By Alaina Brandenburger
For parents, encouraging your kids to eat a balanced, healthy diet can feel like an uphill battle. Kids are often reluctant to try new foods, so ensuring they get a full range of vitamins and minerals can be tricky. But there is one super food that packs nutrients into a bright and tasty package – Avocados from Chile. Packed with healthy fats and almost 20 vitamins and minerals, avocados are a versatile ingredient that can be added to many dishes to up the nutritional content.
A ripe avocado is soft and easily “smashable”, making it easy to incorporate into a number of meals, snacks, desserts and even beverages. You can spritz them with lemon and spread them on toast, make guacamole and serve it with chips or crackers, or you can even use it to make ice cream. Recipes with avocados are plentiful, so there is likely one for even the pickiest of eaters.
Since these fruits are so nutrient dense, they can cover a wide range of nutritional needs. Loaded with monounsaturated fats, avocados are a great source of energy, and they are an essential part of a heart healthy diet. These fats also promote blood flow to the brain, and aid in brain development, making them perfect for breakfast or a pre-sports snack.
These kid-friendly recipes from Avocados from Chile offer a tasty, healthy version of some family favorites.
Many kids love to eat hot dogs, and the Avo-Dog incorporates a guacamole inspired topping mix with this childhood staple.
- 8 hot dogs (bun length)
- 8 hot dogs
- 2 medium sized tomatoes seeded and cut into 1/4ths
- 1 sweet yellow pepper, diced
- 2 ripe Chilean avocados (seed, peel and cut into squares)
- Juice from 2 limes
- Hot Sauce (as needed)
Over medium hot grill, cook hot dogs until they are lightly browned. Toast the buns by flattening and placing on the grill.
Dress bun with mustard or another dressing, and place the hot dogs in the bun. Add tomatoes, peppers and avocados. Drizzle with lime juice for color and flavor and add salt and hot sauce if desired for flavor.
Avocado Mac & Cheese
Another childhood favorite is macaroni and cheese. This one is casserole style, combining avocado with a rich and creamy mac and cheese that you and your family will love.
- 4 quarts water
- 13 oz. elbow macaroni (whole wheat)
- 1/2 ripe Chilean avocado, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup fat free powdered milk
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp. dry mustard, ground
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup warm water
In a medium sized pot, boil 4-6 quarts of water. If you’re using a block of pepper jack cheese, shred it while waiting for the water to boil, mix with mustard, granulated garlic, seasoning salt and cayenne pepper and set aside. Cook macaroni by adding to the boiling water and cooking until the noodles are as soft as you’d like them (about 6 minutes). Once it is cooked, drain noodles and put them back in the pot, reducing heat to a low simmer. Add powdered milk to a cup of warm water and add the mixture to the noodles with the cubed avocados and mix until it coats all of the macaroni noodles. Fold in the cheese and spice mixture until the cheese is melted. You can garnish the dish by slicing the other half of your avocado.