My baby’s banana turned brown, is this okay?


babys banana turned brown

Is it okay for my baby’s banana to be brown? Is it still healthy to eat?

So you made some nice healthy organic home made banana puree for your baby and you let it sit on the counter for only a few minutes and baby’s banana turned brown! You may have even refrigerated it immediately and noticed browning soon after. Is this normal? Absolutely!

And rest assured it is still just as healthy for your little one. We use brown bananas as well as yellow for our baby all the time. I’ll share our video towards the bottom of the post of us making a browned banana and mango puree for our little one but lets get into the details for now.

Bananas naturally turn brown due to oxidation. As soon as you peel it the process begins. When the enzyme called poly-phenol oxidase (PPO) that the banana contains is introduced to the air, it starts the chemical reaction of the browning of the banana. This is perfectly normal and safe. Some people prefer it this way.

To further ease your concerns, we will list the all of the health benefits of bananas turned brown. You may be wondering why browning on bananas is not a sign of it “going bad” while in many other foods browning of food seems to mean it has gone bad? Let’s dive a bit deeper into that before we go into the health benefits of brown (overly ripened bananas).

Why is browning of bananas okay when for many other foods it is not?

Some foods turn brown quicker than others, like bananas and apples. Other foods like for example my chicken sandwich, should not go brown and that would be a cause for concern. If your banana is turning green however, that is a sign of mold and it should be discarded immediately.

Since oxidization is the only cause of browning, that is a perfectly fine and natural process. Brown bananas are great choices for some recipes as well. Over-ripe or brown bananas are the perfect choice if you are looking to prepare banana bread or muffins. The soft texture is great for those!

Reasons to not worry that baby’s banana turned brown

  • Loaded with antioxidants – The process of oxidization causes the chlorophyll in bananas to break down. This in turn creates more antioxidants. Antioxidants have many health benefits according to Mayo Clinic such as:

    • Delays cell damage by protecting cells from free radicals
    • Helps prevent heart disease and cancer as well as Parkinson’s disease and as Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Good for the immune system – antioxidants are proven in many studies to help the immune system fight off diseases. They are great for this.

  • Easier to digest – The starches break down into sugars during oxidization so they are easier to digest for baby. Anything that is easier on babies stomach is fine by us.

How to tell if banana has gone bad?

With all this talk of the health benefits of browned bananas, we need to keep in mind that bananas as all foods do eventually go bad. It is important to know exactly when that occurs, especially for a baby. What are some signs that a banana has gone bad?

The main sign to look for would be mold on the skin which would be an instant indicator that the banana is no longer safe or healthy for consumption by anyone. Let alone a little baby. This is the quickest and most sure indication that it has gone bad.

Another pretty obvious sign would be the smell. If it smells bad, throw it out. This is the most common test for all foods that is a strong indicator that the food is past its prime. If it even smells sort of “off” don’t risk it.

Is there is liquid underneath the banana peel? That is another strong indicator to throw it out and pick a better one for your little one.

All of these ways to identify if your banana has gone bad should give you enough of an idea as to whether your choice of banana is safe for your baby. If your banana was in good condition when you prepared it for baby and you refrigerated it soon after making if baby was not going to it eat right away, you should be fine.

It may brown a bit even in the fridge and that is the nature of oxidization on bananas and perfectly fine.

Most sources say bananas can be refrigerated for 3 days or put in the freezer for 3 months and they will still be good. There is no cooking involved with bananas when preparing for baby. It is also pretty easy to mash them up for consumption.

For this reason, we believe it is best to just take the 2 minutes to peel and mash up fresh bananas for baby. Also if you are preparing a lot of mixed purees with banana included for baby in advance. Maybe with your babies meal planning then it is fine to refrigerate or freeze.

A video of us putting these delicious bananas to use and making puree with a brown banana for our baby

In the video my wife thought the brown banana would not be appealing to the viewers so she peeled it beforehand.

There is a stigma about brown bananas and people think they have gone bad. We do explain however that they are beneficial. We serve our baby both brown and yellow bananas. As long as they are not green she enjoys them and they are healthy.

We used to steam our babies bananas as you can see in the video because they caused her a bit of constipation which is another thing to consider but some babies can just eat them mashed right from the start when starting on solids as we explain in this article.

The health benefits of bananas are amazing for your baby really so make sure to feed your baby both brown and yellow bananas and you should not have any hesitations about that. To learn more about banana health benefits for your baby check out our article here that lists them all in a nice list format that is a good quick breakdown of them. We hope next time your baby’s banana has turned brown you can have much more confidence in knowing it is fine.

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