Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Supersweet Summer. Heidi Diller, Albertsons. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Last week at a local restaurant, I had fun watching a mother feed her one-year-old son. No, it wasn’t the pre-mashed jars of fruits or vegetable purees or goldfish crackers that you might normally see. And thankfully she didn’t order the chicken nuggets from the child’s menu. Instead, the mother placed servings of “whole foods” before her happy child: apple slices, defrosted green peas, red kidney beans, and chunks of creamy avocado. The little boy quickly surveyed his choices and clumsily grabbed the avocado in his plump hand, squishing it between his thumb and forefinger and plopped it into his mouth. Then with bright green hands, he happily devoured everything else on his tray, eager for more.

The avocado surprised me the most because we aren’t trained as parents to give our children avocado. My husband thinks avocados are just for guacamole and many others think it’s a vegetable. But avocados are really a fruit, with more nutrition than any other fruit. The avocado’s creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh fruits a baby can enjoy. Sodium- and cholesterol- free, avocados contain valuable nutrients including folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and iron. A serving of avocado also contains lutein and beta-carotene which support healthy eyesight and a healthy immune system. And they also contain unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.

As mothers, we want to feed our children the highest quality, most nutritious meals we can. But you won’t see mashed avocados in a baby food jar! For ideas on how to make your own, visit the California Avocado Commission website

Heidi Diller, RD
Corporate Nutritionist
Albertsons

 

 

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