NEW YORK: Feeding babies avocados, which has a neutral flavour, soft consistency and nutrient density, can help in boosting their growth and development, says a study, suggesting that the fruit can be used as a first food for infants.
Babies’ ideal first foods should have a low to moderate sweet and salty flavour profile to avoid early preferences for sweet foods.
The findings showed that avocados are unique among complementary and transitional foods and they provide an ideal source of calories to meet the increasing energy and growth demands of weaning infants and toddlers.
“It’s important that infants experience a wide variety of tastes, textures, colours and combinations, in their first foods,” said Robert Murray, Professor at the Ohio State University, in the US.
Avocados were found to contain less than 1 gram of sugar per serving (0.09g) — the least amount of any other fresh fruit.
Avocados’ soft and smooth textures can also help infants to develop the ability to chew and swallow.
Infants should consume moderately energy-dense foods that are low in sugar and rich in multiple nutrients, said the paper published in the journal Nutrients.
Avocados were found to be higher in key developmental nutrients per one once serving, such as folate, Vitamin E, and lutein, compared to a serving of the most popular complementary and transitional fruits served in many households.
Avocados also help significantly enhance the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins from foods eaten with them, the researchers concluded.