Sunday, 30 September 2012

3 Banana Recipes for Fussy Toddlers!

Regular readers will know that i have been travelling a long and frustrating road getting one of my twins to try (or even touch) new foods, textures and tastes. This isn't because she is just a fussy toddler...she won't just 'eat if she's hungry', she isn't just being difficult or 'naughty'....she has sensory processing disorder or SPD and can often fear even having a certain food on her plate...sometimes it is the way it smells or looks, sometimes it is the touch. I'm still learning about why she feels this way and how her sensory system can work so differently. Perseverance and hard work is beginning to pay off ...even though to me it is often hard to recognise the progress!

We continue to work with an occupational therapist and also a speech therapist to broaden Ruby's range of 'safe'(to her) foods. We have always had trouble getting Ruby to touch, smell or taste fruit, meat and cheese. We have had a few small wins lately though and eating bananas is one of them!

I'm just so excited to have her eating some fruit that isn't pureed that i just had to share 3 favourites that seem to be working well!

We have an abundance of bananas growing at the moment so i have been really keen to get Ruby to try them....and love them! Tara already enjoys walking around with a banana in hand...preferring hers peeled not chopped though! 
The occupational therapist has been advising us to try placing foods Ruby normally wouldn't touch onto little forks and sticks in the hope that she will at least pick them up and perhaps taste as she doesn't need to physically touch the fruit with her hands...the texture of the banana flesh seems to be uncomfortable for her.
Using forks has been working well so i decided to take it one step further and make some...
Mini Fruit Sticks

She has been starting to pick up apple recently (thanks mainly to Miss Teen peeling and eating them next to her after school every day!) so i threaded some apple pieces, sliced banana and strawberries for colour.

Success...she was happy to pick up the sticks without having to touch the fruit and after  alot of sniffing and touching to her face she actually did eat most of the banana and apple although didn't touch the strawberries!

I'll be having a think about what else i can put on sticks now....perhaps some meat, cheese and raw vegies or am i getting too optimistic?

We have also been doing a lot of talking about the banana trees when we play outside....looking at how the bell develops and opens to reveal the bananas....i figure it can only help to know where the food originates from! We are lucky to have that opportunity so i want to make the most of it with the toddler twosome!
 I've been trying to introduce a few healthy new foods for afternoon/morning teas as Ruby is still very cracker/crunchy orientated.

The Toddler Fruit Balls (offered on a small fork) and Healthy Choc Mini Muffins have been fairly successful but i thought i would try some banana cake (we have so many bananas at the moment so i am freezing the flesh for many more cakes and smoothies to come over Summer i think!)

I have 2 favourite banana cake recipes....this one is a healthier version and almost like a bread really. It is quite dense and not too crumbly which is good for little hands that don't like crumbs sticking to them! I do find it needs a little scrape of butter though (we use Nuttelex here).

This recipe is really easy.....i urge you to give it a try!
 Toddler Banana Bread
3 Tablespoons Nuttelex (Butter or Margarine fine too)
1/2 cup caster sugar (i used raw caster sugar)
2 large eggs or 3 small
4 ripe medium bananas mashed
1 Cup white plain flour
3/4 Cup wholemeal plain Flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon Bicarb Soda
2 Tablespoons LSA mix
Beat Butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
Add all other ingredients and mix through well.
Pour into a greased or lined loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven for 45-50 mins (depending on your oven).
Serve warm with a smear of could also pour the batter into muffin tins if you prefer.
I sliced these size slices into small fingers as Ruby prefers finger or round sized things to pick up and she ate it all up and even asked for more...yay!!


The 3rd success i wanted to share are these lovely little morsels...just perfect for the warmer weather!

Crunchy Frozen Bananas

I simply cut a few bananas in half, rolled them in the toddler twosome's favourite vanilla yoghurt and then rolled again in some crushed cheerios cereal.

I then pushed a craft stick carefully through each banana....placed them in a ziplock bag and into the freezer .

I was so excited when both girls began munching away on them....i was worried the cold might scare them off but they loved them!

I would make them smaller portions next time as they didn't get through a whole one and the banana got  a little too mushy to refreeze after being held in clammy little toddler hands for awhile.

I think the smell of the yoghurt which is a safe food, the crunchy texture of the outside and being able to hold the stick all combined to make it a pleasant experience for Ruby....not to mention Tara...and yes even Miss Teen! 
They were so quick and easy to make that i have stored quite a few in the freezer now. It may seem like i am going to a lot of effort to encourage Ruby to eat everyday foods but for right now that is what has to be done and it is part of my job as her Mum.

I will continue to try and learn as much as i can about SPD and how i can support her to enjoy food as  much as the rest of the family does.

I'll be writing more about SPD and our journey so far soon but if you are already travelling your own path in this area you might like to visit my pinterest boards Toddler Friendly Food , Feeding/eating/Oral Difficulties,  and  Support for SPD & Autism for more ideas and inspiration!

Thanks to those who have voted for me in the Top 25 Circle of Mums can still vote....just click HERE, scroll down (way down hehe) until you see us and click's really easy!

I'd love to hear about your favourite banana does your toddler or family like their bananas served?

Warm wishes...


  1. Great post Jode, my youngest is really fussy so I understand your frustration. She is often hungry but will refuse all food.... even a slight deviation on a food she does eat will result in a refusal. We are slowly getting there but like you say the progress is slow... but I know that it is there.

  2. I have two banana ideas which work for my girls. One of mine has a really mild version of SPD. No slimy foods for her!

    Idea 1: Banana icecream.
    Peel and chop a banana, then freeze it. When it's frozen, take it out and let it warm up slightly - ten minutes on the bench works for me. Then put it in the food processor and zizz it (it is noisy). At first it's lumpy, but then it suddenly goes smooth. Scoop it into bowls. If you freeze it for later it goes pretty hard, so you need to let it warm up a bit before attempting to scoop it.

    Other things you can add to the food processor: nutmeg or cinnamon, chilled coconut cream (only the really thick part, tip away the clear liquid) frozen raspberries (my fav - use heaps!).

    Idea 2: Fruity pops

    Well that's what we call them. :-) My fruiterer told me what he does with the skanky-looking fruit at the end of the week. Chop up all your fruit, mix it in a bowl, press spoonfuls of mixture into an iceblock tray, then shove a stick into each block. Freeze, then serve later as little frozen blocks of happiness.

    This works best if you have a "creamy" fruit in the mix. Avocado, mango, banana or ripe pear work nicely.

    You can also include orange, mandarin, apple (chopped fairly finely), grapes (halved is nice) and anything else you have.

    I let the fruity pops freeze, then I take them all out and put them into a ziplock bag, then back in the freezer. Makes them easier to serve later, plus you get your iceblock trays back.

    I tried this in those little thingies for making icypole-shaped frozen treats, but they were impossible to get out. Hence the iceblock trays.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave your wonderful ideas Melanie! I really appreciate it and going to give them a try!I think the whole family will love the banana ice cream!!

  3. Those homegrown bananas must taste absolutely delicious Jode. I love the sound of those crunchy frozen bananas, so simple and healthy too. What lucky girls to have a Mum with such dedication to providing delicious treats and searching for foods to entice them to eat. I hope you are enjoying your day today:) xx

  4. yummy-ness! banana bread is a must for our house... it's the only way my son will even eat bananas. great tips... thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday!

  5. thanks for sharing..

  6. thanks for sharing..

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  8. what a yummy snack! can you post videos cooking recipes on your blog.. I just started to learn cooking and I like watching recipe videos.


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