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Banana For Kids: Fun Facts, Benefits, And 10 Easy Recipes

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Banana is an all-season fruit that most children love to eat. It comes in several varieties, with Cavendish type being the most commonly consumed variety in the US and Europe (1). Ripe banana is a suitable choice to add to different foods and prepare delectable banana dishes for children.

Bananas are rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and several health-promoting bioactive compounds that boost overall health. Besides, it provides ample amounts of calories that could contribute to the growing children’s increased energy needs. While you may be feeding bananas to your child for long now, it’s never too late to know more about this tasty fruit in detail.

This post shares some exciting facts about bananas, their possible health benefits for children, and ten delightful banana recipes to try.

Exciting Facts About Banana For Children

Here are some exciting banana facts that you can share with your child to ignite some curiosity about this fruit (2) (3) (4).

  1. On average, a banana weighs up to 125 grams, out of which 75 percent is water.
  1. Botanically, a banana is a berry that grows on an herb! Yes, the banana tree on which banana grows is botanically an herb distantly related to ginger.
  1. You might have seen a leaf float on water, but did you know that bananas can float too? Yes, bananas are less dense than water and can float on the surface just like apples
  1. A Cavendish banana contains as much potassium (400mg/100g of fresh fruit) as present in several cooked pulses, meat, and fish.
  1. Banana is a radioactive food, but it contains very little radioactivity to harm humans.
  1. Banana’s peel can help relieve itching and inflammation caused by a bug bite or poison ivy.
  1. Banana is the only fruit containing essential amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6. These compounds facilitate the production of serotonin, a happy hormone that enhances the mood.
  1. There are more than 1000 varieties of bananas grown in about 150 countries in the world.
  1. Cavendish banana, a common banana type that we eat today, is different from the type of banana our ancestors ate. The Gros Michel, often known as “Big Mike”,  was the most common banana variety available before the 1960s that vanished due to Panama disease.
  1. The world’s most extensive collection devoted only to one fruit is the Banana Club Museum.

The list of exciting banana facts can be endless. As you now know some facts, let’s learn some crucial benefits of bananas your child could reap.

How Many Bananas Can A Child Eat Daily?

There isn’t a specific number of bananas that a child should eat daily. Usually, one to two bananas a day are sufficient for most moderately active children. Remember, moderation and variety is the key to a healthy balanced diet.

Health Benefits Of Banana For Children

Banana is an easy-to-digest, nutritious fruit. Let’s know how it supports your child’s health. Here are some of the noteworthy benefits of eating bananas as a part of a well-balanced diet.

  1. Provides energy: Banana is a sumptuous fruit that fills the tummy effectively. One ounce of banana (28g) offers about 94Kcal of energy which children can utilize to meet their daily energy needs (5). Children need energy for day-to-day activities and also growth and development.
  1. Supports digestion: One green banana (raw) is rich in insoluble dietary fiber that facilitates proper digestion. This insoluble fiber adds bulk to the diet and prevents constipation. Besides, it acts as a prebiotic that aids in the proper growth and development of probiotics that produce SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) necessary to prevent chronic illnesses (1) (6) (7).
  1. Boosts immunity: Banana contains vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and B6, which support physiological functions that aid immunity. Additionally, it contains phytosterols which also have immunomodulatory effects (8). Thus, banana consumption as a part of a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy immune system.
  1. Promotes bone and heart health: Banana contains a considerable amount of potassium and magnesium that support bone and heart health. These nutrients are also crucial to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance necessary to regulate vital body functions  (9) (10).
  1. Enhances overall health: Bananas also contain bioactive compounds, such as phenolics, carotenoids, biogenic amines, and phytosterols. While phenolics and carotenoids combat free radical damage, biogenic amines and phytosterols regulate different physiological functions that boost overall health over time (11).

Ten Tasty And Healthy Banana Recipes For Children

Here are ten mouth-watering banana recipes that children across ages can enjoy in different meals.

1. Banana and cashew pancakes

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You will need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana
  • ½ cup ripe banana (chopped)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ tsp salt

How to prepare: 

  1. In a bowl, mix wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set the bowl aside.
  1. In another bowl, mix almond milk, butter, mashed banana, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste.
  1. Pour the almond milk mixture into the wheat flour mixture and mix everything thoroughly.
  1. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-low heat.
  1. Once the skillet is hot, put a teaspoon of oil and spread it over the pan.
  1. Pour a tablespoon or two of the batter onto the skillet and cook each side for two to three minutes until golden brown.
  1. Serve warm with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter and a cup of warm milk. You can also sprinkle some chopped, fresh fruits and mixed nuts to intensify your child’s nutrient intake.

2. Banana bread

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You will need:

  • 2-3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, walnut, and pine nuts; chopped)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of salt

How to prepare: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a loaf pan with oil or butter and set it aside.
  1. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, mix mashed bananas and melted butter.
  1. Stir in baking soda, salt, sugar, beaten egg, flour, chopped nuts, and vanilla bean paste. Mix everything well into a smooth-flowing, lump-free batter.
  1. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the loaf, which should come clean when the loaf is done.
  1. Remove the loaf pan from the oven and set it aside on the wire rack to cool.
  1. Serve a slice of freshly baked banana bread with scrambled egg, grilled veggies, and a cup of warm milk.

