Avocado can be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Ripe avocados are soft and loaded with nutrients, making them a wonderful first food.
Avocado originates in Mesoamerica, where it was prepared and eaten by the Aztecs in a variety of forms, including the now-world-famous guacamole (originally called ahuaca-mulli). Colonizers brought the crop back to Europe with them, and it has since spread across the globe. While the avocado is most often thought of in relation to savory Mexican and other Central American dishes, other cultures have adapted the strange-looking fruit to different uses. These include the Indonesian drink called jus alpukat, a cold blend of avocado and coffee, and a simple dessert that marries avocado, ice, and condensed milk (or milk and sugar) found throughout Asia, from the Philippines to Vietnam.
★Tip: That beautiful bright green avocado flesh is notorious for turning brown after being exposed to the air. While not harmful, you can prevent this by adding something acidic (such as lime or lemon juice) or by wrapping the avocado in a plastic film.
Juliet Rose, 6 months, eats an avocado slice rolled in shredded coconut.
Kalani, 6 months, eats avocado with hemp hearts.
Adie, 23 months, eats avocado with a fork.
Yes. Avocado is a popular first food for babies, and it’s easy to understand why. The fruit is easy to prepare and rich in fiber and the healthy fats that babies need to support digestion and brain development. Avocados are also a rich source of growth-supportive B-vitamins like folate and B6, and contain vitamin E as well as zinc to fuel immune health. The healthy fats in avocado also make it a good oil option, though occasional use may be preferred because it tends to be expensive.
When shopping for avocados, you may notice large, smooth-skinned varieties along with the smaller, rough-skinned Hass avocados. Avocados share a similar nutrient profile, though the larger, green-skinned varieties contain slightly less fat and are therefore sometimes marketed as “lite” avocados. Regardless of variety, select avocados that don’t have any bruising and feel slightly soft when gently squeezed.
★Tip: Avocados start to ripen once they’re picked from their tree. If you need a rock-hard avocado to ripen quickly, place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana, which will release ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process. Conversely, if you have an avocado that is already ripe that you need to keep for a little longer, popping it in the refrigerator will slow the ripening process.
No. When ripe, avocados are not a common choking hazard, though in theory an individual can choke on any food. As always, make sure you create a safe eating environment and stay within an arm’s reach of baby during meals. For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.
No. Allergies to avocado are rare but have been reported. Avocado allergy is more likely to occur in individuals who are already allergic to banana, chestnut, or kiwi and those who are allergic to latex or certain pollens may be allergic to avocado or experience Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as pollen-food allergy). Oral Allergy Syndrome typically results in short-lived itching or burning in the mouth and is unlikely to result in a dangerous reaction. Avocado is a possible trigger for food protein-induced enterocolitis, also known as FPIES. There is emerging evidence that the prevalence of avocado as a trigger for FPIES is higher than originally believed. FPIES is a delayed allergy to food protein which causes the sudden onset of repetitive vomiting and diarrhea to begin a few hours after ingestion.
As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience.
For first-time eaters, you can offer large halves of avocado, large, thick spears of ripe avocado or mash the flesh and serve on a pre-loaded spoon. If the avocado spears are shooting out of baby’s hands because they’re slippery, roll the pieces in a nutritious food that adds grip: hemp seeds, shredded coconut, or even finely ground nuts that you have already introduced (nuts are a common food allergen). See our guacamole recipe!
At this age, the pincer grasp (where the thumb and pointer finger meet) is developing, enabling baby to pick up smaller pieces of food. As such, this is a great time to move down in size to small, bite-size pieces of avocado. If it is a struggle to pick up small pieces of food, it’s absolutely fine to continue to offer large spears of avocado or to continue with mashed avocado.
At this age, toddlers are likely mastering the use of utensils. Serving half of an avocado in its skin and calling it an “avocado boat” can be a fun twist, though you can absolutely continue with small pieces of diced avocado or large spears as well. Anything goes!
How to make avocado spears.
Know what the best and worst foods are for babies starting solids with our First Foods Essentials intro kit.
2 c (480 ml)
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Combine the onion and lime juice in a mixing bowl.
As the mixture rests, peel and chop the avocadoes and finely chop the cilantro.
Add the avocado and cilantro to the mixing bowl, then mash and mix the ingredients into guacamole. A little texture is okay.
Set aside some guacamole for the child, then season the rest with salt to taste for yourself.
It’s okay to enjoy guacamole with tortilla chips for yourself, but avoid offering them to babies and toddlers as chips are a common choking hazard, Instead, give baby guacamole with aresistive food teether to dip, such as corn on the cob, cucumber spear, or whole green beans.
Serve the Guacamole
Offer guacamole, then let the child self-feed.
If help is needed, swipe a resistive food teether or spoon in the guacamole, then hold it in the air in front of the child and let them grab it from you.
Eat some guacamole alongside the child to model how it’s done.
To Store: Guacamole keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. When storing, press plastic wrap onto the top of the guacamole so that there is no air between the guacamole and the plastic wrap. This helps keep the guacamole from browning.
Pediatrician & pediatric gastroenterologist
Pediatrician & pediatric allergist/immunologist
Pediatric occupational therapist, feeding & swallowing specialist, international board-certified lactation consultant
Speech-language pathologist, feeding & swallowing specialist
Speech-language pathologist & feeding therapist
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