your kids need with this chart from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
One of the best ways to get more fiber in your kid’s diet is to serve avocado: one ounce has nearly 2 grams.
Since fiber is digested slowly, it helps kids feel fuller longer.
Getting enough fiber every day can also help to prevent constipation.
6. Consuming avocado may help prevent childhood obesity
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, healthy fats that can help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease later on in life.
Also, the fiber that avocado contains may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity.
Related: 10 Ways To Prevent Childhood Obesity
HOW TO GET AVOCADO IN YOUR KID’S DIET
The best thing about avocado is that there are so many different ways to get it into your kid’s meals and snacks. Once you know how to prepare avocado, it couldn’t be easier to get it into your kid’s diet.
Mashed, cubed, or sliced
Avocado’s smooth texture and mild flavor make it a great first food for babies. Puree it, mash it up or cut it into cubes.
Swap avocado for condiments
Instead of mayonnaise, mustard, or ketchup on a sandwich or burger, avocado makes for a creamy condiment that’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals, and high in fiber and healthy fats.
Make avocado toast
During rushed mornings, you need healthy and easy breakfast ideas and avocado toast is a great option.
Add a serving of fruit or leftover vegetables on the side and breakfast is served.
Related: 25 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids
Blend avocado in a smoothie
Adding avocado to a smoothie for breakfast or an after-school snack boosts its nutritional profile, helps stave off sugar, and can help balance blood sugar.
Add avocado to just about any dish
Avocado can be easily incorporated into almost any meal or snack: salads and soups, and eggs, vegetable, rice, and bean dishes.
Use avocado to make a healthy dessert
Avocado is a great 1:1 substitute for butter when you’re baking and a great way to get fiber and heart-healthy fats in a sweet treat for your kids.
You can also use avocado to make a healthy chocolate avocado pudding.
AVOCADO RECIPES FOR KIDS
Need even more ways to get avocado in your kid’s diet? Here are some healthy, easy, and delicious avocado recipes for kids.
Avocado Peanut Butter Toast – from Milk & Honey Nutrition
Kid-Friendly Avocado Toast – from Pinch Me Good
Avocado Blueberry Baby Smoothie – from The Lemon Bowl
Vanilla Avocado Greens Smoothie – from Weelicious
Avocado + Blueberry Yummy Toddler Mini Muffins – from Yummy Toddler Food
Baked Avocado Fries – from Super Healthy Kids
Taco Stuffed Avocados – from House of Yum
Avocado Summer Rolls – from Love and Lemons
Loaded Guacamole Nachos – from Averie Cooks
Creamy Avocado Dip – from Momables
Avocado Quesadillas – from Healthy Little Foodies
Corn, Avocado, and Quinoa Salad With Marinated Tomatoes – from Pinch of Yum
Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding – from Making Thyme For Health
Avocado Cream Cheese Snack Roll-Ups – from Eclectic Recipes
Chicken and Avocado Pizza – from Kids Eat by Shanai
Avocado Caprese Skewers – from Veganosity
Looking for more fun ideas? Here are 25 Healthy Avocado Recipes For Kids.