Learn the easiest ways to serve bananas for babies from the time they start solids to when they’re into toddlerhood. Get tips on banana puree, baby-led weaning bananas, which bananas cause constipation (and don’t!), and banana recipes to try.
Bananas for Baby
Banana is one of those classic easy baby foods since the flavor is mellow and mild and they are so easy to prepare. There are common questions when offering them. though, so I hope to help clear up any confusion.
This post is meant to offer ideas whether you do purees or baby-led weaning, have a baby just starting solids, an older baby, or even a toddler.
Bananas are rich in potassium, Vitamin B6, fiber, Vitamin C, among other nutrients. They range in flavor and sweetness—but they are a carbohydrate that’s classified as a “resistant starch” so they cause less glucose to be released into the bloodstream. Which basically means they don’t cause quick spikes in blood sugar since they are digested slowly.
(I mention that since many are wary of bananas due to their sugar content, but we actually don’t need to worry about the natural sugars in fruits—especially not when they’re naturally paired with fiber which helps slow the rate of digestion.)
Bananas should be stored at room temperature and are best eaten when ripe. Sometime it can be hard to know when a banana is ripe, but I look for yellow fruit with just some brown dots. You or your kids may prefer riper or less ripe bananas but it’s important to know that unripe green bananas can be constipating for kids.
Bananas with more brown spots have more natural sugars and flavor, which makes them a more flavorful option to offer. We love banana as a delicious first food for baby.
You usually want to use very brown bananas for baked goods that call for bananas.
Contents hide 1 Bananas for Baby 2 Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here! 3 How to Prepare Bananas for Baby 4 Banana Puree 5 What to Mix with Banana Baby Food 6 Banana for Baby-Led Weaning 7 Bananas for 6-Month-Old 8 Bananas for 9-Month-Old 9 Bananas for 12+ Months 10 Frequently Asked Questions 11 Banana Recipes to Try 12 Best Tips for Success 13 Related Recipes 14 Bananas for Baby (Puree, BLW, Finger Food) 14.1 Banana Puree 14.2 BLW Banana 14.3 Banana Finger Food 14.4 Banana Slices for Toddlers 14.5 Banana Smoothie 14.6 Banana Milk
Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!
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How to Prepare Bananas for Baby
There are a handful of ways to offer fresh bananas to baby depending on baby’s age and your comfort level with the style of feeding you’re doing. You can serve bananas to baby in the following ways:
- Banana puree
- Big piece of banana as a baby-led weaning food
- Broken or cut into small pieces as a finger food
- Mashed and stirred into oatmeal, baby cereal, yogurt, or another puree
- Baked into muffins, banana pancakes, or another baked good
- Blended into a smoothie
TIP: You may also like Apples for Baby and this guide to yogurt and babies.
Classic banana puree is made by pureeing ripe banana in a blender until very smooth. This is an easy and delicious baby food option for babies in the Stage 1 baby food phase, or typically around age 6 months. You can progressively puree it less smooth or move to mashing with a fork so baby can adjust to a thicker texture.
You can mix with formula or breastmilk, if you like, and add a dash of spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
Banana Puree Baby Food Use a ripe banana with at least some brown spots for the best flavor in this puree. Get the recipe
What to Mix with Banana Baby Food
You can use banana puree or mashed banana to make a wide range of baby food combinations. Some of my favorite purees and foods to mix banana with are:
- Peanut Butter Puree
- Plain whole-milk yogurt
- Baby Oatmeal
- Baby Quinoa Cereal
- Baby Rice Cereal
- Avocado Puree
- Mango Puree
Banana for Baby-Led Weaning
Banana can be a really easy baby-led weaning food.
You can cut a banana in half, then remove about 1 inch of the peel so baby has plenty of the fruit to try without being slippery since they can hold the peel. You can also help hold it for them as needed.
Easy BLW Banana Learn how to serve BLW banana so it’s easy and safe for your baby to hold and feed themself baby-led weaning style. There are three easy options here so you can pick the one that works best. Get the recipe
Bananas for 6-Month-Old
For a 6- to 9-month-old baby, you can offer banana as puree, mashed smooth (or mostly smooth) with a fork, or baby-led weaning style as a large piece.
