The First Rule of Feeding Kids: Always Bring a Banana

updated Sep 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Have you ever noticed how many recipes there are for banana muffins out there? The plethora of banana-flavored toddler snacks? Or how many banana songs there are for kids? (If you like to eat, eat, eat eeples and baneenies you’re not alone.)

There’s a reason for that — it’s because bananas are heaven’s gifts to parents with hungry kids.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Yes, they’re chock-full of potassium and a good source of vitamin C. Sure, they are self-contained. But their popularity exceeds that of other popular, healthy fruit. Quite frankly, bananas are a wonder food.

1. They are versatile.

They turn into gluten-free pancakes. They make vegetables taste delicious in a muffin. They turn into granola, dessert, and even quesadillas. They are soft, squishable, and perfect as a first finger food.

2. They are (in many cases) safe.

If you have a kid with an allergy or if your kid has a friend with dietary restrictions, you know planning snacks for a playdate requires forethought. Hi, bananas. These sunny little self-contained snacks are kosher, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free and need no refrigeration.

3. They taste good when well past their prime.

Bananas are a lifesaver when school is out but you haven’t gone to the grocery store yet. Honestly, what other food tastes great when it’s almost rotten?

4. They are loved almost universally.

As potentially the most important factor, babies and kids like them. No, like … they really like them.

We are talking “eating even the brown ones, shoveling them into their mouths like candy” like them.

We are talking, “buy you an extra 10 minutes at brunch while they play with pieces of banana or gnaw it like a baby back rib” like them.

We are talking, “getting your kid to eat something that has some nutritional value without any tears, threats, or feelings of despair on anyone’s part” like them.

The combination of nutritious and delicious is kind of unbeatable. Sure, you have to clean a mushy, mottled mess off fingers and tables when the deal is done, but it’s worthwhile.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. Midnight snacks

Don’t forget — if there are any bananas left over, you get them in a banana split. One of the perks of being the parent.