Are your kids going bananas over bananas? If they aren’t, it’s probably because they haven’t been introduced to this wonderful fruit yet! That being said, there’s far more reason for them to indulge in eating bananas, besides the incredible taste they proffer.
Fun Facts about Bananas
Before delving into the various benefits of bananas, here’s a list of cool facts about bananas!
- The most popular type is the Cavendish banana. This strain of banana is resistant to the Panama disease that wiped out the Gros Michel banana variant.
- Which country is the leading producer of bananas? India!
- Bananas are effectively more radioactive than other fruits, owing to their high potassium content. No need for alarm, though; that amount of radiation is harmless to our bodies.
- The bananas that are small, sweet and have relatively thin skins, are called Lady Finger Bananas.
- A row of bananas is called a ‘hand’, while a single banana, a ‘finger’.
- Bananas are not only found in the color yellow, but other colors, including red.
- Now this one’s really interesting: banana plants are actually not trees, but a type of ‘herb’!
The Benefits of Bananas for Kids
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but a banana a day will up their health quotient several notches.
Instant Energy Source
Did you know that bananas are considered to be a sports food on account of that high carbohydrate content that helps provide an energy boost? Great for rejuvenating children tired from a hard day of play!
Bananas contain a water-soluble fiber called pectin, that increases and leads to the ripening of bananas. This helps in better digestion by converting the carbohydrates into simple sugars that are released.
For Strong Bones and Better Eyesight
The potassium in bananas neutralizes the sodium in your child’s diet, thereby creating strong bones. Also, the vitamin A present in bananas helps promote better eyesight.
Anemia occurs when there is a scarcity of red blood cell production. One of the wonderful benefits of bananas for kids, is that they are enriched in all the essential nutrients like vitamin B12, folic acid and copper, that are necessary for the formation of red blood cells.
Boosts brain power
What spinach did for Popeye’s muscle, bananas would certainly do for his brain! Once again, that secret ingredient is ‘potassium’, which aids in the circulation of blood flow, thereby boosting brain power.
Tip: Since bananas are also great at improving concentration, you could give your child a banana as a snack in their school tiffin, or even in between study hours.
5 Easy Banana Recipes for Kids
Here’s some really cool ways in which we can get our ‘little monkeys’ to eat more than just ‘plain bananas’!
Banana Yogurt Muffins
One of the most delicious banana recipes for kids, this one makes for the perfect school snack.
2 mashed bananas
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup honey
¾ cup natural yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp soda bicarb
½ tsp vanilla essence
Mix and stir all dry ingredients well in a big bowl. Mix the vanilla, yogurt, olive oil, honey and eggs in a smaller bowl. Then add the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly. After greasing the muffin tray with olive oil, put the mixture in. Place in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.
All kids love banana bread!
2-3 ripe, mashed bananas
1 large beaten egg
1 and a half cups all-purpose flour
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine nuts)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup unsalted, melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside a loaf pan greased with oil as you mix mashed bananas and melting butter in a bowl. Then stir in the baking soda, salt, sugar beaten egg, flour, chopped nuts and the vanilla bean-paste. Mix everything nicely into a smooth-flowing batter before pouring into a loaf pan and baking for an hour.
Peanut Butter and Banana Ice-cream
Things that don’t exist: Children who don’t love ice-cream!
4-5 ripe bananas
Milk or Yoghurt
Dark chocolate, grated
Slice the bananas into 3cm chunks. Place them in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours. Then, put the frozen banana chunks and peanut butter in a blender that can crush ice. Add milk and yogurt and blend at high speed. Put the blended stuff in the freezer and don’t forget to top off with dark chocolate (and nuts, if you like) to enhance the taste.
Baked Banana Chips
If you snack, you might as well snack healthy!
2 raw bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
½ tbsp paprika powder
¼ tbsp black pepper powder
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C for 10 minutes. Add sliced banana, paprika powder, black pepper powder, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix well until the banana slices are well coated. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and golden.
Breakfast Banana Split
Bringing dessert to the breakfast table? What’s not to love?
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup mixed berries
2 tbsp LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp rolled oats
Firstly, slice the bananas into half lengthwise. Mix berries thoroughly into a puree. Place the LSA and oats in the serving dish and over them, place the two banana halves. Cover with walnuts and yogurt. Drizzle the berry puree over it and voila! Your Breakfast Banana Split is ready.
There’s plenty to love about bananas. Besides the wonderful benefits they provide, they are easy to use in recipes that make delicious recipes sure to bring a smile to the faces of your children. Visit EuroKids for more information.