Banana

Food Type:
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Nutrition Rating:How nutritious a food is with a focus on the specific nutrients babies need for optimal growth. The more nutritious a food, the more stars it will have.
Prep Time:How much time a food takes to prepare safely for a baby. The more time-consuming a food is to prepare safely, the more clocks it will have.
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Common Allergen: No
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a banana split in half prepared for a baby starting solids

When can babies eat bananas?

Bananas may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months old. Most babies love bananas because of their sweet taste. If you introduce bananas early in your solid food journey, try to also regularly offer other flavor profiles as well, and not just sweet ones.

Kalani, 7 months, eats banana.

How to split a banana for babies 9 months and older. Younger babies 6 to 9 months old may benefit from holding whole bananas to munch on, but as your baby gets older, it’s best to move down in size.

Are bananas healthy for babies?

Yes. Bananas are packed with vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as trace amounts of most minerals and vitamins. They are also a great source of prebiotic fiber, which feeds desirable bacteria in your baby’s gut and helps build a healthy digestive system. Whole ripe bananas contain 12 to 15 grams of sugar (which is why kids love their taste!) though the fiber content helps keep them low on glycemic index, which means they tend not to spike blood sugar. Nonetheless, your baby will benefit from coupling bananas with some form of protein and/or fat to balance out the sugar

Are bananas a choking hazard for babies?

No. In theory any food can cause choking, so watch closely while your babies are eating. 

For more information on choking, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.

Are bananas a common allergen?

No. Allergies to banana are rare, though in theory a person can be allergic to any food. Watch for any signs of a reaction while your baby is eating banana for the first time. 

How do you prepare bananas for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 9 months old: You may serve whole peeled bananas on their own or mashed with a pre-loaded spoon to encourage self-feeding. 

9 to 12 months old: Try serving banana spears by splitting them lengthwise. If you push your finger into one end, it will naturally split into three long pieces. (See above for a video of this cool trick.) You can also serve smaller, bite-sized pieces.

12 to 18 months old: Offer banana in bite size pieces or if you still feel comfortable with larger pieces of food, spears as described above.

18 to 24 months old: This is a great time to move back up in size and offer the whole banana. Teach your toddler to peel it too!

For information on how to cut food for your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★Tip: Bananas are an easy resort for parents who are pressed for time. To avoid getting in the habit of serving bananas all the time, treat them as a back-up food when grocery supplies are low or when you are traveling. Airports and gas stations almost always have them, so they are great snacks when you are on the go.

Recipe: Banana "Nice" Cream

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Unsweetened almond, coconut, or other milk of choice

Directions

  1. Peel 2 large bananas. Cut the flesh into chunks, place them in a sealed container, and freeze until they’re entirely frozen.
  2. In a food processor, add the frozen bananas and a couple tablespoons of your milk of your choice: almond, coconut, formula, oat, or breastmilk, a nutritious option for babies under 12 months old.
  3. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping regularly to scrape the sides.
  4. Serve immediately, or for older children who might want a harder texture, put in the freezer for an hour or two.

Banana Nice Cream is a great teether for sore gums. Just store the excess in ice cube trays, and when your babies need a reprieve, pop one out for them to suck on. As the frozen cubes melt, they become a choking hazard, so be sure to take it away from your babies once they’re small enough for them to stick in their mouths.

For toddlers, pour Banana Nice Cream into reusable molds or small containers, add popsicle sticks, and freeze until solid.

Flavor Pairings

This versatile recipe has endless flavor combinations. Try adding greens, such as frozen kale or spinach, or other vegetables, such as cooked squash or pumpkin. Experiment with spices, such as cinnamon or ginger.