Avocados are the most practical "go anywhere, eat anywhere" food. They do not need to be cooked, require no refrigeration, they come with their own carrying case and even have a built-in serving bowl! So next time you and your baby are on the go, drop an avocado and a spoon in your diaper bag and you are all set!
The handiest method for preparing an avocado is to cut the pear-shaped fruit in half length-wise with a sharp knife so that you cut in to and all around the pit; then rotate and pull the two halves apart. Remove the pit. With the knife, gently make a cross-hatch pattern throughout the halved fruit while the skin is attached, then use a spoon to separate the flesh from the shell by scooping the soft, ripe fruit gently. The skin becomes the serving bowl.
Yummy, Quick, Sweet treat: Spread some avocado right on a graham cracker. For an older toddler, add a few raisins and make "Ants on the grass"!
Age to introduce: About 9 months
Here are few quick tips for adding more avocados into your family meals.
1. Avocado pizza: Top a pizza crust with pizza sauce, avocados, tomatoes, red bell peppers, red onions and feta cheese. Broil it.
2. Homemade salsa: Dice tomatoes, mangos, avocados, red onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Serve with chips for an after school snack or use it as a garnish with any meat, fish or eggs.
3. Spread avocado on sandwiches or hamburgers instead of mayo.
4. Add sliced or diced avocados to any salads or soups (when ready to serve).
5. Start the day with mashed avocado and fresh herbs (cilantro, garlic, or basil) on a bagel instead of cream cheese.
6. New twist on deviled eggs: Fill egg white halves with mashed avocados and spices instead of egg yolks and mayo.
7. Avocado milkshake: 1 avocado, 1/3 quart whole or soy milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt - Blend and Drink!
About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.