Bananas are a popular fruit which is loved amongst most babies. They have an interesting texture, are tasty and nutritious and easy to digest for most babies.
They are a perfect snack to prepare for your baby if you are in a hurry, and require little cleaning afterwards. Bananas are a great first food for many babies, however some parents may wonder when and how you should be introducing bananas to your baby, all of which we are going to cover in this article.
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Are Bananas Safe For Babies To Eat?
Bananas are a great fruit for babies to eat. Most parents chose bananas as one of the first fruits to introduce to their baby (when the baby is ready to start eating solid foods), due to its health benefits.
Bananas are easy to digest, have plenty of essential nutrients and are sweet (something that many babies enjoy). The essential nutrients found in bananas helps aid your baby’s growth and development, promoting healthy eating in the process.
In fact, bananas are a great snack, which is quick and easy to prepare, that you can take with you wherever you go.
Health Benefits Of Bananas For Babies
Bananas offen plenty of nutritional benefits for babies. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional benefits of bananas for babies:
Due to the low content of fiber, bananas are great as a first food, because they are easy to digest. It also helps prevent constipation. Some parents even use bananas to combat diarrhea.
Bananas contain many essential nutrients that support your baby’s growth and development. Some of the nutrients are: potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Potassium is responsible for helping your baby build strong and healthy muscle tissues. They are also great at supporting healthy nerve and brain functions.
Bananas are naturally sweet, which is something that many babies enjoy. The sweetness of the fruit can help your baby become more willing to try other fruits, promoting healthy eating habits.
Bananas are extremely easy and quick to prepare. They don’t require cooking or much preparation, making this an ideal quick snack.
When Can Babies Start Eating Bananas?
Just like some other solid foods, bananas can be introduced to your baby around six months of age. They are easy to serve to spoon- fed babies and for those who are doing baby- led learning.
Since bananas are not a common allergen, they are considered to be a great first fruit to try and serve your baby, without being worried too much about your baby having an allergic reaction.
Here are some signs that your baby is ready to be introduced to solid foods:
- Your baby is able to hold their head up on their own.
- They are able to sit upright without support.
- They show interest in food (through looking at what you’re eating, reaching for food or generally opening their mouth when you offer food).
- Your baby does not have tongue- thrust reflex (which means that they no longer push food out of their mouth).
If you see all of these signs in your baby, they are likely to be ready to start being introduced to new foods. With that being said, it is important to note that all babies develop differently and at their own speed, so do what you feel is right.
Please remember to consult your pediatrician with any questions or concerns or if you see your baby developing any signs of an allergic reaction after trying a new food for the first time.
How To Prepare Bananas For Babies
Bananas are super easy and quick to prepare. Here is a breakdown of how it is suggested to prepare bananas for babies of different ages:
Choosing the most ripe bananas for your baby (where you can easily smoosh the banana with your finger). This is so that the baby does not struggle to mash the fruit with their gums or emerging teeth. Be sure to remove any strings, as they can cause a choking hazard.
At this age, babies start developing their pincer grasp. You can support your baby in that through cutting the bananas into small pieces, around the size of an oat circle cereal.
At this age you don’t have to worry much about how to serve the banana to your baby, as generally, around this age it is okay to serve bananas to your baby similarly to how you would serve it to yourself.
You can still cut them into slices or quarters, but it is also okay to break a banana into a few large pieces and serve it that way.
You can serve a whole banana to your toddler at this age, just make sure to still remove the strings and fully peel the banana.
If you choose to serve your bananas with something else, make sure to introduce your baby to only one food at a time, so that you are able to monitor any allergic reactions (especially top allergens such as: eggs, peanuts, dairy, soy, wheat and seafood).
Here are also some interesting ways and suggestions on how to serve bananas to your baby:
- Speed out mashed banana on a toast strip (cut into smaller pieces for easier grip).
- Banana slices with a thin layer of peanut butter (if your baby is ready to be introduced to nuts).
- Blend the banana with yogurt and freeze it into popsicles.
- Add mashed banana to pancakes, muffins or oatmeal strips.
Risks Of Bananas For Babies
Bananas are generally not considered to be a common cause of choking. However, they are a common cause of gagging in some babies, as they may stick to the inside of the baby’s mouth.
Refrain from serving banana chips or dried bananas until your baby is ready to be introduced to more solid foods, and is not at such a high risk of choking. Also refrain from serving fried bananas until your baby is around two years of age.
The strings on the banana can also cause a choking hazard for your baby, so be sure to remove that before serving. Make sure to create a safe environment where you are able to monitor your baby, before introducing new foods.
Although bananas are not a common allergen, some babies may be allergic to the fruit. Introduce the banana slowly and in little amounts.
Make sure to monitor your baby afterwards for any symptoms of rash, hives or general allergy symptoms and contact your pediatrician with any concerns.
Bananas are a nutritious and sweet food that most babies can enjoy. They offer many nutritional benefits like vitamins, minerals, fiber and potassium.
They are also quick and easy to prepare and require minimal cleaning afterwards. Remember to introduce new foods to your baby in small portions, while monitoring them for any allergic reaction that they might develop.
Creating a safe environment and eliminating any choking hazards can also be helpful when introducing your baby to a new food. Checking how to correctly serve bananas for different ages and supervising them during meal time is also something to keep in mind.
Overall, bananas are a great healthy snack for your baby which can add variety to their eating palette and promote healthy eating habits for the rest of their life.