This baby friendly banana bread is simple to make and sweetened with only bananas and dates! It’s the perfect snack or dessert for babies, toddlers, kids, and adults. This soft and fluffy bread is also gluten free and dairy free too!
Banana Bread That's Not Just For Babies
Banana bread has always been my favorite way to use up ripe bananas. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found that I wanted to make my banana bread a little healthier and with less sugar for my daughter to enjoy.
My Family Loves This Bread!
My husband and I actually prefer to make this healthier version because we don’t even miss the added sugar that’s usually in the regular recipes. So whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly banana bread recipe or a healthier banana bread recipe for yourself, you will love this one!
Baby Led Weaning Banana Bread
Banana bread can be great for babies too! We started baby-led weaning with my daughter when she was about 6 or 7 months old and this banana bread was an easy food to serve her. The fluffy moist bread is perfect for little hands to grab onto and learn with. Of course, every baby is different so use your best judgment or ask your pediatrician on what to feed your child.
Ingredients For Easy Banana Bread
Oats: I use certified gluten free rolled oats but you can use regular rolled oats if preferred. To make the oat flour, just simply blend one cup of the rolled oats until it becomes a flour like texture.
Almond flour: the almond flour combines with the oat flour well to make a fluffy moist banana bread that is gluten free.
Bananas: I’m sure you’ve heard this before but the best banana bread is made with overripe bananas. Make sure that they are ripe before using or the bread won’t turn out as sweet. If your bananas are ripe before you can use them, just store them in the freezer to use at a later date.
Medjool Dates: The dates are optional but I love to include them in this banana bread for a little natural sweetness. Make sure to use soft, pitted dates that are able to break down into tiny pieces before adding to the batter. If you don't want to blend the Medjool dates, you can chop them up into small pieces by hand instead.
Coconut Oil: This recipe is dairy free so we just add a little bit of melted coconut oil instead of butter.
Eggs: You’ll need three eggs for this banana bread recipe.
Zucchini: Shredded zucchini is an awesome vegetable to add to banana bread. It adds nutritional value and delicious flavor. Make sure to set your shredded zucchini directly on a paper towel for a few minutes so any excess water is soaked up before adding to the batter.
Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a great way to add some extra flavor to this already delicious bread.
Vanilla Extract: Just a hint of vanilla flavoring.
Baking Soda: To help with the soft and fluffy texture.
How To Make Banana Bread
Step 1: First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease or line a regular loaf pan.
Step 2: If your zucchini is not shredded yet, use a food processor with the grater attachment to shred the zucchini. *Remove any excess water from the zucchini by placing the shredded zucchini on a paper towel. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3: In a food processor or high powered blender, blend the 1 cup of oats until it reaches a flour consistency. Pour the blended oat flour into a bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Now add the dates and banana to the food processor or blender. Note: soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften before blending. Blend on high until dates have broken down into small pieces. Alternatively, chop the dates in small pieces if you don’t want to blend them.
Step 5: Add the oat flour, almond flour, coconut oil, eggs, shredded zucchini, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend until combined, stopping if you need to scrape down the sides.
Step 6: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
Tips For The Best Banana Bread
- Ripe bananas: Make sure to use only ripe or overripe bananas in this recipe. Banana bread is a great way to use up those old bananas on the counter. You can also store ripe bananas in the freezer to use at a later time.
- Blend the oats: Measure out 1 cup of the oats before blending them. Add them to the blender and make sure to blend until they are broken down into a flour-like texture. If you leave the oats whole, the texture of the bread will be off.
- Soften the dates: If you’ve made any other recipes with medjool dates before, you’ll probably know this trick. Dates can get hard after storing them for a while so an easy way to soften them up before blending is to soak them in hot water for 10 minutes. The hot water will soften them so they are easier to break down and will blend into the batter better. Also make sure to take out the seed before blending them!
- Remove excess water for zucchini: After you shred the zucchini, it helps to place the shredded zucchini on a paper towel to absorb any excess water. I just shred the zucchini right away before prepping any of the other ingredients and let it sit on the paper towel for at least 5 minutes.
Depending on who is going to be eating the banana bread, it can be fun to try a few additional add-ins.
Here's some ideas:
- Chocolate chips
- Sliced bananas
- Chopped nuts
- Shredded carrots
Frequently Asked Questions:
What age can babies eat banana bread?
This banana bread is made as a treat or a snack for babies, kids, or adults. It is not meant to be a replacement for a meal or to be fed often. With that in mind, babies can usually eat banana bread around 6 to 7 months of age or whenever they have a good handle at eating solids. Of course, always use your own judgment or consult a pediatrician on what to feed your child.
Can this banana bread be used for baby led weaning?
Yes! The great thing about banana bread is that it is soft and easy to cut into small strips. Their little hands can usually pick up the bread easily which makes it a nice option for baby led weaning.
What if I don't have a blender or food processor?
You can still make this recipe! Just chop up the dates into small pieces and buy already blended oat flour. Simply place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix it all together to combine.
To Store: Feel free to store the cooled banana bread covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: You can freeze the sliced bread in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw at room temperature or defrost in the fridge overnight.
More Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes:
- Healthy Granola Bar Recipe For Kids
- Oatmeal Toddler Breakfast Cookies
- Chunky Monkey Banana Breakfast Cookies
- Butternut Squash Baby Food Puree
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
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Easy Banana Bread For Babies and Toddlers
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease or line a regular loaf pan.
- If your zucchini is not shredded yet, use a food processor with the grater attachment to shred the zucchini. *Remove any excess water from the zucchini by placing the shredded zucchini on a paper towel. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a food processor or high powered blender, blend the 1 cup of oats until it reaches a flour consistency. Pour the blended oat flour into a bowl and set aside.
- Now add the dates and banana to the food processor or blender (See Tips Section on how to soften the dates if needed). Blend on high until dates have broken down into small pieces. Alternatively, chop the dates in small pieces if you don’t want to blend them.
- Add the oat flour, almond flour, coconut oil, eggs, shredded zucchini, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend until combined, stopping if you need to scrape down the sides.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.