Banana is the best first food for babies. Smooth texture makes it easy for babies to swallow. Being rich in fiber, it is easy to digest and avoids constipation. Rich nutritional benefits of banana make it a healthier choice!
Always give ripe bananas to babies. Unripe ones may cause constipation, sour throat, indigestion. Do not let it over-ripe as that might be spoiled at times. Do taste for the quality before feeding it to babies.
Among the varieties of banana available in TamilNadu, here are some best choices for babies. Best age to start the type of banana is marked in the respective photos.
Viruppaachi or Malai vaazhai is the best first choice for babies. The one in the above photo is the hybrid variety. Country-side variety would be much smaller in size. Though smaller ones are preferable, hybrid can also be opted if the former one is not available in your locality.
I clicked these pics just 2 days before my US travel. So, couldn’t wait for banana to ripen. Ripened virupaachi will have black skin, but the fruit inside tastes delicious. Peel off the skin, cut vertically, remove the center rim with seeds, just mash it well with a spoon and feed it fresh to babies.
Yetham/Nentharam/Nendhran pazham/Ripe Plantains is the “King of Bananas”. Its nutrition and taste is doubled when cooked(steamed/boiled). Do not cook clean yellow fruit. Wait for 2 -3 days to ripen to get black skin here and there.
Wash and steam/boil the banana with skin. Then, remove the skin and cut it vertically. Discard the seeds, just mash it well and feed it fresh to babies. Click here to see how to make steamed banana puree with step-wise pictures. Steaming is recommended till 8-10 years of age.
Sevvaazhai/Red bananas are rich in Beta-carotene, Potassium and Vitamin C. This nutritious banana is advised after 1 year of age for proper digestion.
Do not let it over-ripe as it might develop dangerous bacteria. Fewer brown/black spots indicate ripeness. If you could touch and feel lil soft(not too softer), then feed immediately. Neither cooking nor removal of seeds required for red banana. Just peel the skin, mash well and feed.
Naatu vaazhai/Pachanaadan pazham is more fibrous and loaded with nutrients. But, it is not easy to digest compared to other varieties of banana. Though some people feed it after one year, you shall wait till 2 years of age for proper digestion. Avoid giving this banana in the night. This variety is mainly preferred during summer for it’s cooling effect. Try to get greenish one and let it ripe in your rice sack, just to stay away from induced ripening techniques.
Banana – Dietary fiber, Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamins A,B&C and various antioxidants