When To Say 'na Na' To Banana: Can A Toddler Eat Too Many Bananas?

When To Say 'Na Na' To Banana: Can A Toddler Eat Too Many Bananas? - Header Image

Key Points

  • Many babies love eating bananas for their sweet taste and interesting texture.
  • Bananas are an ideal food for toddlers due to their versatility and high nutrient content.
  • Bananas are high in sugar and can sometimes cause constipation.
  • Children older than 12 months should have no more than one-and-a-half bananas per day.

Remember the good old days when your baby was happy having milk for every meal? Now your baby has turned into an active toddler with a much more varied diet. While some toddlers love trying new foods and others are already showing signs of being a picky eater, most toddlers agree that bananas are particularly delicious.

This comes as good news to parents, with bananas typically being easy to source, easy to serve, and highly versatile. But what happens when your toddler takes the love of bananas to the next level?

Can a toddler eat too many bananas? Bananas are an excellent source of nutrients but does have a relatively high sugar content so reasonable limits should be enforced. Potassium poisoning is unlikely unless consuming in excess of 5-6 bananas per day, but some concern exists if eating un-ripened bananas as this can cause constipation.

The Benefits Of Bananas

There is no denying that bananas are full of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are vital for a toddler's development - like calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and B6.

Girl eating banana on park bench

Bananas are also high in fibre – containing as much as three grams of fibre per banana – which in some children can help relieve constipation. (See below where we discuss the issue of bananas and constipation in greater detail.)

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of bananas for parents is convenience. Bananas can be pureed on the go with a fork and can be peeled without the use of a knife or a peeler. Even better, bananas are the perfect on-the-go snack, as they don't even need to be refrigerated.

Safe Banana Servings By Age

With all factors considered – including sugar, fibre, and the need for a balanced diet – it is recommended that babies starting solid food at four months have no more than one-third of a banana per day, increasing to half of a banana by nine months, and up to one-and-a-half bananas by the time the child is one year old.

This amount – a maximum recommended banana intake of one-and-a-half bananas per day – continues until the child is two years old. It should be borne in mind that bananas are particularly filling foods and eating too many bananas can cause a child to be too full to try other foods or enjoy a balanced diet.

Safe Banana Services By Age
Age Amount
< 4 Months 0
4 - 9 Months 1/3 per day
9 - 12 Months 1/2 per day
12 Months + 1 and 1/2 per day

The Downsides To Excessive Banana Consumption

Like many fruits, bananas are high in calories and sugar . This can cause problems with weight gain and poor dental health if consumption is excessive.

Toddler eating banana on kitchen bench with other vegetables

The biggest problem with allowing a toddler to have too many bananas, however, is that bananas are particularly filling for toddlers’ tiny stomachs and do not leave much room for other foods.

All humans – toddlers in particular – need a balanced range of nutrients, and filling up on bananas at every meal will leave your toddler too full to try other nutrient-rich foods and expand their pallets.

Bananas also contain almost no fat – an essential nutritional element in every toddler's diet.

Choosing The Best Bananas For Your Toddler

If organic bananas are available in your area, they are usually worth the added expense. Agricultural processes usually involve pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, whereas organic foods are safer and haven't been treated with harmful chemicals.

While it's perfectly fine to purchase green bananas and allow time for them to ripen at home, never serve an unripe banana to your toddler. Look for a fully yellow banana that easily separates from the bunch.

Store bananas unpeeled at room temperature or purée bananas in advance and store in individual serving sizes in the freezer.

The Great Constipation Debate

When you start researching bananas and constipation , you're likely to find a lot of conflicting information – with some people using bananas to treat constipation in toddlers, while others blame bananas for causing constipation .

Which is the truth? It's certainly true that bananas have long been used as a natural remedy for constipation in toddlers.

Equally, there is a good case to be made for the argument that green bananas that haven't been given sufficient time to ripen are disproportionately high in starch, which is difficult for toddlers to digests.

Ripe bananas, on the other hand, are high in fibre, which can play a role in alleviating symptoms of constipation.

In both cases, however, the common denominator is proper hydration. Fibre only works to alleviate constipation if water consumption is also increased. If your toddler is having issues with constipation, first look to ensure that they are properly hydrated before considering other causes.

The Issue Of Potassium

Bananas are known to be a source of potassium, leaving many parents to wonder can a toddler eat too many bananas and therefore ingest too much potassium. Despite this being a common concern, bananas don't contain as much potassium as you may have heard .

Can eating too many bananas cause potassium poisoning in my Toddler? One medium banana contains on average 422 milligrams of potassium, while the minimum adequate potassium intake for a toddler aged between one and three years is 3000 milligrams.

For children aged between four and eight years, this figure rises to 3800 milligrams of potassium needed per day. This means that a toddler would need to consume about seven medium-sized bananas in one day just to reach the potassium threshold.

There are plenty of other foods that are even higher in potassium, including avocados, natural yoghurt, spinach, and sweet potatoes.

On the days that your toddler wolfs down a full banana and then promptly asks for another, you may find yourself wondering can a toddler eat too many bananas? Just like anything, the key to feeding your toddler bananas is to do so in moderation.

It is wonderful that your toddler is expressing an interest in fruit rather than processed foods – especially fruit that is so high in nutrients.

On the other hand, bananas are high in sugar and can sometimes cause constipation and even difficulty with sleep .

Plus, too many bananas can leave your toddler too full to eat other foods, unnecessarily limiting their nutrient intake for the day. There is no reason why your toddler can't enjoy bananas every day, provided they are eating plenty of other healthy foods and especially vegetables throughout the day too.