My youngest daughter has recently discovered avocados and she loves them so much she wants to eat them everyday for lunch! I don’t mind as I love avocados too, but what makes it really great is that they are super healthy too…what a bonus!
So why is avocado such a healthy choice? And how can you encourage toddlers and young children to try new foods?
Health benefits of avocados
Avocado is high in fibre, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin E.
Avocados also have almost all (84%) of their fat as the “good” type of fat or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. In addition, as an avocado fruit ripens, the “bad” fat or saturated fat decreases and the “good” fats increase.
They also contain substances called “phytochemicals” or plant chemicals, which are beneficial to health in a number of ways. Some examples of how avocados can improve your health include:
- Heart health – avocados have been shown in clinical studies to have a positive effect on blood lipids. In addition, potassium in avocados has been shown to decrease blood pressure.
- Healthy aging – several clinical studies have suggested that the plant chemicals in avocado may have protective effects on aging by protecting DNA (DNA is our genetic material which, if damaged, can contribute to aging).
- Cancer – it has been suggested that the plant chemicals and antioxidant vitamins in avocados may have an “anti-cancer” effect.
So overall, avocado is a great addition to your diet….whatever your age!
How can I encourage my child to be more adventurous with foods?
Try these tips to encourage your child to try new foods and be adventurous with their choices:
- Involve children in food preparation – they are more likely to try something they have helped prepare
- Talk about food and where it comes from
- Try growing veggies or fruit in your garden – children love watching things grow
- Encourage children to touch or smell a food without any pressure to eat it
- Enjoy a variety of foods yourself and your children will too!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates