Feeding banana to 6 month baby
How to Serve Babies Banana During Baby-Led Feeding — Malina Malkani
Starting SolidsBaby-Led WeaningPediatric Nutrition
Written By Malina Malkani
Have you ever wondered…
…how to feed babies banana during baby-led weaning? Babies tend to love bananas, which, when ripe, are an ideal texture for new eaters. There are many simple ways to serve babies banana as a finger food during baby-led feeding, and bananas also work well for babies when served mashed or pureed on a pre-loaded spoon or used as an ingredient in mixed dishes.
In the following blog post, we’ll explore the nutrition-related benefits of bananas for babies, baby-friendly ways to prepare bananas, and recipes for babies and toddlers that include bananas.
Are bananas nutritious for babies and toddlers ?
Ripe bananas are a common and convenient first food for babies, as the texture is easy for babies to mash and swallow with gums, regardless of whether they have teeth. Bananas are high in potassium and fiber, quite nutrient-rich overall, and a great source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and B6.
Luckily, most babies love the taste of ripe bananas, because babies are born already accustomed to sweet flavors, given that breast milk, formula and even amniotic fluid are slightly sweet.
Bananas do not commonly cause an allergic reaction in babies and are not among the top 9 most allergenic foods, nor are they a common choking hazard for babies and toddlers, however it’s always important to supervise when serving bananas (and any other food or beverage) to babies during meals and snacks.
Can babies and toddlers eat too many bananas ?
It’s easy to serve babies and toddlers bananas often – even daily – given how easily accepted, affordable, portable, and delicious they are. I happen to also love that bananas come with their own recyclable packaging, making them easy to take with you when you and your baby are on the go.
Six month old fabulous fellow munching on a banana. Thank you to his wonderful parents for allowing permission to share.
That being said, it is important for parents and caregivers to prioritize offering babies and toddlers a diverse diet with a wide variety of foods so that they can receive all of the different nutrients they need to thrive and grow. If you find yourself offering banana on a daily basis, try to limit to once per day and work on building more variety into the rotation.
A common concern about bananas is that eating them is a risk factor for constipation, and while some studies do support this, other studies suggest that bananas may help keep things moving through the digestive tract. How the body reacts to bananas actually depends on the banana’s level of ripeness – the more ripe the banana, the less it may lead to constipation, and the more unripe (or green) the banana, the opposite, as greener bananas contain more prebiotics, which are types of dietary fibers that support the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut and promote colon health gut.
In any case, constipation in babies and toddlers is usually dependent on several different factors (such as liquid intake, activity level, toileting habits, etc.) as opposed to overdoing it on one particular food, so be sure to reach out to your pediatrician or dietitian if you have questions or concerns about your child’s bowel health.
How to prepare bananas during baby-led feeding
Banana is perfect for babies from the age of about 6 months, once the baby is ready for solid foods. If you prefer not to start with finger foods, peel, then mash the banana and serve on a preloaded spoon, or serve bananas mashed and mixed with baby cereal.
If you prefer to introduce banana via baby-led weaning, cut the banana in half widthwise, then peel halfway down so that you have created a "handle" that your baby can easily grip while taking bites from the banana flesh. Just keep in mind that if you offer banana to your baby with any part of the peel, it’s important to wash the skin well before serving in case it gets licked! If your baby eats down to the peel or drops some on the floor and wants more, remove the peel first before offering.
Example of a 6 month old little one eating a banana with the peel partially on for grip. A thank you to his parents for granting permission to share this little guy!
It’s also fine to offer adult pinky finger sized strips of ripe banana - if the strips are too slippery for baby to grasp, try rolling them in some ground flax seeds, ground nuts or chia seeds for better gripping as well as a bonus nutrient boost and some extra omega-3 fatty acids. The texture of hemp seeds, bread crumbs and shredded, unsweetened coconut are all viable options for this as well.
As babies and toddlers grow, you can continue to offer banana whole and partly peeled or start to experiment with offering banana cut into small bites. A small piece of banana offers a great way for toddlers to start mastering the skill of spearing foods with a little fork.
A six month old eating a banana! I would like to thank his parents for allowing permission to share this little cutie!
Banana recipes for babies and toddlers
If you’re looking for some additional ways to serve bananas to babies and toddlers, here are some of my favorite baby-friendly, toddler-friendly banana recipes. A little tip for you to remember as you are getting ready to serve banana or use it as a recipe ingredient - if you’re concerned that the texture of your bananas are not soft enough for your baby to manage, place the banana in a paper bag overnight which will help hasten ripening considerably.
Mascarpone Peanut Butter Melts
Banana Smash Cake
Banana Protein Pancakes
Pumpkin Cookies for Babies
Baby-Led Weaning Blueberry Muffins
Easy Blender Banana Pancakes for Babies
Baby-Led Weaning Valentine Cookies
Baby-Led Weaning Banana Hazelnut Muffins
If your baby will soon be starting solids, make sure to download my FREE Baby-Led Feeding Essentials Checklist, which provides my favorite versions of the few things you really need during this process and none of the fluff you don't. Plus, you'll get my top 12 tips for successful baby-led feeding meals as a part of the download.
More importantly, if your baby is ready to start solids and you’d like for someone you trust to map out the entire first 12 weeks of your baby’s solid food feeding journey, check out my new Safe & Simple 12 Week Meal Plan! This guide includes over 30 recipes, weekly shopping lists, tons of balanced baby meals, a complete plan for top allergen introduction, & lots of guidance (with photos) on how to safely serve each food. Download your meal plan here.
How to Serve Banana to Baby
Home » Feeding Style » Baby Food Purees » Stage Two » How to Serve Banana to Baby
Bananas make a great and versatile first food for babies. They can be made into a baby food puree, mashed into a chunky puree, used as a finger food for baby, or prepared for baby-led weaning. These 8 banana baby food ideas are also simple, healthy, and quick to make. This guide is perfect for babies 4-6 months and up!
Medically reviewed by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)Bananas For Baby
Bananas are loaded with essential nutrients for a growing baby and are one of the top first foods for babies!
This guide will give you 8 easy ways to incorporate bananas 🍌 into your baby’s diet. You can serve them as a baby food puree, smashed, finger food for baby-led weaning, made into 3-ingredient pancakes, or even as a simple baby-friendly smoothie. These recipes are great for babies 4-12 months old!
First time making homemade baby food? Then, I would suggest that you start by reading my very in-depth Guide on how to Make Homemade Baby Food – which goes over all the important information such as the best cooking tools to have on hand, safe storage, how to know when baby is ready for solids, how to introduce purees, the best first foods for baby, and more! If you are doing Baby-Led Weaning, then be sure to check out my Complete Guide to Baby-Led Weaning – which covers what exactly is baby-led weaning, to every parent’s concern of baby-led weaning and choking, this guide goes over it all. I will also share how to know when baby is ready for BLW, the top 10 best first foods, a helpful sample blw feeding schedule, helpful tools to have on hand, and much much more!
Want more information? Then make sure to check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!
Banana for Baby Video
Watch this video to see how to make serve bananas to your baby!Benefits of Banana For Baby
Bananas are a great first food for babies because they are loaded with essential nutrients for a growing baby. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium, and they are high in vitamin B6.
- Good Source of Potassium: Potassium is a crucial nutrient for active babies as it acts as an electrolyte that manages hydration levels, helps nutrients reach cells, removes waste from cells, and helps maintain a normal heartbeat. It’s also important for muscle contraction.
- Great for Digestion Health: Banana fiber helps prevent constipation, bloating, and other unwanted digestive issues in babies.
- Boosts Mood: Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6 that may help boost your baby’s happy hormones, and there is nothing better than a happy baby!
Whether you are starting your baby on purees or doing baby-led weaning, bananas are an amazing first food for your baby! When a baby can start on solids is determined by their own rate of development, which generally comes between 4-6 months of age for purees and at or after 6 months for baby-led weaning. Some of the developmental milestones your baby need to reach in order to start solids include: if your baby has solid control of their head and neck, if your baby has doubled their birth weight, and if your baby is reaching for or opening their mouth when you eat (see my guide here). Before you start your baby on purees, you should consult with your pediatrician to make sure your child is developmentally ready.Are BANANAS A CHOKING HAZARD FOR BABIES?
No. Since bananas are inherently soft, they are not typically included among the foods that are a common choking hazard for babies. However, if the banana is not ripe and ready to eat, the flesh will be harder and pose a higher choking risk for your baby. Therefore, it is best to serve your baby strips of banana or mashed banana. When selecting a banana for baby, look for one that is ripe, soft (but not mushy), and has a few small brown spots. As with any food, make sure you supervise your baby while they are eating.Adding Spices
While the most popular option is adding cinnamon to a banana baby puree, you can also add a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, fresh mint, fresh basil, freshly grated ginger, or even allspice. If you’re serving baby chunks of banana, you can sprinkle a small pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves on top.DO BANANAs CAUSE CONSTIPATION?
