Food Type: Fruit
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Yes. Bananas are packed with carbohydrates to energize the body and essential nutrients that babies need to thrive, like folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Together these nutrients support the nervous system, skin health, iron absorption, and blood pressure. A bonus: bananas contain more antioxidants than many berries, herbs, and vegetables!
Did you know that you can eat the Peel? (Yes they are edible and packed with nutrients ). Nutrients vary by ripeness. For example, all bananas contain a good amount of fiber to build a healthy digestive system, but less-ripe bananas contain more prebiotic fiber than ripe bananas, which contain more soluble fiber. No matter the stage of ripeness, bananas are a great addition to a child’s diet and an excellent snack when paired with a healthy protein or fat.
How to prepare Banana for your baby!
6 to 9 months old: You’ve got options! Offer one half of a whole, peeled banana on its own. Serve spears from a banana that has been split lengthwise into thirds. Or mash banana and pre-load a spoon for baby to try to pick up or grab from you. Remember, babies oftentimes gag on banana because it is soft and sticky. If you notice banana is sticking to the roof of baby’s mouth causing an intense gag, consider lengthwise spears of banana instead of a whole peeled banana. Unlike other foods that when served big give the inside of the mouth a lot of sensory feedback, the soft, squishy nature of banana doesn’t tend to provide the same type of input.
9 to 12 months old: Banana spears are a great option at this age. If a baby is stuffing and shoveling food into the mouth, try serving smaller, bite-sized pieces broken off from a banana already split into spears, which will make the pieces easier to pick up and less slippery. Slices of banana are great for pincer grasp practice, and can also be added to yogurt, oatmeal, and porridge.
12 to 18 months old: Offer bite-sized pieces—or if you feel comfortable, serve spears or even a whole banana. The exact size is up to you, though certain sizes may yield more consumption depending on the child’s eating skills.
18 to 24 months old: This is a great time to move back up in size by offering the whole banana. Try teaching how to peel a banana—a fun activity for toddlers.