You can do one option or try more than one. There’s no one right way to start solids.
Bananas for 9-Month-Old
At 9 months old, babies can typically eat soft finger foods including bananas. You can dice them up, or try slicing, then pushing a little to break into their natural segments. This is usually less slippery for baby to pick up with their fingers.
Bananas for 12+ Months
Over about a year of age, or when baby can take bites and manage larger pieces of food, you can serve bananas almost any way. We love to slice them with the peel on, then cut a little slit in the peel and let the kids peel them on their own.
That small amount of engagement with the food can really help a child become interested in it. Give them a place to put the peels, like a little bowl, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much banana can a baby eat?
A baby’s appetite should be trusted, so baby can have as much banana as you have to offer and they are interested in unless there is an adverse effect. Start with offering a smaller portion to avoid food waste and allow more as baby cues.
Can babies have banana at night?
Bananas contain a type of carbohydrate that is a slow releasing starch. This means that the natural sugars are digested more slowly so it’s less likely to cause a sugar spike. It is an easy and affordable bedtime snack.
Do bananas cause constipation?
Unripe bananas can aggravate constipation. It is less of a concern with very ripe bananas, which are rich in soluble fiber. (Pair it with liquids or healthy fats to help it move through the system if you are at all concerned.)
Banana Recipes to Try
Banana Puree Baby Food Use a ripe banana with at least some brown spots for the best flavor in this puree. Get the recipe Best Banana Yogurt This recipe make enough for 2-4 servings of yogurt, depending on the appetite of your child. See the Notes at the bottom for storage tips if you have leftovers. You can also cut the recipe in half to make a smaller amount. Get the recipe The Best 2-Ingredient Pancakes (Baby and Toddler Approved) This recipe makes one small batch of super tender 2-Ingredient Pancakes. It usually makes 1-2 little-kid-size servings. To make more, simply double the recipe. These are delicate pancakes with a texture that’s sort of custardy like French toast, so be gentle when flipping them. See the NOTES at the bottom for the flavor variations. Get the recipe Banana Oatmeal Pancakes (with Extra Protein) Very ripe (with brown spots) bananas will give these pancakes the best flavor. Dice them up or serve whole, according to how the kids prefer to eat them. Get the recipe Best Banana Spinach Pancakes This is a thin batter that makes tender, naturally sweet Banana Spinach Pancakes. Be sure to let the pancakes cook until the surface is almost entirely firm before you flip them over. Get the recipe Quick Caramelized Bananas You can easily double this recipe to feed more! Get the recipe Sugar-Free Banana Muffins Be sure to use very ripe bananas (with lots of brown spots!) for the best flavor and natural sweetness. (I updated this recipe December 2020 to ensure the most reliable results. The original version of this recipe is the “Egg-free” option in the Notes if you loved that. In the main recipe, I reduced the oil, added an egg, increased the baking soda a smidge, and reduced the baking time. They’re great!) Get the recipe Simple Green Smoothie Frozen bananas give the smoothie a creamy, naturally sweet base, though you can make this with a fresh banana as long as the other fruit is frozen. It’s easy to add whatever berries or fruit you have on hand, so customize it for your kiddo. Get the recipe Healthy Banana Cookies (to Share with the Kids) These are an easy whole grain cookie to share with the kids—they’re a great baby cookie! Try them for snack, dessert, or as a breakfast cookie Get the recipe Banana Bread Oatmeal (to Share with the Kids) When you use a really ripe (or over ripe) banana in this recipe, it tastes so much like banana bread—but is much faster! See the options for which toppings make this even more delish. Get the recipe
Best Tips for Success
- Follow baby’s lead when it comes to appetite.
- Avoid underripe bananas if concerned about constipation.
- Try Banana Puree, mashed bananas, or BLW-style bigger pieces of bananas for babies around age 6 months.
- Once a baby is about 9 months and can pick up small pieces of food, you can offer smaller pieces of banana.
- Banana pieces should be soft and ripe, rather than unripe and too hard.
- Try bananas in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, and muffins.
- You may also like my Master List of Baby Food Recipes and store bananas in the freezer.