Should you be giving your baby bananas? They are certainly a very nutritious food loaded with a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Here are a few of those vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components that they contain:
- Potassium, an important electrolyte.
- Calcium, which is very important for bone and dental health, something to consider for a growing little boy or girl.
- Dietary fiber, which helps maintain proper digestion and solid stools.
- Vitamin C, which supports the immune system.
- Vitamin B6
Some of the other beneficial compounds that bananas contain are tryptophans, which aid in sleep. Bananas can thus serve as a good meal for your baby before bedtime. There are, however,a few things you need to consider first before you give your baby bananas.
When can you begin giving your baby bananas?
Giving your baby banana puree is a great way to introduce them to solids. If you are breastfeeding, it is recommended that you wait six months before introducing solids. The more general recommendation is that you introduce them in the form of purees between four and six months. Your baby needs to be able to sit and keep his head up on his own. He should also be expressing interest in trying adult foods and should be able to gesture that he’s full, for instance, by turning his head away from the bottle or breast. In any case, you should talk to your doctor when you are prepared to feed your baby solids like bananas. You should also be in dialogue with your doctor throughout the process of introducing other new foods to make sure he is getting balanced nutrition.
What part should bananas play in your baby’s overall diet?
As said before, bananas are full of nutritional value, so giving your baby bananas is a great idea. Once other foods besides breast milk or formula make up a large part of his diet; however, some of his nutritional needs must be satisfied by these foods. Giving your baby bananas alone won’t be enough to provide for all these needs. They are a very sweet food, and your baby may like bananas so much that he will want to eat a lot of them. They’re also relatively easy to prepare, so as a parent, you might be tempted to give your baby bananas as a kind of go-to food. If you’re not careful, your baby might end up filling up on bananas and not be eating some of the other things he needs to be eating.
Breast milk and formula are sweet, and babies like sweetness. This is part of what makes bananas so useful as one of the first foods you introduce. But as he gets older, you’ll need to introduce him to other tastes. This is useful both for well-rounded nutrition and for getting used to other tastes besides the sweetness. This will serve him well in both later childhood and adulthood. It will also simplify your life in that you won’t be having to deal with a picky eater.
When giving your baby bananas, you should also consider the number of bananas itself. Some people might think that potassium would be an issue, but it would take quite a few bananas for your baby to get too much potassium. However, three or four bananas could lead to constipation. You should also avoid bananas when your baby has constipation. Don’t just be giving your baby banana after banana, even if it seems like he would like that, and make sure you talk to your doctor about all the kinds of food and how much of them you should be giving to your baby.
How do you give your baby bananas?
Now that we have talked about the benefits of giving your baby bananas and about when it is good to introduce them, let’s talk about how to go about giving your baby bananas at different stages in their development. Preparing bananas for your baby is quite simple. Banana puree is a common option in baby food jars, but you can very easily make it yourself.
First, make sure the bananas are fully ripe. They should be completely yellow. It’s also a good sign if they have a few black spots on them, and they should pull off from the bunch easily. They should also be soft and sweet. Take a little bite and make sure that they are not starchy and do not give you a sensation of dryness in your mouth. Peel them, cut them into smaller pieces, and mash them with the back of a fork or spoon until they are completely pulverized.
When you are first introducing foods, you should wait three to five days between introducing each new food. The foods you introduce should also at first be one ingredient purees, but as your baby gets older and is ready to chew with his gums, mash them to a bit more chunky consistency. Later, when giving your baby bananas, you can mix them with other foods like baby cereal or mashed strawberries.
As your baby gets older and begins to pick up small objects with his fingers, you can introduce finger foods. Given their softness, bananas are a good choice for one of your baby’s first finger foods. You can cut them up into small chunks that your baby can chew and that he won’t choke on. These chunks can get bigger after he has teeth and becomes proficient at chewing. Still, always be watchful and make sure that he does not stuff his mouth and that he chews his food before swallowing.
To wrap it up, when you’re giving your baby bananas, you’re giving him great baby food. There are a couple of things one should be on the lookout for, such as making sure your baby is not eating too many because they’re just so tasty. But don’t sweat it! Bananas are most certainly food you should include in your baby’s diet when he’s ready, and food that, at the same time, won’t be much of a hassle to you.