There are many benefits to serving banana to your baby. Bananas were the first solid food we introduced to our baby. It was recommended by our pediatrician and many fellow parents alike. The flavor is great as well as the texture and benefits to your babies health. Lets go over the health benefits then we can discuss how to prepare for your baby and some things to look out for.
Health benefits of banana for baby
Lets start with the nutrition facts and see the benefits of banana for your baby broken down by nutrient. We will go into detail for each one after.
|Nutrient||% Daily Value||Benefit To Baby|
|Vitamin A||1%||Eyesight Health|
|Vitamin C||17%||Immune System|
As you can see the banana really packs a punch with the nutrients they have. Lets dive into each one individually
- Fiber – Fiber is known to help clear out the bowels of adults and aid in digestion. It works the same for babies according to our research and talking with other parents. From personal experience, our baby gets constipated when she has too much banana in her diet so we limit it. Every baby is different and their diets need fine tuning and attention.
- Carbohydrates – These healthy carbs aid in weight gain and providing your baby energy. Breast milk also contains carbohydrates so naturally it is good for baby. Additionally, according to Mayoclinic.org which is ranked the best hospital in the USA for 2019-2020 a baby should double his or her birth weight by month 5-6. In other words carbohydrates in bananas will definitely help them reach that milestone.
- Iron – Iron is known to help prevent anemia in adults and it is no different for babies. Moreover, iron helps your body produce hemoglobin to help produce more red blood cells and this is why we love serving our little one bananas. It covers many bases nutrition wise.
- Calcium – The calcium your baby gets now will develop their bones and help them all their lives. Above all this nutrient is crucial and bananas have it. Calcium can help prevent against Rickets disease which causes bow leg and softens the bones. Therefore this is a good bonus but the main source of calcium for your baby from 6-12 months should be either breast milk or formula as they contain much more of it than bananas.
- Potassium – Aids in bone health as well as it being essential for babies cells,tissues,organs,digestive functions and heart according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is another nutrient that is already present in breast milk and formula but bananas can provide a little more on top of what your baby already receives.
- Folate – According to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC.gov) folate is essential for brain and spinal development of babies while mommy is pregnant. This doesn’t stop after birth though. Babies bodies are constantly changing and new cells are always forming. Folate helps makes DNA which in turn makes new cells.
- Vitamin A – According to the World Health Organization Vitamin A is essential for the development of babies eyes. Lack of Vitamin A can cause night blindness. Vitamin A is also essential in supporting the rapid growth of babies and to prevent infections.
- Vitamin C – Everyone knows Vitamin C is essential for the nervous system from babies all the way through adulthood. But not many know that it is also important in aiding with the absorption of iron as well as in the production of the most abundant protein in the body, collagen. Not to mention it also acts as an antioxidant. Although the banana which has 17% Vitamin C doesn’t measure up to other foods a baby of 6+ month may eat like sweet potato which has 65% daily value of Vitamin C for example. It is still a good thing to have and what helps makes bananas an all around good nutritious food for your baby to eat.
When to introduce bananas to baby?
Babies start eating solids or semi-solid foods at 6 months usually. Since bananas are a great first food for baby this is when it is recommended to introduce it to them.
Bananas naturally are soft and easy to eat. They will make a great introduction into a whole new world of flavors for your little one.
According to the AAAI (American Academy of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology) upon introduction of any new food to your baby, it is best to wait 3-5 days before introducing another new food. This gives parents time to discover which foods are the cause of an allergic reaction if any arise.
How to serve banana to baby
Bananas can be served raw to your baby. Make sure you give them ripe yellow bananas as green ones are harder to digest. Just peel the banana and mash it up with a fork making sure that it is easily digestible for your baby.
Mashing the banana for baby is usually recommended from 6 to 9 months. Afterwards when more of their teeth come in at around 9 months it is fine to just peel the banana about half way, and let them hold it and eat it themselves.
You can also cut the banana and let them pick up the pieces or if they are ready, start training them to use a fork.
Risks of serving banana to baby
As the saying goes, too much of anything is not a good thing. Everything in moderation is the name of the game. One small banana per day is fine but don’t run the risk of overdoing it. Meanwhile, babies main source of nutrition from 6 to 12 months as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is breast milk or formula so keep that in mind as well.
Also, make sure to be observant as to how your baby reacts to any new food you introduce. When we introduced bananas to our baby she did not have an allergic reaction but she did get constipated. But bananas are supposed to aid digestion right? We wrote it ourselves at the top of this post! Well, not for our baby and not for others if you overdo it.
We had to steam bananas for her until a little while later when she was ready and tested raw bananas a few weeks later to see if it had the same effect. In hindsight, we may have over-fed her bananas at first because now she seems fine with them, so as I said earlier, everything in moderation. If you want to learn what we used to help our baby with her constipation check out this article. It worked a charm. In conclusion, parents make mistakes, we are humans. Just learn and adjust to what your baby is telling you in their own special way.
In general bananas aid in digestion as many research studies show but they can also be binding and make the stool hard. Mixing in fiber rich cereals into pureed bananas for example is a great way to counterbalance this. Either way, the banana benefits for baby far outweigh the potential negatives.
Let us know what you thought of this article. How do you like to serve bananas to your little one?