Like avocados, bananas have a smooth, squishy texture that's easy for babies to mash between their gums. They're an ideal first fruit after babies have tried several different kinds of veggies; serve the puree plain or mixed with a veggie or baby cereal. In the U.S., bananas are inexpensive and bursting with sweetness in summer, but imported bananas are available all year long in grocery stores. Choose bananas with blemish-free yellow peel. Green peel means the banana is underripe, while peel with too many brown spots means it's past its prime, or nearly past its prime. One medium fresh banana mixed with formula or breastmilk yields 6 to 8 ounces of puree.
Wash the banana with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar to remove bacteria. Rinse under cool running water, dry, and peel. Discard the peel and the ends of the banana. Slice the rest of the banana into pieces and then cut each piece into quarters.
Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. (Fresh banana has a light purple-brown color when pureed.) Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. For extra creaminess, puree the banana with breastmilk or formula instead of water.
For chunkier banana, which is ideal for babies 10 months or older, mash it with a potato masher instead of pureeing it.
Sweet banana puree is delicious plain, but it also mixes well with tart or mild-flavored fruit purees.
Try mixing banana puree with:
Refrigerate leftover banana puree in BPA-free containers for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
Note: Always check with your pediatrician before introducing your baby to a new food, particularly if your baby has food allergies. Additionally, some pediatricians do not recommend making your own carrot, beet, or spinach puree because these fresh veggies can be higher in nitrates.
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