Yes and No! Super clear answer, I know 😉. Unripe green bananas are high in resistant starch, which are resistant to digestion and may cause constipation in babies. But ripe yellow bananas with a few brown spots actually have the opposite effect due to higher sugar content and may even help your baby go to the bathroom. Just remember to serve bananas in moderation to your baby, as too much fiber can plug your baby up.STORING Homemade BANANA baby Food
You can store baby purees in the fridge for 2 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months. It helps to add a small squeeze of lemon juice into the puree before storing it so the puree doesn’t turn brown. Handheld bananas for baby-led weaning will have to be discarded after serving.How to Introduce Banana to Baby
There are several ways to prepare bananas for baby. Here are 8 of my favorite ways:
- Smooth Baby Puree (4-6+ months)
- Chunky Baby Puree (6+ months)
- Baby Cereal with Banana & Cinnamon (4-6+ months)
- Broken into Chunks (6+ months)
- Handheld Banana (6+ months)
- Banana Strips with Hemp Seeds (9+ months)
- Banana Smoothie (9+ months)
- Easy Banana Pancakes (6-9+ months)
Looking for more easy baby-led weaning and puree recipes? Then be sure to check out my favorite ways to serve apples and avocados to baby!Smooth Banana Puree
This is an easy, 10-Second Stage One puree recipe for your baby!
Instructions: Place a banana or two into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. If you want to freeze, add a small squeeze of lemon juice into the puree to help keep it from browning.Baby Cereal with Banana & Cinnamon
Add a little baby cereal and a pinch of cinnamon to the pureed banana for an effortless yet tasty meal!
Instructions: Pour some pureed banana (see above) into a small bowl and add a few ounces of premixed or homemade baby cereal. Mix until combined. Add a pinch of cinnamon before serving.Chunky Banana Puree
This is an easy-peasy way to expose your baby to small chunks of food that you can control the size of. This yummy recipe is perfect as a Stage 3 puree to get your baby ready for finger foods. You can also serve this when you think your baby is ready to try self-feeding.
Instructions: Place the banana on a cutting board and mash it with the back of a fork until mashed but still chunky. Spoon into a baby bowl and serve.Bananas Broken into Chunks
When you break the banana up into chunks instead of cutting with a knife, the chunks will not be as slippery, and your baby will have an easier time holding onto them. If your baby is getting frustrated trying to pick up the pieces of slippery banana, hand them the banana chunks and let them continue feeding themselves. You can also try rolling the banana in breadcrumbs or crushed Cheerios to help your baby handle it better.
Instructions: Peel a banana, and using your fingernails, break the banana into chunks along the seem of the banana. It should easily break into chunks.Handheld Banana
This handheld version of a banana is an ideal way for your baby to have a handle for the banana as they eat the other end.
Instructions: Cut a 4-5 inch section of banana off from the top. Cut around the peel, leaving roughly 1-2 inches of exposed banana. Do not cut all the way through the banana, just the peel. Then you can peel the peel away and hand the banana to your baby.Strips of Banana Rolled in Hemp Seeds
This recipe is a fun way to let your baby explore different textures and tastes. You can roll strips of banana in hemp seeds, crushed cheerios, puffs, or breadcrumbs.
Instructions: Cut the banana into strips and roll them in a little bit of toppings.Banana Smoothie
This simple smoothie is perfect for babies that are drinking from a sippy or baby cup. It is filled with banana, ice, and a small amount of formula or breast milk.
Instructions: Place a banana, a couple of ice cubes, and 1/4 cup of liquid into a blender. You can add in a pinch of cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon of nut butter in there as well if you want. Blend until the texture is just right. You don’t want it too thick, or your baby might have a hard time drinking it. Transfer to a sippy or baby cup and serve.Easy Banana Pancakes
These 3-ingredient pancakes are great for babies, toddlers, as well as kids! It’s the perfect food to have on hand if you are doing Baby-Led Weaning, as you can serve them plain or with a smear of cream cheese, avocado, or nut butter on top.
Instructions: In a medium bowl, mix mashed banana, an egg, and whole wheat flour. I also like adding a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for some extra flavor. Cook as you would any pancake and serve.Tips
- Picking Bananas: When selecting a banana for your baby, look for one that is ripe, yellow, soft (but not mushy), and has a few small brown spots on it. Do not serve your baby green or underripe bananas.