3. Baked banana chips

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You will need:

  • 2 raw banana (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • ½ tbsp paprika powder
  • ¼ tbsp black pepper powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil for coating and greasing

How to prepare: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) for about ten minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
  1. In a mixing bowl, add sliced banana, paprika powder, black pepper powder, salt, and a few olive oil drops. Mix well until the banana slices coat well.
  1. Place the banana slices on the baking tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they become golden and crisp.
  1. Serve warm baked banana chips as snacks along with a dip of your choice and a cup of fresh lemonade.

4. Gooey oatmeal and banana bites

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You will need:

  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup ripe banana (mashed)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup seeds and nuts trail mix
  • 2tbsp organic honey
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder

How to prepare:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well into a homogenous mixture.
  1. Take two to three tablespoons of the mixture between your palms and roll into round balls.
  1. Once the balls are ready, place them on a plate and refrigerate covered for two to three hours.
  1. Serve two to three balls with a cup of milk and pack the remaining in an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

5. Oats banana cookies

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You will need:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 cup nuts and seeds mix
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 2tsp corn starch
  • 1½tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
  1. Meanwhile, put butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla bean paste, and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix well until everything is combined.
  1. Stir in flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda, cloves, oats, and corn starch. Mix well to form a soft yet crumbly dough.
  1. Place the dough on the kitchen counter or flat board and roll it out into a thick sheet using a roller pin.
  1. Cut circular cookies from this dough using a cookie cutter and place them on the baking tray.
  1. Bake for ten to 12 minutes until the edges turn golden.
  1. Remove from the oven and put the baking tray on the wire rack to cool.
  1. Serve with milk or let your child eat them as a quick, healthy snack.

6. Banana choco smoothie

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You will need:

  • 1 banana (frozen and chunked)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup vanilla-flavored yogurt
  • 4tbsp unsweetened dark chocolate (powdered)

How to prepare:

  1. Blend banana chunks, chocolate powder, soy milk, and vanilla yogurt into a smooth-flowing, creamy liquid.
  1. Pour it into a glass and serve topped with toasted nuts and seeds.
  1. You can also add ice cream instead of yogurt to make a variant of the recipe.

7. Banana muffins

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You will need:

  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mixed nuts (almonds, cashew, and pistachio; chopped)
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Grease a muffin tin with butter or line with paper liners.
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set the bowl aside.
  1. In a separate bowl, beat or whisk the melted butter with brown sugar, egg, nuts, and milk.
  1. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix well until everything is well-combined.
  1. Fill each mold in the muffin tin to their brim with the batter. Bake for five minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 350°F (177°C).
  1. Bake the muffins for an additional 16 to 18 minutes until they turn puffed up and brown.
  1. Serve a muffin or two as an afterschool or on-the-go snack. Store the remaining in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

8. Banana frozen yogurt

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You will need: 

  • 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • 2 banana (mashed)
  • 1tbsp peanut butter
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp pumpkin seeds (chopped)

How to prepare:

  1. Blend the banana, peanut butter, and cinnamon into a smooth puree.
  1. Stir in nuts, seeds, and yogurt into the banana puree and mix well.
  1. Freeze for four to six hours until set. Serve chilled with a drizzle of hot chocolate and chopped fresh fruits.

9. Banana ice cream

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You will need:

  • 2 frozen banana
  • ½ cup mango and strawberry (chopped)
  • 1tbsp nuts (chopped)
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste

How to prepare:

  1. Blend a frozen banana, mango, and strawberry into a thick paste using a blender.
  1. Add vanilla bean paste and brown sugar. Blend again to mix everything well.
  1. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and freeze for about three to four hours.
  1. Put some ice cream into a serving bowl and garnish it with nuts. Serve.

10. Refreshing banana and coconut drink

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You will need:

  • 1 banana (chopped)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup fresh coconut slices
  • 3tbsp brown sugar
  • Few ice cubes

How to prepare: 

  1. Put a pan on low heat. Add water and sugar and cook until you get thick, light brown syrup.
  1. Add banana pieces to the syrup and mix thoroughly. Cook on low flame for about a minute and transfer into a bowl. Set aside.
  1. Take a wide-bottom serving glass and add coconut slices in one layer. Pour banana and sugar syrup over it and at last pour almond milk.
  1. Serve chilled with a club sandwich or quinoa salad.

Banana is a nutritious fruit that children can consume in several ways. You can feed bananas raw or ripe by preparing different sweet and savory banana recipes. Its regular consumption, as a part of a well-balanced diet, can benefit your child over time.

References:

MomJunction's health articles are written after analyzing various scientific reports and assertions from expert authors and institutions. Our references (citations) consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

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