The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees that the time to begin solid foods for baby is around 6 months. Of course, checking with your pediatrician is always best. Once you decide the time is right, it can be difficult to know where to start.
This series of blogs will offer some suggestions for baby and toddler solid foods, complete with a recipe for each stage, as well as why the food selected is a great choice.
Avocado and Banana Smash with Drizzled Coconut Oil
Avocado is a terrific first food for baby. It is an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids and has a higher proportion of this “good” fat than any other fruit except the olive. Bananas are nature’s gift to parents. They are known for their high level of potassium and fiber and contain fair amounts of many other nutrients. Both are safe to feed baby at 6 months old. Some parents, with their doctor’s permission, feed banana and avocado as early as four months.
Selection of Avocado and Banana
Select avocados that are free from damage, that is, there are no soft, dark spots on its skin. An avocado is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure and feels soft all over. Select bananas with no bruises, stem attached, and at any stage of ripeness, since bananas ripen better off the tree. Once the banana is ripe it is ready to feed to your baby.
Preparation of Avocado and Banana Smash
- Take a sharp knife and cut avocado in half lengthwise.
- Remove the huge seed
- Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh from peel and place flesh on a flat dish
- Peel a banana (organic, if possible)
- Slice the banana in half and then in smaller pieces
- Use a fork to mash the flesh of both the banana and the avocado, a food processor or blender may be used to purée as well.
- At this stage, if you think a portion will go uneaten, you could opt to freeze some in food cube trays (I suggest stainless steel ice cube trays) for future meals.
- With the remaining avocado and banana mixture you can adjust the consistency for the age of your baby with some breast milk or formula.
- For 6-month-olds the consistency should be smooth and lump-free, the consistency of thick cream – slightly thinner for beginners.
Healthy Extra: At about 7 months old you may add a ½ teaspoon of organic, virgin, coconut oil to this meal for a nutritional boost. Although coconut oil in the past has been considered a fat to avoid, more recently its health benefits have been gloriously touted! Specifically, coconut oil is one of the best sources of lauric acid that boosts the immune system.