Trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding? Add an avo to your (and baby’s!) diet

When it comes to nutritious foods that are equally suitable and enjoyable for moms-to-be, pregnant moms, breastfeeding moms and their babies, few compare to the versatility and delicious simplicity offered up by avocados.

Avos have been around since the days of the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations – the latter which believed the fruit had aphrodisiac properties and enhanced fertility. While the jury’s still out on the conclusive impact of avos on fertility, what we do know is that their high levels of folate make them a dietary must-have for women who intend falling pregnant.

Folate is an important nutrient that helps prevent neural tube defects, promotes a healthy nervous system and is essential for the formation of red and white blood cells, normal cell division and growth in foetuses. It is recommended for all moms-to-be as well as pregnant moms until the end of the first trimester at least when this critical foetal development is taking place.

Of course avos make for a satisfying snack for pregnant moms who need to keep their energy up throughout their pregnancy. This is especially true during the second trimester when they’ve kicked the morning sickness and feel hungry more often, and the third trimester when big meals are off the menu.

Avos are also a god-send once baby is born. Not only are they quick, easy and incredibly convenient meals for breastfeeding moms who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, but their soft, buttery texture means they’re also perfect first foods for babies from six months onwards.

Babies need carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals for optimal growth during those first two vital development years. Avos help meet these nutritional requirements by providing potassium, vitamin E, iron, lutein and beta-carotene. Avos are also a source of fibre and monounsaturated fats and are energy dense, all of which are great for growing babies.

It’s a good thing avos are so easy to prepare! Moms can add sliced avo to crackers or rice cakes or simply eat them out the skin for fuss-free snacks, or include diced avo in salads, pastas or with grilled chicken or fish for a more substantial meal. For babies, mash avo for first meals (from six months), and cube avo for older babies and toddlers who are self-feeding.

There’s no doubt, avos are a fantastic food from bump to birth and beyond!

For more avolicious recipes visit www.avocado.co.za, like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/iloveavocadoSA and follow us on Twitter @iloveavos

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