- Freezing Banana Puree: You can freeze pureed or mashed bananas. The key is to freeze the bananas right away and add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to help prevent them from getting discolored.
- Roasted Banana + Rosemary Puree
- No-Cook Banana Peach Baby Food Puree
- Peanut Butter Banana Baby + Toddler Melts
- Sweet Potato, Banana + Cinnamon Baby Food Puree
- Banana, Cherry + Beet Baby Food Puree
- 5-Minute Banana, Blueberry + Avocado Baby Food Puree
- Blender or Food Processor
- Freezer Tray
- Storage Containers for Fridge
- Hemp seeds
- Nut butter
- Whole wheat flour
Smooth Baby Food Puree
- 1-2 bananas
Baby Cereal with Bananas & Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup pre-made baby cereal (from a box or homemade)
- 1/2 banana
- 1 pinch cinnamon
Chunky Baby Food Puree
- 1/2 banana
Chunks of Banana
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 banana
Banana Strips Rolled in Hemp Seeds
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds, crushed cheerios, puffs or breadcrumbs.
- 1 banana
- 4-5 ice cubes
- 1/4 cup liquid (breastmilk, formula or water)
- 1/2 tsp nutbutter (optional)
- 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
Easy Banana Pancakes
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Smooth Baby Food Puree
Place the banana into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy, roughly 60-90 seconds, scraping down sides if needed. If the puree is too thick, add in some liquid (breastmilk, formula or water) in tablespoon increments until you have your desired consistency. If you want to freeze the puree, add a small squeeze of lemon juice into the puree to help keep it from browning.
Baby Cereal with Bananas & Cinnamon
On a cutting board, mash a banana. In a small bowl, add the mashed banana to the made baby cereal. Add a pinch of cinnamon to the top and serve.
Chunky Baby Food Puree
Place the banana on a cutting board and mash with the back of a fork until mixed but yet still chunky. Spoon into a baby bowl and serve.
Chunks of Banana
Peel half of a banana and using your fingernails, break the banana into chunks along the seem of the banana. It should easily break into chunks
Cut a 4-5 inch section of banana off from the top. Cut off the peel, leaving roughly 1-2 inches of exposed banana. Do not cut all the way through the banana, just the peel. Then you can remove the peel away and hand the stem of the banana to baby.
Banana Strips Rolled in Hemp Seeds
Place banana, ice cubes and liquid into a blender. Add in cinnamon and nut butter, if using. Blend for 60 seconds and serve. If the smoothie is too thick, add in additional liquid as you don’t want it too thick or baby might have a hard time drinking it.
Easy Banana Pancakes
In a medium bowl mix together mashed banana, an egg, whole wheat flour and cinnamon. In a large non-stick skillet preheated on medium heat, pour 1/8 cup of batter into the skillet. Let cook roughly 3 minutes on the first side, flip and cook for 2 more minutes or until golden brown.
Age: 4 months and up
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When can a child be given a banana: from how many months, baby, complementary foods
Tips for mothers
From how many months
Pediatricians agree that this fruit can be given from 8-9 months. It should not be given very first, otherwise the child will get used to sweets and may refuse other useful things - vegetables and cereals. In no case should you give a banana before 6 months. Because of this, a serious malfunction in the fragile digestive system can occur. nine0003
When can a child be given a banana so as not to harm his digestive system
First, give your baby a mashed banana. Ready-made puree can be bought at the store, but it is very easy to make it at home, just mash a ripe banana with a fork. Please note that this fruit is very sweet, so it should not be given to children who are gaining weight faster than normal so that they do not become obese.
Bananas as baby food
The main advantage of the banana is that although it is an exotic fruit, it almost never causes an allergic reaction in children. In very rare cases, infants are allergic to serotonin, a chemical found in bananas. It is sweet and tasty, but most importantly, incredibly healthy.
That's why you should choose bananas as an early food.
Potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron and fluorine are found in the banana. They contribute to the normal formation of bone and muscle mass, normalize the circulatory system, and are useful for the brain. nine0003
Banana 20% is starch. It is easily absorbed by the child's body. After splitting, starch turns into glucose, which is also needed by children.
In terms of vitamin C content, banana is not inferior to citrus fruits.
It also contains a lot of B vitamins. They are needed for the nervous system and normal sleep, for strong hair and good skin.
In a smaller amount, but also contains vitamins PP, E, K.
Banana fiber provides energy, which is very important for an active growing organism.
