11

My 22 month old baby is a the stage where she is becoming a picky eater.

One thing she currently has no resistance to, however, is bananas. She'll eat a whole banana, ask for another, power through a second banana if I give in, then ask for another, at which point I usually resist. More than 2 bananas a day seems like a lot for a 28 pound baby. I have nothing to back me up on this though.

How can I determine how many bananas is too much? Are there any negative consequences of allowing her to eat bananas to her heart's content?

  • 2
    Anecdotal: my daughter went through this same phase, she would eat huge amounts of bananas and tangerines (up to 4 bananas and 8 tangerines per day) and she seems to be doing just fine :) – Erik Sep 14 '15 at 7:57
  • 1
    My second was eating fairly regularly 2 bananas in a row when he was 3... no complications noted. – cmbarbu Sep 16 '15 at 11:05
  • 1
    I don't even know what babies would eat if not for bananas. I always hesitate at the third banana or cutie, but like others I have learned to trust my little guy. We power through a bundle of bananas in a day or two and he is just fine. No constipation. – Omar Hisenberg Mar 10 '16 at 7:03
  • 6
    Mine was the same way. Now he's 18, healthy, and looking to power through Mountain Dew and Chips at the same pace. Wish he'd reach for the bananas again..... – Michael Broughton Mar 10 '16 at 17:22
13

The main concern with eating bananas is constipation. Bananas are extremely sweet, and that can be somewhat dehydrating (which is the leading cause of constipation). If they're eaten in an unripe state (a ripe banana is yellow with some brown speckles), they may also be harder to digest, as their starch content is higher.

However, how that affects your daughter will depend on, well, your daughter. If she tends to hydrate well, and her bowels work pretty well, then she'll be fine - just pay attention to how her stools are 8-24 hours after she eats the bananas, and if it's a problem, cut back in the future.

When she potty trains (if she hasn't already), you may want to avoid constipation more than usual for a while (as it can make it hard on the child when trying to go), but again that's going to be on a person by person basis.

Finally, I would make sure she's eating enough other foods. As long as she is getting plenty of protein, green veggies, dairy/calcium, and the other things she needs, and the bananas aren't causing problems with her digestive tract, then I'd say go ahead and let her eat what she wants. As Brusselssprout notes above, letting her pick how much to eat is the healthier way to go, so long as you give her a selection of healthy foods and make sure this isn't replacing her full meal.

If you do find it is replacing her full meal, then treat it like dessert or snack - only give it at times a few hours before the next meal.

7

We are facing the same issue with our 18-month-old daughter. It's difficult, but we try to follow the Ellyn Satter division of responsibility in feeding:

The Division of Responsibility for toddlers through adolescents:

The parent is responsible for what, when, where.

The child is responsible for how much and whether.

Like you, I hesitate before giving the third banana. For some reason it feels like one too many. I try to remember the division of responsibility and trust that my daughter, on the whole, will eat what she needs to eat when offered a variety of food choices at set meal times.

Bananas contain a lot of good stuff, like carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber. Too much of a good thing can of course become a bad thing, but it would be practically impossible to eat enough bananas to get potassium poisoning (for example).

The main concern I can think of would be that she's filling up on bananas, and neglecting to eat other things that have necessary nutrients. Bananas contain no fat, for instance, which is definitely needed for toddlers' growth and brain development. I'm not a health professional, but our pediatrician told us that it's what she eats over the course of a week (or even a month), not at each specific meal, that matters.

  • 2
    I allow my girl a bit of chocolate but wouldn't trust her to stop when it's reasonable... even adults sometimes eat so much they get sick, why would you trust a child to be reasonable ? Although I totally agree with the "whether" (basically no child will die because of refusing food), the "how much" seems to me a bit tricky to be left to the child's decision... – Laurent S. Sep 15 '15 at 11:31
  • I think there is nothing wrong with the child deciding "how much", the problem here is the resistance on the childs part when the parent decides to change the "what". (You don't get a third banana, but you can have something else if you want more food.) As she is a picky eater, the child took over the decision over the "what". Too many bananas can lead to constipation (in adults at least), as far as I know. – skymningen Sep 15 '15 at 13:41
  • If the parent decides what food is on offer when and the child how much she eats of everything, then it seems offering something else after the first banana is allowed... – hkBst Aug 5 '17 at 17:51
2

My twins are almost 17 months old and for the longest time they shared a banana because they have constipation problems (due to them being premature). But now they eat a whole banana, and they will eat up to 3 a day a piece. And they go to the bathroom just fine, plus banana's are good for their development and growth.

  • However, bananas are sugar laden... That is another huge concern. – L.B. Jan 5 '17 at 13:12
  • Yes it is but I can't go by just that honestly because natural sugar is easy to burn off if you're concerned about ur child's weight I guess – user26023 Jan 6 '17 at 2:27
  • 1
    But not great for little kidneys and developing teeth! – L.B. Jan 6 '17 at 4:46
  • 1
    Teeth that's the first time I heard that – user26023 Jan 6 '17 at 4:55
  • 2
    Natural sugar is no easier to "burn off" than artificial sugar (whatever that is). There are plenty of reasons to avoid added sugar and eat whole real foods, but this isn't one of them! – mattdm Jan 11 '17 at 9:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.