Banana bread is a healthy treat that makes for a tasty breakfast or mid-day snack, especially when paired with fresh fruit or a glass of milk. Even young children can help you make the recipe, which can make them even more excited to eat it. Bake smart to make the healthiest treats for your kids.
Though recipes vary, most contain basic ingredients, like bananas, flour, baking soda and powder, sugar, oil and eggs. Accommodate for allergies by seeking out recipes that use gluten-free flour or vegan recipes without eggs. The bananas should be extremely ripe, having skin that’s quite brown. If your bananas are starting to turn and you don’t have time to make the bread yet, you can peel and freeze them for a few days without it having an adverse effect on the taste.
What Kids Can Do
Have your child help you in the kitchen. Your littlest ones can peel and break the bananas into pieces with help, stir the mixture a bit and cut the finished bread with a dull knife. Older children can mash the bananas and accurately measure the ingredients. You should be responsible for putting the pan into the oven and taking it out, though, warning your child that the bread and pan can still be hot a few minutes after it comes out of the oven.
Making It Healthier
Use whole wheat flour instead of white. Your kids won’t be able to taste the difference. A single slice of banana bread can be more than 150 calories, which is perfect if you’re trying to get your child to gain weight. If you’re concerned about calories, though, look for versions with less oil and sugar. You’ll often find that you can substitute applesauce for part of the oil and add less sugar than the recipe calls for. You can also sneak in a bit of grated zucchini if your child is the type to avoid vegetables like the plague.
Walnuts and banana bread are a classic combination, but the nuts can be a choking hazard if you have particularly young children. Chop them extremely small if you plan to include them. Mini-chocolate chips can also make for a fun add-in. Stick with just a few for a slight chocolate taste without beefing up the calorie count too much.