Can Toddlers Eat Guacamole?

Not only can toddlers eat guacamole -- it's a nutritional powerhouse. Its smooth texture makes it a perfect early food even for babies. What's more, many kids adore the taste. Though you can buy perfectly serviceable versions at your local grocery store, guacamole is at its best when it's fresh and homemade. That way you know exactly what you're feeding your toddler and can adjust it to her taste.

Guacamole History

You might know guacamole from its strong presence in Mexican cuisine. Guacamole dates to the precolonial days of the Aztecs; in fact, the word "guacamole" comes from the Nahuatl word ahuaca-molli, which means avocado sauce. Avocado itself is a New World food that was unknown to Europe until after the Spanish conquered Mexico.

Guacamole Nutrition

The main ingredient in guacamole is avocado, which provides the bulk of its nutrients. Avocado is a rich source of fiber and vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A and iron, too. Avocados are also high in fat, but a certain amount of fat is needed for your toddler's physical and mental development. Besides, the fat in avocado is mostly monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol levels and might guard against heart disease, in addition to possibly moderating blood sugar and insulin levels.

A Simple Recipe and Variations

To make a toddler-friendly version of guacamole, split and pit an avocado and turn the flesh into a bowl. Add a teaspoon or two of freshly squeezed lime juice and a small minced garlic clove. Mash with a fork and add salt to taste. You can also puree this mixture for a smoother texture. You can also add two tablespoons of finely minced onion as well as a small diced tomato. If your toddler likes the taste of cilantro, add a teaspoon of this minced herb as well.

Serving Suggestions

Tortilla chips are the classic accompaniment to guacamole, but crispy tortilla chips can pose a choking hazard for children under 4 years of age. Instead, try serving guacamole spread on a soft tortilla and rolled up. Or let your toddler dip lightly steamed snap peas, broccoli or cauliflower, or raw zucchini, bell pepper or cucumber sticks. Soft whole-wheat pita triangles also make a good dipping tool. You can even serve guacamole spread on plain whole grain bread.

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