In general, bananas improve attention and improve mood.
Try to keep your child's diet as varied as possible. Although he can still eat a limited number of foods, alternate and combine them in different ways. So the baby will be able to receive the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals.
Babies usually enjoy eating bananas, but if your little one refuses, don't force him to. Think about what you can replace the banana in the children's diet. nine0003
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At what age can a child be given a banana?
Bananas in children's diet
Bananas, despite their overseas origin, are very fond of the population of our country due to their rather soft, delicate, pleasantly sweet taste. Bananas quickly saturate the body, nourishing it with useful vitamins and minerals. Today, any child will confirm that the banana is his favorite fruit. But at what age can a child be given a banana? When to introduce this fruit into the diet of your child? After all, some parents do this almost like the birth of a baby, while others doubt their benefits, so they introduce their child to an exotic fetus after a year. What to do? First of all, weigh all the positive and negative qualities of bananas, and then draw conclusions. nine0003
Banana and its benefits
To give a child a banana or not is the business of every parent. But the benefits of this fruit are still worth mentioning:
- Bananas are rich in such vitamins as C, B, E, PP, K. Such a set of nutrients contributes to normal sleep and has a positive effect on the child's nervous system.
- Bananas contain potassium, iron, sodium, fluorine and magnesium among the beneficial trace elements. Their benefit lies in the beneficial effect on the work of the baby's cardiovascular system, on the formation of the child's teeth and skeletal system. nine0031
- Bananas contain starch, which is broken down into glucose during digestion to provide energy for the baby.
- Due to its soft texture, the banana is easily absorbed by the child's body.
- Pectin contained in ripe bananas helps to normalize the baby's stool. Therefore, this fruit is very useful if the baby is diagnosed with diarrhea.
- The starch found in unripe bananas helps with constipation. Such fruits can be used as a safe laxative. nine0031
- Bananas help to improve attention and concentration, cheer up, activate physical activity.
If you start to introduce banana complementary foods from a certain age and continue it regularly until school age, all the psychophysical functions of the child will be formed faster and more efficiently. The child will be active, mentally developed, vigorous and healthy. But if bananas are so good for kids, why are some parents vehemently against them? nine0003
What is the harm of bananas?
In general, a banana is a healthy and safe fruit. However, this is the case if the baby does not have abnormalities and pathologies that this fetus can aggravate. Therefore, parents should carefully study the contraindications to the use of bananas by young children, which can harm their body.
- The digestive system of infants under 6 months of age is not developed enough to process this product. Due to the high content of fiber and starch in bananas, it is not recommended to give this fruit to a baby - he may experience vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, colic and other troubles. nine0031
- Banana contains a substance called serotonin. It may cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, it is not recommended to give this tropical fruit to a child prone to allergies.
- Banana is a fairly high-calorie and nutritious fruit, so it is not recommended for overweight children: the fruit contributes to weight gain, which adversely affects the functioning of all body systems.
If the child does not have these contraindications, a banana can be added to the child's diet without fear. But when to do it? nine0003
At what age should a banana be added to a baby's diet?
Infancy - the time when the baby's body is formed and improved, gets used to new food. From 5-6 months, pediatricians recommend introducing the most harmless mashed potatoes from zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and apples that grow in our latitudes into the children's diet. Other fruits begin to be introduced from 7-8 months.
Since a banana is a fruit that does not grow in our country, which means that it is much more difficult for a child's body to get acquainted with it, it is recommended to introduce it into the diet of an infant no earlier than 8 months after birth. If you start giving a banana to a baby before this age, you can provoke unwanted reactions of a small organism - diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain and colic, bloating. Do not overload the baby's body - you will always have time to introduce him to this sweet tropical fruit. nine0003
How to start giving bananas?
The kid should get acquainted with bananas gradually: do not immediately give the baby a whole fruit and admire how he will eat it on both cheeks. Here, as with other complementary foods, the rule of minimalism applies: give half a teaspoon of banana puree and observe the reaction of the child's body for the next 2-3 days. If the acquaintance went smoothly, increase the next portion to a maximum of 1-1.5 tsp. Over time, you can give more banana puree, but you should not overdo it. nine0003
Remember that for the first acquaintance it is better to buy ripe bananas. Make a purchase in supermarkets - so there is at least some guarantee that the product is of high quality. While the baby is still very small, give up greenish fruits and purchases in spontaneous markets. Such fruits are not always useful, because they can be processed with harmful substances.